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What can you do?

This page considers some of the actions that can be taken to reduce our impact on the link between biofuels and primate conservation.

What can you do?

At a conscious level, most of us would be reluctant to cause harm to people or animals. However, this can be much more difficult to grasp when the connection between cause and effect is so remote. For example, without asking the shopkeeper, how could we establish whether or not the new wooden furniture we want to buy is bought from a sustainable source? Or whether the "vegetable oil" that is included in the list of ingredients of many of our foods is produced from palm oil plantations built on land converted from rainforest? Or establishing whether the biofuels that we would like to use instead of fossil fuels are from verifiable and sustainable sources? However, there are things that we can all do that will make a difference, both at an individual and collective level. 

Individual actions

At an individual level, it can be easy to think that there is no contribution that we can make that will have any effect on deforestation or climate change or species extinction. Nevertheless, it is clear that if all six billion people on the planet were to make a small contribution, the total effect could be significant. In the simplest terms, the most important things we can keep in mind are to reduce our energy consumption and our carbon emissions. For many activities, these two may be synonymous.



Collective actions

Collective actions, for instance to lobby politicians and businesses, have a long history of success, for example women's suffrage in the U.K. (H.M. Govt. 2008) and the U.K.'s abolition of slavery (National Archives, nd). Our elected leaders want to be re-relected; businesses want to remain profitable. Indeed, the concept of corporate social responsibility is becoming increasingly important to shareholders (H.M. Govt., 2004). In addition, collective action can be personally empowering, thereby increasing the likelihood of further involvement (Drury et al., 2005). Here are some suggestions of collective actions that could help the problem:


Thank you for taking the time to have a look at this site.  Its purpose has been to provide information on the link between biofuels and primate conservation. As you can see, it is a large and complex area, and one that has implications far outside primate habitats.

One key aspect of any education project is to assess how useful it has been. To that end, I would ask that you complete this questionnaire. There are less than thirty questions, most of them just requiring a tick in a box. Your answers will help me to gauge the success of the project. Thank you in advance.

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