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Greasy Palms: The Impact of Indonesia's Palm Oil Plantations| 18mins
Director: Rebecca Sweetman | Producer: The Paradigm Shift Project
Focus Years: 2010 | Country: Canada
Subject Tags: asia, health, indigenous rights, indonesia, resources
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
Indonesia is a country of incredible beauty. As one of the more biodiverse regions on our planets, its role in the environmental future of our globe is paramount. With the increasing demand for cheap biofuels to lessen the global north’s dependency on foreign petroleum, palm oil plantations have taken precedence over much of Indonesia’s last remaining rainforests - the only refuge for critically endangered species, such as the orangutan, who shares 96.4% of our genes. This project concerns the social, environmental, and economic impacts of palm oil production in Indonesia, including the loss of over 2.8 million hectares of primary rainforest each year. A common ingredient in thousands of products, from anti-freeze to shampoo to potato chips, palm oil comprises an integral part of Indonesia’s economy. However, its resulting impacts on local communities, including conflicts over human rights, land rights, and environmental protection, are little known. Informed by the work of local non-profit organizations, this film has been created to educate global consumers, enabling them to realize the effects of palm oil consumption, and also how they can be part of a more sustainable solution.

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