Saving South East Asian Rainforests: Making Chester the first sustainable palm oil city

Cat Barton, Field Conservation Manager at Chester Zoo

Thursday 15th March, 7.30 – 9pm

Cat studied for a B.Sc. in Zoology at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and went on to gain a M.Sc. in Wildlife Conservation and Management at the same institution. Following a media role working on the Archive project at UK wildlife charity Wildscreen, she joined Chester Zoo’s Field Programmes team in August 2008.

Chester Zoo are striving to make Chester become the world’s first ‘sustainable palm oil city’ as part of our sustainable palm oil challenge campaign, which was launched in 2015 to help protect rainforests across south east Asia and the incredible wildlife found within them.
Orang-utans 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.
Chester Zoo’s 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. In August 2017 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.

Chester Zoo’s team of experts are leading the way and Chester-based restaurant Chez Jules was the first to commit to the project and has already adopted a palm oil policy and audited its supply chain.
Chester Zoo are hoping that a range of businesses in the city will join the 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:

“Animals such as the magnificent orang-utan are under threat and on the brink of being lost forever – as unsustainable oil palm plantations are wiping out rainforests to produce to produce convenience food and household items.”

Come along to this guest lecture to find out more about the project.