About a month ago, I wrote about the tragedy of Woodlark Island, where 70% of the island was going to be converted into a monoculture palm oil plantation. Well, great news came to us yesterday, from our friends at Mongabay.com : Vitroplant, the company responsible for the planned development, has pulled the project! For now, at least, 60,000 ha on the island are safe. Here’s the whole story.
Vitroplant pulled the project after a variety of organizations, including mongabay.com, ecological internet, and bloggers, including the Rainforest Action Network, brought international attention to the Woodlark community’s fight.
To me, this is an example of the everyday change and victory that we are working to see. In order to pressure the ABCs of Rainforest Destruction, the biggest and the baddest of the agribusiness world, we need to be working together to put pressure on all oil palm companies that are threatening the rainforest and ignoring the voice of the communities who live there. While community members in Woodlark Island work to reject the plantations, it is our role to spread that word to an international audience and let the government of Papua New Guinea (and everyone else!) know that we care about what is going on.
It may seem like small steps, but it is helping the people of Woodlark, and helping the companies know that the world is aware of, and cares about, what agribusiness is doing. The future of Woodlark is not certain– especially considering the increasing demand for frying oil and agrofuels– but for now, it is a step in the right direction.