13 Oct 2021

A NEW BBC wildlife series, narrated by Sir David Attenborough and Prince William features our work promoting sustainable palm oil.

BBC One documentary, The Earthshot Prize: Repairing Our Planet, explores the most innovative and ambitious actions being taken to protect global biodiversity in all four corners of the world. The series showcases brilliant minds working on solutions to SAVE THE PLANET.

Hailed by TV critics as a landmark series, episode one put a spotlight on conservation initiatives in Yellowstone Park in America, the Kenyan Maasai lands and in Chester! The episode shares the successes of our ground-breaking campaign which led Chester to become the WORLD’S FIRST Sustainable Palm Oil Community.


“What we’ve done here in Chester, and are now helping to roll out around the UK, is VITALLY important to the future of the rainforests in South East Asia, and therefore vitally important to the future of incredible species such as the Bornean orangutan.”

Cat Barton, our Field Conservation Manager.

Cat appeared on the programme to explain how Chester became the first to achieve the status. She also added:

“To have our movement featured as one of the world’s most AMBITIOUS ideas to repair our planet, alongside so many other ground-breaking projects, all led by so many incredible people, really is a HUGE BOOST to the difference we’re trying to make, and another step in the right direction in breaking the link between palm oil and deforestation.”

“What really matters is that we show global audiences how elements of our approach to modern life is causing a global decline in biodiversity and how damaging this decline will be to our own lives, but that we do know how to halt and reverse the loss of wildlife. Together, we can do it.”

What’s the problem with palm oil?

Unsustainable production of palm oil is wiping out huge areas of rainforest in order to provide the ingredients for food and household products consumed in the UK and around the world.

The scientific research of leading conservationists, conservation organisations, wildlife charities and NGOs around the world all lead to one solution; deforestation-free sustainable palm oil. Their findings suggest the use of sustainable palm oil is the solution to preventing further habitat destruction, protecting biodiversity and the livelihoods of people living locally to rainforests. Driving industry change in this direction is vital in preventing further harmful environmental and social impacts.

Dr Marc Ancrenaz

Dr Marc Ancrenaz, a globally respected forest conservationist and Co-director of the NGO, Hutan (one of the nominees for an Earthshot Prize), our field partners in Malaysian Borneo, said:

“Northern Borneo has been my home for almost 25 years, where we’ve been taking action against the decline of biodiversity, through habitat protection, reforestation programmes and carefully planned community outreach and engagement.

“The areas where we work provide a livelihood for countless people. Removing demand for certain crops by boycotting them, only drives people into poverty and regresses the situation. We must therefore work with land owners, big and small, to make their landscape more resilient for nature.

“Our experiences show us that deforestation-free sustainable palm oil is the way forward. The greater the consumer demand, the stronger the case for producers to join the movement, and the greater the pressure to carefully regulate and punish cheats.”

Hamisah Elahan

Another conservationist at Hutan, Hamisah Elahan also starred in the BBC documentary series. Hamisah explained how a SUSTAINABLE APPROACH to palm oil is the best solution to the issue: “We need to take better care of our environment. There is no more time to lose and everyone can do their bit to make a difference for wildlife and forests. Our future starts today, not tomorrow.”

You can stream The Earthshot Prize: Repairing Our Planet now on Discovery Plus, or watch the full series on BBC iPlayer!

Chester is the WORLD’S FIRST sustainable palm oil city – but we don’t want to stop there, we want to make it the norm!  And we need your help to do this.