Greenpeace activists block palm oil shipment from departing Indonesia for Europe
November 11, 2008
Greenpeace activists blocked a palm oil shipment from departing Dumai, Indonesia’s main palm oil export port, for Europe to protest against the ongoing destruction of Indonesia’s forests.
Activists painted “Forest Crime” and “Climate Crime” on the hull of three palm oil tankers and a barge carrying rainforest timber. One Greenpeace activist chained himself onto the anchor chain of the Gran Couva, a ship carrying palm oil owned by the Wilmar group, to stop it from leaving Indonesia for the Netherlands. Police removed the activist after about 40 minutes.
The hoses are turned on the Greenpeace climber attached to the anchor chain of the Gran Couva (top), a policeman pushes a Greenpeace climber down from the anchor chain of the Gran Couva (bottom). © Greenpeace/Novis
“Greenpeace is taking action to expose the disastrous impacts of the palm oil and logging industries on Indonesia’s peatlands, forests and on the global climate” said Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Campaigner. “Supplying the demand for palm oil and other commodities can occur without further deforestation and companies like Wilmar and Sinar Mas must support the call for a moratorium on deforestation.”
During its ongoing ‘Forest for Climate’ tour of Indonesia, Greenpeace has documented large-scale conversion of Papua’s tropical forests for oil palm plantation in a Sinar Mas concession near Jayapura and discovered fresh deforestation in concessions in the peatland forests of Riau.
Indonesia has the second highest rate of annual forest loss after Brazil, but is the largest source of greenhouse gases from deforestation and land use change due to its carbon-rich forests and peatlands. Deforestation is driven primarily by logging and conversion to industrial oil palm plantations.
Greenpeace climber on the anchor chain of the Gran Couva © Greenpeace/Novis
“Indonesia’s forests have far greater value standing, than exported as palm oil and timber,” said Maitar. “It is crucial that Indonesia’s forests are protected from the rampant expansion of the palm oil and pulp industries in order to combat climate change, stop biodiversity loss and protect the livelihoods of forest-dependent peoples. This means an immediate moratorium on deforestation and international funding through the United Nations to protect forests.”
Greenpeace is calling for a complete moratorium on logging in Indonesia until a carbon financing mechanism for forest conservation is in place.