Indonesian rainforests are being razed for their palm oil, so that we can have bars of soap that could easily be made without it.
And now I find yet another reason why palm oil is bad. (Maybe GreenPeace was on to something?)
The Sumatran tiger (the worlds most endangered tiger subspecies) is having a hard time coping with a diminishing habitat. Forest destruction and fragmentation have led the tigers to lay claim to woods near populated areas.
It is estimated that the tigers, limited to around 450 individuals, are responsible for nearly 40 human deaths in 2000-2004. On the other hand, an estimated 52 tigers were killed per year in 1999-2002. It is clear that something must be done or the critically endangered tiger will follow the fate of its Javan and Balinese relatives into extinction.
The deforestation of Sumatra is occurring at an extremely fast rate, with almost 30 million acres cleared (nearly 50% of the islands forests) in the last 22 years. Forests are cleared for both palm oil and timber. It is no surprise that tiger attacks are on the rise as they are forced to seek land near human populations.
The last three attacks, however, have all been on lumberjacks working at illegal logging camps in the protected forests. The â€˜Harapan Rainforestâ€˜ (named after the Indonesian word for hope) was established in Sumatra as a safe-haven for the tigers in 2007.