Palm oil plantations are spreading like wildfire. And in their wake they leave decimated rainforest, destroying habitat for orang-utans and other wildlife.
This weekend sees the Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil take place – a campaign to raise awareness about palm oil and to lobby companies to eliminate conflict palm oil from their products.
To mark the occasion here on the Gold Coast, a special screening of Rise of the Eco-Warriors is taking place, hosted by Jonah – a 10 year old boy from Jonah’s Forest Friends. The film is a story of 15 young people who leave all they know behind to spend 100 days in the jungle of Borneo. Their mission is to confront one of the great global challenges of our time, saving rainforests and giving hope to the endangered orang-utans. Their task is enormous and the odds are against them. The film will leave you feeling inspired and uplifted.
The screening takes place at Robina Town Centre EVENT cinemas and is only $10.00 per person. The event, which starts with a special action to send a mesage to PepsiCo to cease using palm oil, will run from 5.00pm on Tuesday 20 May. There’ll be live music with KYHGY as well as food and drink available from the cafe. A competition on the night will also see two people off to Borneo. Seats are limited.
We asked Jonah and his mum Lisa-Jayne Cameron a few questions about their efforts around this important issue.
Blank: What is the environmental message you want to share with people watching this film?
Jonah: I want to tell people about palm oil and how the people growing these palm oil trees are destroying the forest and how they use a lot of pesticides when growing the palm oil trees which means nothing else will grow there apart from maybe grass & weeds ever again.
Blank: How did you end up being a Youth Ambassador for Palm Oil Investigations?
Jonah: They saw my facebook page and asked me.
Blank: Most 10yr olds aren’t really thinking about these sorts of environmental issues. What would you say to them?
Jonah: I would say to them why aren’t you thinking about these issues, because people are destroying the forest for palm oil and illegal logging & killing animals or locking them up in cages. They need to think about these things now because there isn’t a lot of time left for the animals & the forest and kids can help stop this too.
Blank: What prompted you to host this screening?
Mum: What started out as my youngest son’s passion has grown to include the whole family and when we first learnt of the campaign being run by RAN-Rainforest Action Network- the Global Day of Action to cut Conflict Palm Oil I asked Jonah what would he like to do he said could he show everyone his favourite film, which is Rise Of The Eco Warriors so here we are.
Blank: What would you say to people in two minds about attending?
Mum: In a way I understand that some people may feel that way as some films/documentaries especially those about about issues such as this can tend to be very upsetting or even depressing, but this film is is definitely not either. My personal reason for loving this film is firstly that it is so beautifully shot and it tells the story of these 15 extraordinary young people from such different backgrounds in such a simple manner without the added drama that can sometimes occur in films ,which in my opinion ,made the message,more powerful and ultimately the film overall left me feeling inspired & hopeful about a very serious issue.
Blank: How is it that your son Jonah is so aware about these global environmental issues?
Mum: I thought a lot about this question. I realised that Jonah doesn’t see it as a global environmental issue he see’s it as friends who are in trouble( are being bullied by bigger kids if you will ) and are in need of his help. You see we run an animal sanctuary for animals with special needs such as Dolly a blind pony to Rabbit a puppy with neurological damage & an educational farm for children , so Jonah has grown up with many animals and knows first hand what harm people can do to them. Jonah’s first love was the forest, we took him hiking when he was about 2 yrs and he was hooked, whereas a lot of boys collect games and cars Jonah collects rocks/crystals, plants,animals & Buddha statues, his bedroom ( & my washing machine!) are a testament to that. His other hero is Costa from Gardening Australia. I feel Jonah’s campaign to help save the orangutans and forests is a natural progression in his life’s journey & I felt it very important that I support him in it in any way I can as I do with all my children.
Rise of the eco warriors screening
Tuesday 20 May, 5.00pm
Robina Town Centre EVENT Cinemas