Indonesian President meets Greenpeace leader on the Rainbow Warrior: welcomes legacy of environmental protection

Press release - June 8, 2013
Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo met with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on board the Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, in Jakarta yesterday, to express Greenpeace’s support for the President’s legacy of protecting the nation’s biodiversity.

“I am pleased to meet with my friend Kumi Naidoo from Greenpeace. I would like to express my gratitude to Greenpeace for having made these efforts to save the environment of Indonesia and the rest of the world,” said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

“As a developing country, Indonesia needs economic development, but of course it must be environmentally sustainable. Although, we are facing several challenges, we are committed to working on both. I want to guarantee my grandchildren a clean and peaceful environment in the future,” he added.

“Greenpeace is honored to welcome the President on board the Rainbow Warrior and hope that his presence on board this symbol of environmental protection will lead to ever greater protection for Indonesia’s incredible natural heritage and the people who rely on it to survive,” said Naidoo.

“The President should be congratulated on the progress his government has made on forest protection since our first meeting last year. There is still crucial work to be done but we at Greenpeace can assure the President that we will do whatever we can to support the Government’s commitment to zero deforestation,” he added.

The Rainbow Warrior has just sailed through some of the most beautiful and precious – but also most threatened – waters in the world to meet the President here in Jakarta. It is clear that with so many of his citizens reliant on the oceans for their livelihoods that protecting the health of Indonesian waters is high on the President’s agenda.

“We are all working to ensure protection of Indonesia’s biodiversity, not just for the environment’s sake, but also to ensure social justice. It is the poorest rural people who are most dependent on natural habitats for their livelihoods and it is they who suffer first and most deeply when those habitats are degraded or destroyed,” said Naidoo.  Greenpeace hopes that after his final term, the President will continue his efforts to protect the environment.

The Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, is concluding a one-month tour of Indonesia to raise awareness of the country’s rich, yet threatened, biodiversity. Approximately 10% of the world’s rainforests are located in Indonesia. Fifty years ago, 82% of Indonesia was covered with forests but in the past decade, this has dropped to 48% due to relentless deforestation for pulp and paper, palm oil plantations and mining.

Indonesia is identified as one of the megadiverse countries in the world.  The two other megadiverse countries in Southeast Asia are the Philippines and Malaysia.

“Southeast Asia’s megadiverse countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines should be leading the way in forest and oceans protection in the region,” said Beau Baconguis, Philippines Program Manager for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

“The region is one of the key battlegrounds where the fight to save the planet will be won or lost. The region’s fast-paced economic progress must be matched by robust environmental policies to ensure just and sustainable development for current and future generations.”

The Rainbow Warrior tour of Indonesia is part of the Greenpeace “Ocean Defender tour of Southeast Asia 2013.” Greenpeace is inviting people throughout the region to join the movement to protect Southeast Asia’s Oceans by signing up as an Ocean Defender at www.defendouroceans.org.

 Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organization which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions essential to a green and peaceful future.

 

 For more information:

  • Vigie Benosa-Llorin, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Email:  " target="_blank">, Mobile:  +63 09178228793

For photo requests, please contact:

  • Grace Duran-Cabus, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Photo Desk, Email: " target="_blank">, Mobile:  +63 917 6345 126

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