The Indonesian government today temporarily suspended the license of Asia Pacific Resources International Holding Limited (APRIL) for developing an area of forest and peatland in Sumatra pending a review of the company’s permits, reports Greenpeace.
Greenpeace is engaged in a prominent campaign against APRIL’s activities on Sumatra’s Kampar Peninsula. The environmental group set up a “forest camp” in the area to highlight the climate impacts associated with cutting forests and draining peatlands. It says the Kampar Peninsula stores 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide in its vegetation and soils.
“By suspending this company’s licence to destroy the forest, the Indonesian authorities are giving the climate some breathing space. Deforestation is one of the roots of the climate crisis. We will only avert this crisis if President Yudhoyono and other world leaders permanently stop all companies like APRIL and APP from destroying the planet’s forests,” said Shailendra Yashwant, Campaign Director, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, in a statement.
A group of Greenpeace activists unfurled a 20×30 meter banner in a freshly destroyed area of rainforest urging Obama to take strong leadership and work closely with other Heads of State to help avert a climate crisis. Another group locked themselves to seven excavators to halt rainforest destruction.
Greenpeace’s protests have caused consternation among Indonesian authorities. 13 international Greenpeace activists have been deported from Indonesia in the past week. The group maintains they have valid business visas.
Greenpeace also notes that two journalists covering their campaign been detained, questioned and subsequently deported.
“We hope the Indonesian authorities stop intimidating peaceful protesters who are trying to help President Yudhoyono fulfill the commitment he has made to cut Indonesia’s massive CO2 emissions,” said Bustar Maitar of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “Instead, they must continue to investigate companies like APRIL that are destroying the forest and driving global climate change.”
Deforestation and peatlands degradation is the source of nearly a sixth of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.