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The environmental situation in Indonesia is on the path of absolute deterioration. However, we have some reason to take a sigh of relief. Recently, an article posted by The Guardian gave me some hope since IOI, one of the largest palm oil producers in the world, has finally began meeting the environmental conditions set by the ‘Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)’. It has agreed to compensate for all its acts of non-compliance in the past for which it had lost its sustainability certificate in March.

This said, it is pivotal to throw light on why this news bears great significance. Indonesia once had the most biologically diverse forests in the world. However, as palm oil companies consumed the forests, avarice consumed their conscience. Forests equivalent to twice the size of Ireland had been razed between 2001 and 2014. The Guardian stated that in 2012, Indonesia had successfully overtaken Brazil as the largest contributor to deforestation in the world; firstly, for the production of palm oil and secondly for logging, in response to the ever increasing demand for wood in Japan and China.

It is needless to say that this indiscriminate deforestation has added to the rise in global temperatures. What is also worth noticing is the detrimental impact it has had on the fauna of that region. A primate genocide is underway in these areas that are being destroyed. It is astonishing to realize that 90% of the orangutan habitat has been ruined in the past 20 years. It makes one mourn over how callous humans tend to be.

As heart rendering as it seems to be, there are few ways to alleviate the situation. The government must execute the stringent land laws that it has already laid out to circumscribe deforestation. Also, the public should refrain from buying any products that use palm oil as an ingredient. Last and most importantly, the incidence of news such as the one mentioned in the beginning, must increase rapidly.  It is the age of the Anthropocene. Let us make the right choices to procure the right future.

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