Chester Zoo Hutan Project
Three Chester Zoo rangers came in to work with Year 7 on the Hutan Project. This is one of the many conservation projects that Chester Zoo are undertaking. Their aim is to make Chester the first sustainable Palm Oil city in the world. Orangutans are the only non-African ‘Great Ape’. They once lived all over Asia but now only exist on Sumatra and Borneo.
Orangutans in the wild need the forest to survive but in the last thirty years more than 80% of their forest home has been destroyed. The demand for timber, palm oil, roads, agricultural land and space for mining means huge areas of the forest have now been lost, taking with it the homes of orangutans. Illegal poaching and pet trafficking add to the destruction caused by deforestation.
The unsustainable production of palm oil is one of the biggest threats facing the forests and wildlife of Borneo and Sumatra, including orangutans.
Students found out about all the products that contain palm oil, how to farm it sustainably and debated the pros and cons of farming. Students are now in the process of completing a Science Challenge on this topic.