Greenpeace ship begins Forests for Climate tour

Feature Story - 2008-08-29
Greenpeace ship, the Esperanza, has landed in Papua New Guinea, on the first stage of its Forests for Climate tour with a colourful welcome by locals.

The crew of the Greenpeace ship, the Esperanza, is welcomed into Port Moresby by traditional dancers.

It will tour the region protecting forests and showing how deforestation contributes to climate change.

To the sounds of beating drums and singing, the Esperanza docked in the tropical heat of Port Morseby.

On board is Greenpeace China's forest campaigner, Yilan. Her Forests for Climate tour blog (Chinese only) is packed with exciting videos and pictures from the tour.

The ship's crew was welcomed by traditional Huli, Kairuku, and Oro dancers along with Asaro mud men from coastal and highland regions. Dancers' costumes were made from the fibres of tapa and pandanus trees, leaves, bird of paradise feathers and, naturally, mud.

Loggers in the forest

The Paradise Forests of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are being felled faster than any other forest on Earth. Forest destruction destroys communities, cultures and biodiversity.

Indigenous clans own the vast majority of land in Papua New Guinea. They have a deep spiritual connection to their forest, which is their home, supermarket and source of medicine and water. But they are losing it all to unscrupulous multinational logging companies.

Greenpeace will tour the Paradise Forests region, while asking governments for zero deforestation by 2015.

Logging causes climate change

Deforestation also releases around 20% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions each year, fuelling climate change.

Tropical forests trap carbon beneath the soil and in trees. Like a sponge, they soak up carbon dioxide gas that is released when people burn fossil fuels for energy.

We need vast tracts of forest to 'soak up' greenhouse gases and combat climate change.

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