A group of Papuanese traditional dancers greets the Esperanza during a welcoming ceremony at Jayapura port.
The Esperanza arrived in Jayapura, in the Indonesian
province of Papua, to an energetic welcome from a troupe of
traditional dancers, and local dignitaries - including the mayor of
Jayapura - gave their support to our campaign."Forests for Climate"
is not only the slogan for our Paradise Forests tour - it's also
the name of a landmark proposal Greenpeace has developed,
for an international funding mechanism toprotect tropical
Having just completed a six-week tour of neighbouring Papua New
Guinea, the Esperanza will tour Indonesia starting with the
provinces of Papua and West Papua, which represent the last
frontier of intact ancient forests in the country. Over the next
six weeks, the ship will be touring the archipelago to document the
threats facing the forests of Papua and Sumatra as well as the
companies and politicians responsible. Also, we will be
highlighting the short and long-term solutions to the crisis so
these forests can be permanently protected.
As one half of the remote and mountainous New Guinea island,
Papua contains the largest area of remaining forest in Indonesia -
with those of Sumatra and Kalimantan on the island of Borneo
largely gone or degraded, this really is the last frontier. The
region is home to hundreds of distinct tribes and clans with a
corresponding range of cultural diversity, and for biodiversity is
second to none, with animals and plants new to science being
recorded on a regular basis.
That alone makes the forests worth protecting, but we now
realise they're also vitally important when it comes to climate
change. Not only do the trees and soil act as huge carbon stores,
cutting them down also releases that carbon in the form of
greenhouse gases. Indonesia is the third largest emitter on the
planet, largely due to deforestation and its forests are
disappearing faster than anywhere in the world, so to prevent
climate change we have to save the forests, including those in
The way to do this is to place a moratorium on all deforestation
across Indonesia, which will provide the breathing space necessary
to work on plans to safeguard the future of these forests. The
Indonesian government is the one to lay down a moratorium, but it
also needs the palm oil industry to provide ministers the space to
Following the victory with our Dove campaign earlier
this year, we have been working with companies such as Unilever to
build a coalition in favour of an immediate moratorium on forest
conversion for palm oil and insisting their palm oil suppliers do
not clear further forests.
The effects of climate change are already being felt around the
world and we don't have long to prevent the worst predictions
becoming inevitable. We still have time if we act now.
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