Palm Oil Industry Pushing Wildlife Into Extinction

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, most of the talk about sustainability in the palm oil industry is just smoke and mirrors. This is an immediate battle for the survival of critical species in our fragile web of life. To be more precise, this is about the survival of the Sumatran tiger and the orangutans of Sumatra and Borneo.

palm oil plantations and deforestation

Of course, palm oil’s footprint is much greater than that, but these iconic creatures are on the front lines as they are being pushed closer and closer to the brink of extinction every day. Meanwhile governments and corporations stall progress and talk about their nonsense commitments to sustainable palm oil–a label that producers buy instead of earn. Even sustainable palm oil is fueling deforestation and pushing orangutans and Sumatran tigers into extinction. They destroy one forest and plant a tree somewhere else in its honor. That isn’t sustainable. That is fraud.Unfortunately, there also is the pressure from other special interests who hope to privatize the genetics of endangered species. These interests are fanning the flames of deforestation from behind the scenes. These are all crimes against nature and it’s time to put private agendas aside. We all need more than palm oil and concrete to survive.

Nothing Sustainable About Palm Oil

By Shelley Goldberg

Most people know that palm oil is one of the most widely used vegetable oils in the world. You can even find it in popular foods like pizza, ice cream, and chocolate. But not everyone realizes that the production of palm oil is also destructive.

palm oil deforestation

Indeed, since vast quantities of land and forests must be cleared for plantation development, the growth and development of palm oil is linked to major issues. Besides deforestation, there’s climate change, habitat degradation, animal cruelty, indigenous rights abuses – you name it.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, an area that’s the equivalent size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared to make way for palm oil production – every hour. Making matters worse, such large-scale deforestation is pushing many species to extinction.

If the situation continues, species such as the orangutan could become extinct within the next five to 10 years. The Sumatran tiger has even less time, with about three years until extinction.

Now, if you can stomach those statistics, there is an opportunity brewing in the sector. Oil palm is one of the least expensive crops in the world. And its yields are five to 10 times greater than the output of other vegetable oils.

The crop is known for production of two types of oils from its fruit. The first is the oil derived from the fruit’s flesh, which is used for cooking oil, shortening, margarines, milk fat replacements, and cocoa butter substitutes. The other oil, derived from the kernel, is used primarily in the manufacturing of soaps, detergents, lotions, cosmetics, and toiletries.

Of course, the demand for these products isn’t going to end. Demand for palm oil is also rising in the biofuel, agrifood, and oleo chemistry industries. To satisfy this demand, global palm oil production is anticipated to be on a continuous increase going forward. Already, over 60 million metric tons of palm oil are exported daily from Southeast Asia.

Now, that’s not to say producers are ignoring the problems with palm oil production. In fact, the industry is beginning to take action. A controversial new document entitled, “The Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto” was released just weeks ago. It was signed by major palm oil producing and trading companies such as Sime Darby Plantation (SMEBF), IOI Corporation Berhad (IOIOF), and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLKBF).

deforestation and endangered species

At first, the manifesto appeared to be a major win for forest conservation. Yet organizations such as the Union of Concerned Scientists point to loopholes and vague language. They claim the document allows them to make only modest changes while continuing to destroy land (and push wildlife closer to extinction).

Now, in the spring, Procter & Gamble (PG) announced new goals to help ensure zero deforestation in its palm oil supply chain. Its goal is to trace supply chains of palm oil and palm kernel oil to supplier mills by December 31, 2015, and to plantations by 2020.

While P&G claims it’s already working with larger suppliers to improve tractability, small farmers in Malaysia and Indonesia account for 35% to 45% of the company’s palm oil production. So it has a ways to go.

More recently P&G announced that is conducting an in-field study to help small farmers improve their palm oil and palm kernel oil production. P&G is partnering with the Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation (MISI) to field this study.

deforestation and endangered species

Other companies have taken similar steps in this direction. Danone (BN.PA) has committed to sourcing traceable palm oil with no links to deforestation, setting a goal to map its palm oil supply chain by the end of 2015.  Its pledge is followed by a series of similar commitments by companies such as Colgate-Palmolive Co.(CL), General Mills Inc. (GIS), and Mars.

Demand for sustainable palm oil is anticipated to grow in the near future. Especially as the industry addresses the environmental concerns and develops new plantations on existing cleared land – while also conserving natural resources and addressing the needs of the indigenous people and wildlife.


public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. It’s also promoting forest conservation, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, and wildlife conservation through its subsidiary–Sacred Seedlings. Please contact Gary Chandler at to join our network.

Palm Oil Executive Jailed For Illegal Deforestation

Crimes Against Nature Going To Court

The director of the Indonesian palm oil company PT Kallista Alam, Subianto Rusyid, has been found guilty of illegally clearing peat forest in Aceh, Sumatra, and has been sentenced to eight months in jail. The judges also fined him 150 million rupiah (about 13,000 US$), and said he would be imprisoned for a further three months if the fine was not paid.

palm oil deforestation

This follows on from a court ruling in a civil case in January in which Kallista Alam was ordered to pay 114.3 billion rupiah (about 9.7 million US$) in compensation and 251.7 billion rupiah (close to 21 million US$) to restore the 1,000 hectares it deforested illegally.

The company was convicted of illegally burning large swathes of the Tripa peat forest, which lies within Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem – the only place on earth where tigers, elephants, rhinos, and orangutans can be found living together in the wild. That case was brought against Kallista Alam by the Indonesian environment ministry.

The court also ordered the confiscation of 5,769 hectares of land managed by Kallista Alam and set a five million rupiah (about 426 US$) daily fine for each day the company delays paying the compensation and restoration costs.

palm oil deforestation

The judges heard evidence about how much damage the forest burning had caused to the soil structure in Tripa: peat layers 10 to 15 centimetres deep were destroyed. Gases triggered by the burning exceeded the permitted Threshold Limit Value. Judges at the Meulaboh District Court have also sentenced Kallista Alam’s development manager, Khamidin Yoesoef, to three years in prison and a fine of three billion rupiah (about 256,000 US$) or a further five months in prison. Kallista Alam is appealing against all three verdicts.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has identified Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem as one of the world’s “irreplaceable areas.”

Ian Singleton, director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, said the new judgement was a victory in terms of law enforcement, coming on top of the fine imposed on Kallista Alam in January.

Orangutan habitat and palm oil plantations

The public prosecutor had asked for a ten-month jail sentence for Subianto Rusyid, who was accused of negligence for failing to control his subordinates. In May, Fadila Ibra from the Coalition to Save Rawa Tripa was quoted by the Jakarta Globe as saying this demand was too lenient given the environmental damage caused, and was less than half the sentence the law stipulates. “This will not deter those who have destroyed the environment,” Fadila was quoted as saying.

Fadila has been quoted as saying Subianto could have been punished with five years in prison and a two billion rupiah fine.

The Aceh branch of Walhi (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) filed a lawsuit demanding that the 1,605 hectares in the Nagan Raya district that were allocated to Kallista Alam in August 2011 by the then governor of Aceh province, Irwandi Yusuf, should be taken over and managed by the local government. The area has again been declared a conservation area. As part of the Leuser Ecosystem, it should already have been protected.

After a large-scale international protest, the Indonesian environment ministry decided to investigate Irwandi Yusuf’s issuance of the permit. In September 2012, the new governor, Zaini Abdullah, revoked it in accordance with a ruling by the Administrative High Court in Medan, which said it was illegal.

PT Kallista Alam appealed and, in May 2013, the Banda Aceh Administrative Court ruled in the company’s favour and overturned the revoking of the permit, saying that it was not legally binding because the court decision was being challenged in the Supreme Court. The company’s Supreme Court appeal has since been rejected in a ruling that supersedes that of the Banda Aceh court.

There are criminal and civil prosecutions underway against four other oil palm companies with concessions in Tripa: PT Surya Panen Subur II, PT Dua Perkasa Lestari, PT Gelora Sawita Makmur, and PT Cemerlang Abadi.

Indonesia deforestation and endangered species

Destruction of Orangutan Habitat

Tripa is one of only three remaining peat swamp forests in Sumatra where orangutans can be found. There were some 2,000 to 3,000 orangutans in the area in the 1990s, but only a few hundred are left today.

Up to 100 orangutans are thought to have perished in forest clearing and peat burning in Tripa, and experts say they are now close to being exterminated in the area.

Orangutans are not the only animals in jeopardy in Tripa; the area has also been home to Sumatran tigers, Malayan sun bears and other endangered and protected wildlife.

Indonesia’s peatlands cover less than 0.1 per cent of the Earth’s surface, but their destruction is causing 4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions every year. According to Greenpeace, the annual clearing of Indonesia’s peatlands releases some 1.8 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases and some put the figure at 2 billion.

Under Indonesian law, development on peat up to three meters deep is still legal, and the palm oil industry’s certification system, the RSPO, does not ban all development on peat.


public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. It’s also promoting forest conservation, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, and wildlife conservation through its subsidiary–Sacred Seedlings. Please contact Gary Chandler at to join our network.

Tanzania Planning Carbon Capture Project

Climate Change Solutions In The Forests

Reforestation is one of the few proven carbon capture solutions available today. Thanks to our partners in East Africa, we have one of the largest carbon capture opportunities in the world and it’s ready to begin immediately.

With the help of foundations, corporations, governments, NGOs and donors, we can conserve millions of hectares of existing forests and plant more than 100 million new trees. We will plant millions of more trees in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

forest conservation Tanzania and Kenya

According to very conservative estimates, the reforestation effort alone will capture 2.5 million tons of CO2 every year. The forest conservation (avoided deforestation) program will help even more.

We also have plans for smaller projects in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda that represent an opportunity to plant millions of additional trees and much more. It’s possibly the largest carbon-capture opportunity available today and one that we can’t afford to ignore. It’s large enough to help us all fight climate change, while promoting a sustainable watershed, ecosystem and economy for more than 100 million people across East Africa.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

Please join us. We need volunteers, donations, grants, sponsors, and media coverage to kickstart this important program immediately. We also need more projects around the world. Forest conservation and reforestation can help capture carbon, defend ecosystems and the planet.

Save Kilimanjaro

We also offer voluntary carbon offsets to help organizations meet their carbon management objectives. We are working with the regulated carbon markets now to line up certifications. Learn more at

forest conservation and reforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information

India More Concerned About Conserving Temples Than Tigers, Elephants

Editor’s Note: What does it say about a society and religion when it disregards the magnificent creations of god, mother nature or whatever term you prefer, in favor of saving the misguided concrete creations of humans? 

Temples Or Tigers More Important To India’s Heritage, Future

It is a battle between heritage and tiger conservation. For now, the tiger seems to be winning. As the district administrations in Theni in Tamil Nadu and Idukki in Kerala prepare themselves for the annual Chitra Pournami festival at Mangaladevi Temple, where Kannagi, a cultural icon on both sides, is worshipped once a year, the demand for restoring the temple complex to its original glory has once again surfaced.

While the locals have been asking the Tamil Nadu government to take over the maintenance of the temple complex, officials on this side of the border are non-committal as the temple, now in ruins, is accessed through the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala.

On the Tamil Nadu side in Western Ghats, there are two trekking routes at present, for about six km through the reserved forests and there are no motorable roads. “There is a possibility for a motorable road from Paliyankudi hamlet. If there is a road, we need not get permission from Kerala. Theni district authorities are not taking steps to lay the road,” says K.T. Gandhi Rajan, an art historian.

“There was a proposal for a road some time ago but shelved subsequently,” says an official in Theni district administration, hinting that the road ahead for obtaining sanction through the reserve forests could be long.

“It used to be a week-long festival. Now it has been restricted to one day,” says Mr. Rajan. Based on interactions with tribals in Gudalur forest division of Theni district, he says the temple complex has been deteriorating fast in the past two decades or so. “Damage caused is attributed to the constant movement of elephant herds. But, elephants infest the area for centuries,” he says.

The locals share his sentiment. “The Kannagi temple has seen decay in the past two decades. Tamil Nadu government should make efforts to restore the temple to its original state. The temple is culturally significant to the Tamils,” says N. Ramakrishnan, DMK MLA from Cumbum, the closest town.

On Monday, the Collectors of Theni in Tamil Nadu and Idukki in Kerala sat together in Thekkadi and discussed the elaborate arrangements for the annual pilgrimage that falls on May 14Forest officials of the Periyar Tiger Reserve say it is an annual festival held for one day. “As the temple falls in the core tiger habitat, any initiative to restore or renovate the structure has to go through the due process of obtaining permission from State Board for Wildlife and National Board for Wildlife,” says a Forest officer.

According to a Government of Kerala (DPR) website, the Department of Archaeology had declared the Mangaladevi Temple as a protected monument in 1983. Located in Kumili village of Idukki district, the temple facing the Cumbum Valley of Tamil Nadu consists of four shrines of different sizes and orientation, the website reads dating the temple complex to 8-9 century A.D. The Director of Archaeology, Kerala, could not be reached over phone.


Wyoming Wolf Population Rises Despite Cleansing Program

Wolf Mismanagement Opening Door To Chronic Wasting Disease

Known for their resiliency, gray wolves thwarted attempts by wildlife managers to cut their numbers by about five percent last year, a new report shows. Instead, wolf numbers in Wyoming’s jurisdiction swelled by about five percent last year, increasing by an estimated 13 animals to 199 wolves running in 30 packs. Including Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian reservation — where wolves are managed separately — the population stood at a minimum of 306 wolves as the year ended.

Wyoming wolf population

The figures come from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s 2013 gray wolf report, which was released Friday. Two factors that contributed to the higher-than-expected wolf population was better success producing and rearing pups and a decline in the number of wolves killed by people, Game and Fish wolf program biologist Ken Mills said.

“Part of what happened is that not as many wolves died from non-hunting, human-caused mortality,” Mills said.

That includes animals killed via “control actions” after killing livestock and from being hit by vehicles, he said.

wolf conservation Wyoming

Wyoming managers don’t count every wolf pup, Mills said, but indications are that more are reaching adulthood. That’s related to hunting pressure, which can cause an increase in reproduction. Mills pointed to Montana and Idaho — which also released their wolf reports Friday — as an example.

“They’re killing a lot of wolves,” he said, “and they’re either slightly decreasing the population or they’ve just managed to stabilize it.”

Montana killed 627 wolves last year and Idaho killed 659 wolves. The human-caused wolf mortality rate in Wyoming (24 percent) was much lower than in Montana (35 percent) and Idaho (41 percent). Now 1 1/2 years past federal protection in Wyoming, wolf numbers have been relatively stable.

There were estimated to be 328 wolves in the state at the end of 2011, and 277 animals at the end of 2012. That rose to 306 at the end of 2013. Overall wolf numbers and breeding pairs have stayed well above the state’s delisting requirement.

“The goal as always is to manage a sustainable, recovered population of wolves in Wyoming,” Mills said. “We’re at almost double the population that we’re required to manage, and we had a known minimum of 15 breeding pairs, which is 50 percent above what’s required.”

keep wolves listed

Yellowstone National Park’s wolf population increased 14 percent to 195 in 2013. Even in Wyoming’s predator zone — where wolves can be killed at any time, by any method and without a license — the count increased from 17 to 20. The zone makes up 85 percent of the state. Including the predator zone, wolves killed by hunting was mostly unchanged between 2013 as in 2012. Hunter-killed wolves fell from 66 to 63.

The number of wolf hunting licenses sold fell by more than half in the second year of hunting, from about 4,500 to 2,150.

Wyoming’s wolves got into relatively little trouble with livestock and dogs last year compared to 2012, the report shows. They were confirmed to have killed 33 calves, seven cows, 33 sheep, a dog and a goat. Wolves injured another six cattle, two sheep and a horse, domestic bison and another dog.

Game and Fish will come out with its proposed wolf hunting quotas for the 2014 season in late April, Mills said. A “season setting” meeting in Jackson is set for May 7.

“Part of our job is predicting what will happen, and that’s a very difficult thing,” Mills said. “It’s always interesting to measure predictions against what actually happens, and learn from it and apply it to the next year.”


public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform

U.S. Advertising, PR Firm Working To Save Kilimanjaro

PR Firm Donating Profits To Save Endangered Ecosystem

Mother Nature isn’t what she used to be. The issues of climate change, pollution, deforestation, endangered species and poverty are getting worse by the day and they impact the sustainability of life as we know it.

Fortunately, a massive conservation plan in East Africa is ready to make a lasting impact on all of these issues at once. The model is replicable and scalable for countries and communities around the world. The key is to get as many trees in the ground as possible–as soon as possible.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

Sacred Seedlings is fighting climate change, wildlife poaching, loss of wildlife habitat, and poverty around the world. Under the guidance of local NGOs and government, five massive projects are ready to begin immediately in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

In honor of the first ever World Wildlife Day, Crossbow announced that it will donate all new client revenue in 2014 to help fund this plan to save the vanishing ecosystems of East Africa. Crossbow hopes that it’s commitment will attract new clients from around the world, especially those devoted to sustainability and wildlife conservation.  Crossbow also is contacting foundations and corporate sponsors to help fund the projects.

“I’m not aware of any other company in the world that is donating all profits to wildlife and forest conservation,” said Gary Chandler, founder of Crossbow and cofounder of Sacred Seedlings. “We challenge other companies to join us as clients or donors and we will shine a very bright light on those leaders to maximize their return on investment.”

Several NGOs in Kenya and Tanzania have developed the conservation and reforestation plans, which also include sustainable agriculture, community education and engagement and more. The NGOs approached Chandler, a renowned wildlife conservationist and author, in search of solutions to the wildlife poaching crisis in East Africa, where elephants, rhinos and other species could be pushed into extinction within 10 years by poachers. The cornerstone of the effort is a massive reforestation program that will plant more than 100 million trees. These trees will absorb massive amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, which can help us mitigate the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which contribute to climate change and extreme weather around the world. The reforestation effort also will help preserve biodiversity and habitat for wildlife.

Tanzania lion conservation

The reforestation will help create hundreds of jobs, which will take away some of the economic imperative that drives wildlife poaching and the multi-billion dollar illegal wildlife trafficking industry. Last year, more than 35,000 elephants and more than 1,000 rhinos were killed by poachers across Africa. Unfortunately, poachers aren’t the only threat to the survival of many endangered species. Drought and loss of habitat also could push them into extinction.

“We’ve had the Sacred Seedlings model in development for about four years,” Chandler said. “When our new partners in Africa contacted us for help, they eagerly embraced the business model as one that could save the vanishing wildlife, ecosystems and cultures of the region. Now, the interest from stakeholders is snowballing around the world. It’s time to get them funded to maximize the impact of the opportunity, so we’re putting our money where our heart is–the future.”

Chandler hopes to raise more than one million dollars for the effort from his company’s donations. That will fund the Kilimanjaro project, but four other programs will require a greater investment. He hopes that other corporate leaders will sponsor much of the program, while foundations also are expected to play a leading role.

For more information about Crossbow and the conservation plans in East Africa, please visit

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. It’s also promoting forest conservation, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, and wildlife conservation through its subsidiary–Sacred Seedlings. Please contact Gary Chandler at to join our network.

Conservation Plan Expanding Across East Africa

Stakeholders Defending Ecosystems 

The world is at a turning point. Ecosystems in some regions of the world are on the verge of collapse. Balancing record human populations with diminishing and degraded natural resources is getting more challenging every day. Climate change is making that balancing act even more complex, as agriculture, water, wildlife and communities are feeling the impact in most regions of the world.

Because of these factors, biodiversity is under assault like never before and the web of life could collapse in some regions of the world within a few short years. Each regional collapse will contribute to the global spiral. Eastern Africa is one region that’s at a critical point. Momentum is already working against us and some fundamental priorities must emerge for immediate action.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

Thanks to some collaborative and comprehensive planning by enthusiastic leaders in Kenya and Tanzania, we have a plan for the largest conservation project in East Africa. These diverse stakeholders are feeling the pressures of climate change. They believe in a shift to greater sustainability. They sense the urgency of more comprehensive wildlife conservation strategies. They have submitted several proposals to help address all of these issues simultaneously. The plans are solid, comprehensive and sustainable. They can make a difference.

One plan can expand to become a comprehensive and sustainable economic development plan for all of Tanzania. Earth Keepers Centre in Kenya just submitted a separate reforestation proposal that can be expanded to the nations of Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda. They are all braced to make an immediate and lasting impact on the entire region. Their future depends on it. The future of life as we know it depends on their success.

forest conservation Tanzania and Kenya

Africa’s tropical belt is one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world. Millions of people across Africa have already been displaced due to drought, famine and conflict. Desertification has already taken its toll on the northern third of the continent. The tropical belt is under assault by resource-hungry humans and climate change. The humanitarian crisis is adding to the environmental crisis. Without aggressive intervention, it will escalate and the ecosystem will collapse.

In Kenya, for example, Mt. Kenya is the main source of all water. That water also is used to generate 60 percent of electricity used across the country. Unsustainable use of forest resources (water, timber, firewood) is threatening the forests and the local livelihoods.

The conservation problems, like the destruction of indigenous trees for illegal fuel-wood, timber and charcoal trade, debarking and poaching of small animals, are caused by the local communities who are mainly ignorant of the importance of these ecosystems.

Elsewhere in Africa, investments from India and China have created an economic boom. This economic disparity—including the entitlement of the investors, myths, cultural factors, and corruption—is driving a devastating trade in illegal wildlife parts, including elephant ivory, rhino horn and others. That illegal killing of endangered species is rapidly driving them closer to extinction every day. Both the African elephant and the rhino could be poached into extinction within a decade, if drought and starvation don’t wipe them out first. Lions will go right behind them. The collapse will continue until the land won’t support man or beast. The trend is established and requires some interventions to at least slow the momentum.

Tanzania lion conservation

The snowballing confluence of environmental and economic factors threatens to alter the future of Africa and the world forever. Containing this disaster to Africa will be impossible. Therefore, the entire world has a stake in saving this delicate ecosystem and others from collapse. We can’t afford to stand by and watch.


The entire planet must address the issues of overpopulation, deforestation, biodiversity, poverty, endangered species, sustainable agriculture and economic development. They all are complex issues that are becoming more entwined daily. We don’t have all of the answers, but we are helping some bright and enthusiastic young leaders develop a vision and plan for a brighter Africa. So far, they have developed 13 plans across Burundi, kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. They are asking us for help. We can’t do it without you.

They have plans to fight climate change, wildlife poaching, poverty and regional sustainability. Please join us as a volunteer, networker or funder. These projects are all shovel-ready.

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Please visit:

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. It’s also promoting forest conservation, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, and wildlife conservation through its subsidiary–Sacred Seedlings. Please contact Gary Chandler at to join our network.

Technology Can’t Save Biodiversity

Technology Not The Solution To Climate Change

Denying the contributions of air pollution to climate change is like trying to defy gravity. If you disagree, just see what happens when you put a running car in the garage and close the door. It will kill you.

Our atmosphere also is a confined space and we are pumping it full of toxins and greenhouse gasses every minute. It isn’t going anywhere. It’s building up, adding to the greenhouse effect, and contributing to toxic buildup. Of course, the atmosphere and ecosystems are more complex than that, but the atmosphere can only absorb so much abuse before it fights back.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

I’m not writing to preach about alternative energy. This is about forest conservation and life as we know it. Whether you believe in god or mother nature, forests are here for a reason. The biodiversity within those forests is here for a reason. We are all part of this web of life and to think that one component of the web is less important than another is naive. Humanity has raped the planet almost beyond recognition already. It’s time to turn back the clock.

We can’t restore rainforests as well as the original. Therefore, we have to draw the line on deliberate destruction immediately. We must reforest immediately. We can create clean jobs. We can preserve watersheds and wildlife. We can attempt to restore the natural balance.

wildlife conservation Tanzania

The Kilimanjaro ecosystem, for example, is on the verge of collapse. Once it reaches a tipping point, there will be no turning back. Millions of people more will die or be displaced. Endangered species will go extinct. People in that region are screaming for help now.

I’m pursuing rainforest restoration/conservation projects as a hobby and I’m prioritizing my time and my money into natural solutions. I’m not giving up on technology and conservation, but ecosystems are brilliant creations. We need to make them our top priority in a holistic sense. The human population has already exceeded capacity of the planet. You don’t have to be a scientist to know that a rising human population and diminishing natural resources is a formula for disaster.

forest conservation Tanzania and Kenya

Environmental diseases and disasters are fighting back at humanity more than ever now. The sewage nightmare is already killing us thanks to unstoppable and very transmissible forms of prion disease. There isn’t any technology available to cure these diseases. There isn’t any technology available that is going to heal the planet. It’s time for humanity to quit being arrogant about very basic aspects of life. It’s time invest in nature more than ever. It’s better to be good and fast than perfect and late.

If you ant to help fight climate change, while protecting endangered species, please visit 

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. It’s also promoting forest conservation, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, and wildlife conservation through its subsidiary–Sacred Seedlings. Please contact Gary Chandler at to join our network.

Sumatran Tiger Habitat Trashed By Paper Giant

Indonesia’s Most Unique Resources On Verge Of Extinction 

An environmental NGO claims that deforestation conducted by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and its supplier companies has affected the endangered Sumatran tiger.

World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) Indonesia communication coordinator Desma Murni said in Jakarta on Sunday that there were many forestry timber concession areas that overlapped with the habitat of the endangered Sumatran tiger – most of them in areas not yet entitled to legal protection.

rainforest conservation palm oil plantations

“As the concession holder, from the very beginning APP has not shown responsible conduct by felling trees in areas identified as the habitat of the protected species,” she said as quoted by Antara news agency.

Desma said the Sumatran tiger was the only tiger sub-species left in Indonesia. Based on 2004 official data, she said, only around 400 Sumatran tigers could be found in their natural habitat and the number continued to decline due to excessive land clearing.

“If we continue to let this happen, the Sumatran tiger as a top predator will go extinct,” said Desma.

palm oil deforestation

She said APP may no longer conduct forest clearance activities in the area. However, according to Eyes on the Forest (EoF) reports, as of April, the pulp and paper industry had continuously carried out natural forest clearance even after it signed a commitment to stop clearing natural forests.

Desma said most of APP’s industrial forest permit (HTI) concession areas, particularly in Sumatra, were located in peat lands, which used a drainage system as a water management system.

The company’s new forest conservation police (FCP) has indicated it will continue and/or carry out high conservation value (HCV) and high carbon stock (HCS) studies in areas that are both still heavily covered with forests and can produce natural timber.

“In fact, as we know, most of APP’s HTI concession areas have been cleared and converted into acacia plantations. It’s very unlikely there will be an evaluation of natural forests as stipulated in the HCV and HCS study plans,” she said.

Desma added the safety of Sumatran tigers and their existence in both the Kerumutan and Pulau Muda blocks remained a question due to APP’s lack of transparency in tackling human and animal conflicts.


Kilimanjaro Reforestation Project Will Tackle Climate Change

Fight Climate Change, Poverty and Habitat Loss With Your New Website

The Internet is changing life as we know it. An international marketing agency is tapping the positive side of that dynamic to launch the “Web Of Life” campaign to help reforest the planet.

Crossbow Communications, a Denver-based advertising and public relations agency, is raising money for Sacred Seedlings, an international reforestation and forest conservation program.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

“Our partners in Tanzania have developed a plan with the forestry department to plant 10 million trees over the next five years at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro,” said Gary Chandler, president of Crossbow. “These trees will create jobs, preserve habitat for endangered species and help offset human contributions to climate change.”

As Chandler explained, some of the trees will be used to reforest degraded forests and deforested areas. Other species of trees will be grown to produce crops near villages and in towns and cities (coffee and cocoa, for example). Other trees will be placed near homes and buildings to protect them from the elements, reduce energy consumption, and minimize greenhouse gas emissions caused by energy demands. Sacred Seedlings also will fund several solar ovens for villagers to minimize the need to cut firewood for cooking. The company is developing similar programs around the world.

Tanzania also is one of the last strongholds for wildlife in Africa. The country known for the Serengeti National Park and other natural wonders is under siege by wildlife poachers. Last year, more than 10,000 elephants in Tanzania were slaughtered for their ivory. The strong demand for ivory in China and Thailand, for example, tempts locals in Tanzania and surrounding countries to kill elephants to feed their families. Unless economic interventions, such as job creation, succeed, the African elephant will be gone from the wild within the next decade. Rhinos and lions face the same fate.

Tanzania lion conservation

The Mellowswan Foundation Africa-Tanzania reached out to Sacred Seedlings In July in search of solutions to save the country’s iconic wildlife. The two organizations began crafting a reforestation plan to help fight poverty, climate change and wildlife poaching.

While Crossbow will sell sponsorship packages to corporations and foundations to fund the bulk of the project work, it’s launching a novel program to generate some immediate seed money for projects that are ready to proceed. According to Chandler, his web development team will donate all revenues to the “Web Of Life” campaign to raise money for reforestation. All revenues generated in this arena will be donated to Sacred Seedlings and its project partners in Tanzania.

“Our web pros will build blogs and websites for companies, small businesses, nonprofits and individuals to raise money for global reforestation,” Chandler said. “Every penny will be donated to this reforestation program. We will devote the next 10 weeks to this campaign, so please help us spread the word. It’s a great deal and an even better cause.”

The company hopes to raise $100,000 to start construction on three nurseries in shadows of Mt. Kilimanjaro in early 2014. It will cost about $1 million to build the nurseries and plant 10 million trees over the next five years. The company has several other projects in development now to accommodate growing global support for reforestation. The company’s goal is to plant as many trees as possible as fast as possible to help mitigate carbon buildup in the atmosphere, which is contributing to climate change and extreme weather events, such as the biblical floods that recently hit Colorado’s front range counties.

The “Web Of Life” campaign will include custom web/blog development on WordPress for $750 (our recommendation is to build one for you just like our site). Hosting and email services are additional. Clients must supply all copy, photos, artwork and logos. More complex sites and e-commerce sites will be assessed and estimates provided at no cost. No reasonable offer from anywhere in the world will be refused. 

Supporters will be listed and linked on the program website at Supporters also can promote their involvement with the program by displaying the logo below on their site.

sacred seedlings logo

For more information about this campaign or official sponsorship opportunities, please contact Gary Chandler at 

British Army In Kenya To Fight Poaching

Paratroopers In Kenya To Train Local Rangers

The British army is has put boots on the ground in Kenya to combat the escalating illegal wildlife trade killing rhinos and elephants in AfricaA total of 25 paratroopers in Kenya are on rotation at the army’s base in Nanyuki, 200km north of Nairobi, and will provide training to Kenyan rangers who are battling increasingly militarized poachers.

Kenyan parliamentarians are currently considering proposals to increase the penalty for poaching from the current maximum punishment of three years in prison to lifetime sentences. Kenya said last month it was going to microchip the horn of every single one of the country’s thousand rhinos in a bid to combat the trade, which is largely driven by demand from south-east Asia.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

The environment secretary, Owen Paterson, who is in Kenya this week, said of the partnership: “Illegal poaching is having a devastating effect on some of the world’s most iconic species and we must work together to tackle it. By joining forces with those on the front line in Kenya, our armed services will be able to provide training and support to the courageous people who put their lives on the line every day to protect these animals.”

Brigadier Duncan Francis, defence attache based in Nairobi, said: “This is an excellent example of the British army taking positive action on an issue that is close to many people’s hearts. It is also the first time that we have carried out this kind of work. The 25 members of the parachute regiment involved in this training will be making an immense contribution to securing the future of some of the world’s most endangered species.”

The soldiers will not take part directly in operations against poachers, but provide training on how to patrol better, working more effectively as a team, and what to do if they encounter poachers. Members of the Kenyan Wildlife Service, Kenyan Forestry Service, and conservation organization Mount Kenya Trust will receive the training in the coming weeks.

An NGO-organized conference in London next February will discuss how to improve law enforcement to tackle the illegal poaching of elephant, rhino and tiger parts.


Battle To Save World’s Wildlife In China’s Hands

China Driving Wildlife Crisis

The recent seizure of 645 illegally obtained and trafficked wolf pelts from Greece at Beijing’s Capital International Airport is a commendable act by the China’s General Administration of Customs. Together with other recent seizures of elephant tusks and rhino horns in Hong Kong, the Chinese government has shown the world its growing efforts to combat the illicit wildlife trade.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

These recent actions are particularly laudable because China occupies a pivotal strategic position in the global fight for wildlife protection.

China is rich in biodiversity, and is a top market for wildlife and its parts. Effective enforcement of China’s Law on the Protection of Wildlife and honoring its obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species serve to protect Chinese indigenous species and those in other countries.

In recent years, China has faced the daunting task of stopping the influx of wildlife contraband and protecting the threatened species within its national borders. Chinese authorities have faced a challenging situation that has invited misunderstanding and, oftentimes, accusations.

Historically and globally, demand for expensive wildlife products follows economic prosperity. China’s rise as an economic superpower has brought with it new “status vices.” Some people with income to spare spend it on lavish and often outlandish wildlife luxury goods like rhino horn and elephant ivory. While economic prosperity is good for a nation and its people, it may spell doom for wildlife species.

China is not immune to this problem and is not alone. The US and other countries went through similar episodes during their economic development.

With the global economic balance of power shifting eastward, the rising purchasing power in East Asia has made it a new destination for illegal ivory and other wildlife products.

Ivory carving is a time-honored skill in East Asia and Southeast Asia. Governments in this rapidly modernizing region are engaged in finding a way to balance preserving cultural traditions while safeguarding the Earth’s rarest creatures for future generations. Today, all ivory carving facilities in China must be approved by the government.

A long-running debate on the Chinese Internet asks if elements of cultural tradition must evolve with the new challenges faced in the contemporary era.

There are voices for passing the ivory-carving skill to the younger generation. However, it is a shortsighted choice to allow questionable traditional practices to continue if it causes negative impact on the long-term sustainability of the global ecosystem.

China’s implementation of an ivory product identification system represents a political determination to discourage the expansion of the ivory-carving business, a wise policy decision.

As the single biggest investor in Africa, China bears responsibility to the continent’s people and wildlife.

Demand in East Asia for ivory, rhino horn and other animal products needs to be addressed, both through education and enforcement.

Moonlighting as an ivory trader, out of ignorance or deliberately, violates international laws, and is costly and hugely irresponsible. It can also damage the reputation of the law-abiding Chinese business community working hard to expand its rightful operations in the continent.

Furthermore, reports of the involvement of organized militia and terrorist groups in elephant poaching are highly troubling and could fuel instability and undermine regional security. This concerns the national interest of many countries including China.

A series of Chinese government initiatives, international partnerships, strengthened customs enforcement, and increased Chinese public concern provide strong evidence of change in the country.

As a vital force in the global alliance for wildlife protection, China’s growing commitment and efforts to combat illicit trafficking can save elephants and rhinos from extinction, while inviting global commendation for its efforts.