AN EFFINGHAM charity has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the link between climate change and wildlife loss.
A special presentation entitled The Plight of the Orangutan v Man – Hope or Tragedy? was given by members of Orangutan Appeal UK at the House of Commons on October 28. The event was hosted by Bill Wiggin MP and was attended by more than 80 MPs, academics, conservationists and TV presenters, including Bill Oddie.
Over the past 15 years the number of orangutans in the wild has fallen from more than 100,000 to an estimated 50,000.
The greatest factor having an impact on orangutan numbers has been the rapid deforestation of their natural environment, due in large part to the cultivation of palm oil, used globally in a wide variety of foods and consumer products.
Sue Sheward, chairman and founder of Orangutan Appeal UK, said: “The loss of habitat and the dramatic decline in the orangutan population over the last 20 years has without doubt contributed to our current problems with climate change. We still have much to do to improve this situation and we hope you will all help us.”
Those attending the event were also given an exclusive preview of the new eight-part documentary Meet the Orangutans which will be aired as part of the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet series early next year.