The Rainbow Warrior is sailing through the Paradise Forests, the fastest logged forest area on Earth, on a “Forest Crime Patrol” to stop destructive and illegal logging and offer community based solutions to industrial logging.
"Mud men" perform traditional dances to welcome the arrival of the Greenpeace flagship the Rainbow Warrior.
The tour kicked off in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG),
where the campaign slogan "Lukautim Bus" (Pidgin for "Protect our
forest") was unveiled. The ship also helped launch Greenpeace's
Global Forest Rescue Station deep in PNG's Lake Murray area.
The ship is sailing along the northern coast of New Guinea
island, of which PNG and Indonesian Papua make up roughly equal
halves. The forests of New Guinea island are some of the most
bio-diverse and untouched on the planet and are also the last truly
large tracts of ancient forest found anywhere in the Asia Pacific
region. Many of the animals on the island are found no where else
on the planet.
After PNG, the ship sailed to Indonesia where an area of forest
equivalent to six football fields is destroyed every minute.
Seventy two per cent of Indonesia's large intact forest landscapes
have already been cut down and up to 80 per cent of the logging
operations are illegal.
The first port of call in Indonesia was Jayapura, Papua, just
across the border from PNG. Greenpeace hosted an Eco-Forestry Forum
there which was attended by the head of the provincial forestry
office. The Rainbow Warrior then sailed further west to Manokwari
and hosted another forum at The State University of Papua. The aim
of these meetings was to build a network of communities working
together on eco-forestry enterprises
This was the first time any Greenpeace ship has visited Papua,
which has the largest tracts of intact forest landscapes in
Indonesia. Papua is being targeted by both large scale logging
operations and South East Asian timber mafias. Its forests are rich
in Merbau trees, which produce a deep red tropical hardwood used in
flooring and veneer. The global demand for this timber is fuelling
large scale forest destruction and illegal logging in Papua.
While sailing between Jayapura and Manokwari, forest campaigners
on board the Rainbow Warrior saw piles of Merbau stacked up along
the shoreline, awaiting transportation to mills in the area. The
source of these huge logs is unknown, as many of them are
transported from other parts of Papua for processing.