ACTION ALERT - 14 october 2008
australia subsides the burning season
8.30pm 14 October 2008 on ABC 1
The Burning Season documents the mass burning of virgin rainforests in Indonesia to clear land for crops such as palm oil, which make Indonesia the world's third largest producer of carbon emissions. It follows the predicament of palm oil farmer Achmadi who depends on palm oil production for a livelihood, shows the heroic efforts of Lone Droscher-Neilsen to rehabilitate orangutans rendered homeless by the fires and follows carbon entrepreneur Dorjee Sun as he tries to negotiate deals that would make it more financially worthwhile to protect forests rather than burn them.
When watching the program, be aware that the Australian Government continues to subsidise the importation of palm oil to Australia from Indonesia as a ' greenhouse friendly' biofuel, despite the now well known fact that it is a greenhouse disaster.
HSI is insisting the Australian Government ends the subsidy for palm oil imports to Australia. We are campaigning hard at the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change to see that carbon credits for rainforest protection forms an essential part of the next global agreement on climate change to be agreed in Copenhagen in 2009. HSI also gives grants to orangutan protection projects in Indonesia, to support the heroic efforts of people like Lone Droscher-Neilsen.
The documentary has been produced by award winning film makers Cathy Henkel and (occasional HSI consultant) Jeff Canin. Cathy and Dorjee will take part in an online forum after the program. More information on the program at http://www.abc.net.au/
Write to Peter Garrett and Penny Wong and ask why the Australian Government still subsidises the importation of palm oil at 38c a litre under the Cleaner Fuels Grants Scheme, despite knowing the subsidy contributes to the burning season in Indonesia and greenhouse gas emissions on a massive scale. Remind that Peter Garrett criticised the subsidy as a ' public policy car crash' when in opposition. Ask that they end the subsidy immediately and require all products to be labeled for their palm oil content so that consumers can make an informed choice as to whether they contribute to the burning season.
Please send us copies of any responses you receive.