Activists have blocked the operations of another tanker bound for Europe stocked with crude palm oil. The tanker, the Isola Corallo, was supposed to load up today but activists onboard the Esperanza moved into its place alongside the harbour and prevented the Corallo from taking on palm oil.
With the current speed of cutting and burning forests, the Indonesian lowland rainforests will have largely disappeared within the next 15 years.
Earlier this week an activist locked onto the anchor chain of
the Isola Corallo for over 36 hours and stopped the cargo ship from
moving. After the activist was forced to come down, the Esperanza
occupied the palm oil loading facility to prevent the Isola
Corrallo from loading Sinar Mas palm oil. The Esperanza was finally
forced off the berth by Port authority tugs after a seven hour
face-off. Read more about the showdown.
Sustainable or Greenwash?
The palm oil the Corallo was due to collect is owned by the
Sinar Mas group, Indonesia's largest palm oil company, they account
for around 10% of production. Sinar Mas is a key member of the
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, a self-regulated industry body
that celebrated the first shipment to Europe of "sustainable palm
oil" this week.
Sustainable palm oil sounds great. However, our investigation
shows that the RSPO is little more than greenwash. One company
receiving RSPO certification - United Plantations, a supplier of
Nestlé and Unilever - is involved with deforestation in the
vulnerable peatland forests of Kalimantan in Indonesia. Sinar Mas
also is involved with deforestation all over Indonesia, including
in Kalimantan and Papua and has aggressive expansion plans for the
RSPO certification dictates the rules for plantations that want
to become certified. However these rules do not fully prohibit
forest clearance, even on peatlands, which is a key element in
fighting climate change. In particular, the clearance, drainage,
and burning of peatland forests makes Indonesia the third biggest
emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Unfortunately, RSPO
members are not obliged to change anything in their practices,
until they enter the certification process.
Forests for climate
With the current speed of cutting and burning forests, the
Indonesian lowland rainforests will have largely disappeared within
the next 15 years, the standards of RSPO are insufficient and in
its current form the RSPO will not solve the problems of
deforestation in South-East Asia. Both industry and government need
to take urgent action to protect our forests.
Today's action follows several weeks of activists on the Forests
for Climate Tour taking action and bearing witness.Read more about the Esperanza's
journey through Indonesia on the ship tour blog.
Follow the Esperanza in Google Earth by downloading this KMZ file, and on Twitter.
Write to the Indonesian president, demanding an end to the destruction
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