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Birutė Galdikas: boycotting palm oil products can save orangutans

Birutė Galdikas
Juliaus Kalinsko / 15min nuotr. / Birutė Galdikas
Šaltinis: BNS

Birutė Galdikas, Lithuanian-American anthropologist and primatologist, says that Lithuanians and residents of other countries could contribute to rescuing orangutans by boycotting products that contain palm oil.

In her words, obtaining the substance cheaply requires mass cutting of Indonesian forests where orangutans live.

"He or she could contribute by stopping the use of palm oil. Palm oil is an ingredient in a number of products. I think that the majority of Lithuanians do not know anything about it. In a hotel here in Vilnius, the first thing I see upon my arrival is that the soap I want to wash my hands with contains palm oil," Galdikas told BNS on Thursday.

"People should personally boycott palm oil and support the initiative of marking products that contain palm oil," she said, adding she loves seeing volunteers from Lithuania coming to Indonesia. According to her, three volunteers have already worked there.

Galdikas is a specialist of modern primatology, environmental studies, and ethology and has authored several books about the endangered orangutan species.

She was born in Visbaden, Germany, in a Lithuanian family in 1946. She was naturalized in Canada and gre up in Toronto.

In 1966, she earned degrees in psychology and zoology at British Columbia and California universities, was awarded master's degree in anthropology at the California University in 1969 and a doctoral degree in 1978.

She first went to Borneo in 1971 and has been living there ever since. Galdikas is one of the founders of the Los Angeles-based Orangutan Foundation International that was established in 1986 with branches in Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. She is currently the foundation's president, honorary president and research director.

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