Oil palm exhibition in the Botanical Garden makes people review their consumption habits

The University of Tartu Botanical Garden will open an exhibition, which is dedicated to the oil palm and seeks answers to the question why manufacturers prefer palm oil and whether consumer choices can save the environment.

Among all the goods in shops and stores it is not easy to find a product that does not contain palm oil. However, to found oil palm plantations, rainforests – the most species-rich places on our planet – are cut down. If the use of palm oil is constantly increasing, the question how long the rainforests survive is asked more and more often.

“With this exhibition we would like to draw our visitors’ attention to a very serious environmental problem,” says organiser of the exhibition, gardener of the Botanical Garden Sten Mander. When placing goods in the shopping cart, very few people think that at least half of the selected goods contain palm oil and a huge amount of the oil comes from unverified plantations. “Metaphorically speaking, each time we shop we take a piece of rainforest with us, which may also mean another extinct species,” Mander adds.

During the exhibition, on 16 and 30 June at 20 the documentary “Before the Flood”, winner of the 2016 Hollywood Best Documentary Award, can be watched in the Botanical Garden’s classroom. One of the producers of the film is the Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The film has Estonian subtitles and is shown free of charge.

The exhibition “Oil Palm and Palm Oil – in the Footsteps of the Green Plague” is open from 1 June to 1 July 2017 and can be visited daily from 10–17. Entrance to the exhibition with the Botanical Garden ticket.

Additional information:

Sten Mander
UT Botanical Garden, Gardener
551 2718
botaed@ut.ee 
www.botaanikaaed.ut.ee