Date: 
Friday, November 27, 2009 - 11:50

The Eden Project will be hosting a talk by top primate expert Lone Dröscher-Nielson, whose work has featured on the BBC's Orangutan Diary, on December 8.

Lone is the founder and manager of the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rescue Project, the largest primate rescue project in the world. The project, based in Indonesian Borneo, has more than 600 orangutans in its care.

In her Eden talk, Lone will be discussing her efforts to save the orangutan from extinction, and explaining how everyday shopping choices can make a difference. The greatest threat to the survival of the orangutan is the destruction of their rainforest habitat to create oil palm plantations. The palm oil produced is used in many products we use on a daily basis - from soap and toothpaste to chocolate, biscuits and crisps.

The Eden Project has recently adopted a new policy on the issue of the use of palm oil and is currently in a period of consultation with all of its suppliers to investigate alternatives and reconfigure recipes and production methods.

Eden has also updated its oil palm exhibit in the Rainforest Biome, after contacting a range of people and organisations involved or affected in some way by the oil palm industry, including Lone and the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rescue Project. The exhibit also features quotes from Unilever, Greenpeace, Survival International, the Indonesian Minister for Agriculture, a Malaysian oil palm worker and members of the indigenous Indonesain Penan tribe.

Lone said: “I’m really looking forward to speaking at the Eden Project and am glad that such a high-profile organisation is helping to educate people about orangutans and deforestation.”

Justine Quinn, Eden’s Interpretation Manager, said: “We’re proud to welcome Lone to Eden. She and her team are working very hard to create a better future for these amazing animals and the rainforests that we all rely on; it's a fantastic opportunity to hear her experiences firsthand and find out how we can all play a positive part in that future every time we go shopping."

The Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rescue Project rescues and rehabilitates hundreds of orphaned orangutan infants with the goal of a return to some sort of wild life. It also rescues hundreds of adult wild orangutans from oil-palm plantations which have been planted after their natural forest habitat has been cleared.

Lone’s project is the only orangutan project actively rescuing large numbers of wild orangutans from oil-palm plantations. The orangutans are treated for any injuries or illnesses they may have and, when healthy, eventually returned to safe forests which have been secured by Lone.

Lone began working with orangutans 16 years ago while she worked as a flight attendant with a Scandinavian airline. Originally she volunteered in an orangutan conservation project, and her interest and skills developed from there. In 1993, she moved permanently to Borneo to devote her life to saving orangutans.

Originally from Denmark, Lone has been featured in a film called The World’s Most Remarkable Dane, as well as having her work profiled in documentaries by National Geographic and Animal Planet in addition to her BBC appearances.

Lone's talk takes place at 6pm on Tuesday December 8 and costs £3 per person. All proceeds will go to Lone’s orangutan project. Places are limited so booking is highly recommended. To book, e-mail Teresa on tstepping@edenproject.com or call on 01726 818871.