Posts Tagged ‘enviromental degredation’

Buying Palm Oil products hurts Tigers


TIGER-friendly labels on products which use palm oil grown without destroying Asian jungles could help save the endangered big cats, according to Australia’s major zoos.

Palm Oil Products: Not good for tigers

I was at Sydney’s Taranga Zoo a few weeks ago, getting quite an education. Not only was I learning about Australia’s amazing wildlife, but also, about how the harvesting of palm oil is adversely affecting tigers and other animals in Asia. Below is an article from Australia’s Daily Telegraph. I shot the image of the tiger through a good-sized plate of glass.

By Malcolm Holland, Environment Reporter: Daily Telegraph
World demand, and prices, for palm oil has skyrocketed, sparking land clearing in the jungle homes of tigers in Indonesia and Malaysia. Land clearing was so widespread it had put Sumatran tigers “on the next step to extinction”, Taronga’s CEO Cameron Kerr said yesterday.

World demand, and prices, for palm oil has skyrocketed, sparking land clearing in the jungle homes of tigers in Indonesia and Malaysia.Land clearing was so widespread it had put Sumatran tigers “on the next step to extinction”, Taronga’s CEO Cameron Kerr said yesterday. Read more of this story
Learn more about the Don’t Palm Us Off” campaign
Which has three main focuses:

Labelling legislation – The Truth in Labelling Bill has been reintroduced to government for consideration and you can help get it accross the line. Scroll to to top of this page to find out more.

130,000 petition signatures collected – This enormous public response will now be used as a catalyst to demonstrate the community’s desire to change food labelling laws in an attempt to weaken our region’s link to the palm oil crisis.

Truth in Labelling Website Live – Nick Xenophon’s Truth in Labelling website is now up and running. It contains information on the palm oil bill and ways you can express your voice on fair labelling issues. Visit:

Gold Mining in Peru


By Randall Richards

Peru-Barrick Mine

Barrick's Pierina Gold Mine, Peru

I know relatively little about the issues that surround open pit gold mining, but my instincts tell me, aside from what I’ve read over the years, that it’s not a good thing, something similar to  nuclear testing – not the best for the planet,  nor the surrounding communities. There are certainly the headlines about gold mining, about toxic tailings and the havoc wreaked on local rivers and communities.  I debated whether to do more research before writing this post, and decided to simply point you in the direction of two websites, and tell an anecdote of my observations in Peru over the past 12 twelve years.

Peru-Barrack Mine Far

Barrick Mine viewed from our land near Huaraz

We’ve just purchased some land in Huaraz Peru, and within 10 or 15 miles, line of sight, to the north is the Canadian company Barrick Gold open pit gold mining operation. It just looks wrong. A whole mountain on the Corillera Negra side of the Cayllon de Huaylas (Huaylas Valley),  has been transformed into a mammoth sand pit/mound.  Aside from  the blight it produces, all natural grasslands and campasino’s (country farmers), pastures/farms have been eradicated.   I hear consistently that the Japanese are, or are about to run mines in the Cordillera Huayhuash, (scene of Joe Simpson’s Touching the Void).

Peru-Barrick Mine Settlement

Barrick's Planned Community - employee housing, Peru

On the east side of the valley, sits Barrick’s planned employee community. It’s relatively well hidden from the center of Huaraz, over a hill with newly planted pines.  But the whole thing seems abusive, elitist,  and completely out of place, in a country where there are stark differences between classes of the “haves and have nots”. This “suburb looking for a city”, looks like something outside of Toronto, or a development near Montreal, rather than a village in the Andes.

Then, there’s the taking of Peru’s natural resources, for the price paid from the highest bidder. If that’s what the goverments mean by “free trade”, they can have it. (As you may know, Peru and the U.S. have a “free trade” agreement as of a few years ago.) For more information on third world exploitation, be sure to read John PerkinsConfessions of an Economic Hit Man, or see his website, which also has a good bit on Free Trade with Columbia, which might shed some light on free trade agreements.  More on John Perkins in another entry.

As promised, here is the link for Barrick Mines and, one for Mining Watch Canada, with an interesting page entitled, Transnational Mining Tribunal: The Case of Barrick Gold Corporation in Latin America (Chile, Argentina and Peru). Barrick has multiple pages on “Environmental Responsibility, Biodiversity, Rock and waste management”, etc etc..  However, are we being hoodwinked?

For those up to speed on these issues, forgive my lack of knowledge on the subject, but take my observations at face value, especially if you’ve not been to Peru. If you agree with my take, please forward this blog to friends,  and get the word out about the abuse in Peru and other Latin American countries, its people and resources.