Research carried out by our conservation colleague Prof Serge Wich and other incredible scientists, revealed that 100,000 orangutans have been killed in Borneo since 1999 – with hunting and deforestation the main reasons for this devastating revelation. (Watch a video here to discover more about the work Prof Wich been doing in the field, using drones.)

Orangutans are among the many species being pushed to the brink of extinction by oil palm plantations, which are wiping out huge areas of rainforest.  There is intense demand for the oil, which features in thousands of household products in the UK from food to cleaning materials and cosmetics.

Our partners and fellow conservationists are battling to promote sustainable palm oil production to protect the rainforests and the wide range of species that live there. Last year, an alliance of Non-Government Organisations and industry associations (including the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) in the UK signed the Amsterdam Commitment to support 100% sustainable palm oil in Europe by 2020.

Sun bear, Sumatran tiger and Sumatran orangutan
Just some of the amazing wildlife that's impacted by oil palm plantations

Now, the city of Chester is leading the efforts to achieve this as it bids to become the world’s first ‘Sustainable Palm Oil City’. Our team of experts are leading the way and Chester-based restaurant Chez Jules is the first to commit to the project and has already adopted a palm oil policy and audited its supply chain.

The restaurant, in collaboration with experts at Chester Zoo, will host its second event on 23 February to help other local businesses and restaurants join the fight. We’re hoping that a range of businesses in the city will join our campaign – from restaurants, cafes, hotels and fast food outlets to workplaces that offer staff catering services; schools and education providers; council and hospitals food outlets; other visitor attractions; manufacturers and retailers.

Chester Zoo’s Field Conservation Manager Cat Barton, tells us more:

Right now, the city of Chester and our partners are taking a huge step forward towards increasing the demand for sustainable palm oil. We couldn’t be prouder.

Cat Barton, Field Conservation Manager

The Chester Sustainable Palm Oil City campaign, led by Chester Zoo, partners with Chez Jules, the Orangutan Land Trust and the Sumatran Orangutan Society, is endorsed by key conservation organisations and supported by a host of industry advisors. 

For more information and to get involved in the launch event on 23 February contact us here >