Whale Sharks in Cenderawasih Bay © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace
On this International Day for Biological Diversity, we want to show you stunning images from one of the world’s richest places in biodiversity: Indonesia. From whale sharks, to abundant coral reefs and forests teeming with life, the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior is currently documenting the beauty and fragility of Indonesia’s natural environment.
The message in these images is simple: this is what we stand to lose if we don’t act now.
Pristine Reefs in Cenderawasih Bay © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace
If our planet is to sustain life on earth in the future and be protected from environmental destruction, we need action by governments to protect our living, breathing oceans and forests and to halt biodiversity loss.
The fragile state of Indonesia's oceans and forests are a clear reminder of how marine and forest life is at risk from industrial overfishing and relentless deforestation.
Forest in Papua © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace
Indonesia has at least 20% of the world’s total biodiversity and is home to more than 30,000 recorded species of plants and more than 3,000 mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians
Coral Reef at Dampier Straight Raja Ampat © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace
Approximately 10% of the world’s rainforests are located in Indonesia. Fifty years ago, 82% of the country was covered with forests but in the last decade this has dropped to 48% due to relentless deforestation for paper and palm oil plantations and mining.
Indonesia’s seas are also among the most diverse coastal and marine habitats. Areas like Raja Ampat, in West Papua, are claimed to be among the richest spots in biodiversity on Earth. But the country’s coral reefs are considered to be among the world’s most threatened biodiversity hotspots, at risk from overfishing, pollution and climate change.
Continued inaction is not an option.
Black-capped Lory in Papua © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace
We must move now to stop destructive industrial overfishing in order to restore our oceans to health and take steps to achieve zero deforestation.
Check out how you can support or join us.
Bustar Maitar is the head of the Greenpeace International Forests Campaign in Indonesia