CHESTER has become the world's first sustainable palm oil city in the world after a long campaign from conservationists at the city's zoo.

More than 50 organisations in the city have changed their supply chains and committed to sourcing palm oil from sustainable sources.

Palm oil is a vegetable oil use in thousands of household products from food to cleaning materials and cosmetics.

Widespread habitat destruction in South East Asian rainforests, which has left species such as orangutans and tigers on the edge of extinction, is caused by oil palm plantations.

So Chester Zoo urged local businesses, restaurants, schools and manufacturers to get behind them to help tackle the crisis.

Field programmes manager at Chester Zoo Cat Barton, said: “This is a major moment in the fight to save orangutans and other wildlife from extinction.

“A vast array of species are under threat and on the brink of being lost forever, because oil palm plantations are wiping out rainforests to produce the food and household items we all consume every day.

"But it is not too late.

"By embracing a more sustainable future, we can stop this crisis.

“The fact that more than 50 organisations in one city alone have made changes to the products they use - and committed to a 100% sustainable future - shows that the tide is turning.

“We are already seeing the wider impact of the campaign.

"More cities are now engaging in talks to follow this model and major large companies nationwide are working with us to make the switch to sustainable palm oil.

“Thank you to each and every individual or organisation who has taken action to make Chester the world’s first Sustainable Palm Oil City.

"Together, we can prevent extinction.”

It is believed that with Chester becoming the world's first sustainable palm oil city it is a significant step towards preventing further rainforest destruction in tropical regions.

Chris Matheson, MP for the City of Chester, said: "I am so pleased to have supported this project since the start.

"I know how much work the zoo has put into achieving their ambition of creating the first Sustainable Palm Oil City in the world, and I am really excited about the future of this campaign.

"I look forward to hearing about other cities in the UK and across the world joining the movement that Chester Zoo has started.

"This is fabulous news for the zoo, fabulous news for Chester and fabulous news for the planet.”

Conservationists from Chester Zoo developed the Sustainable Palm Oil City model based on the framework created by the Sustainable Fish Cities project, led by independent group Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming. The campaign is backed by the Orangutan Land Trust and the Sumatran Orangutan Society, endorsed by key conservation organisations such as the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).