The ship was welcomed by a unique flotilla of some local fishing boats while a troupe performed traditional Papua dances in the quayside as the she docked. Jayapura Mayor Benhur Tommy Mano led a short ceremony to greet the Rainbow Warrior and her crew on their arrival.
“The Rainbow Warrior has been travelling the world since 1978 to campaign to save the Earth. She is here in Indonesia to bear witness to the country’s rich yet fragile environment,” said Pete Wilcox, captain of the Rainbow Warrior. “Indonesia is home to some of the most significant biodiversity spots on earth, but deforestation and oceans destruction are putting the environment at risk.”
“During this tour we will support President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s commitment to protect the country’s forests and we will launch our Oceans Campaign to protect Indonesia’s seas,” said Longgena Ginting, Greenpeace Indonesia’s Country Director. “We hope the visit of the Rainbow Warrior will inspire the political will needed to save the precious oceans in this part of the world, and to add to the growing momentum to have the forests moratorium strengthened.”
Indonesia holds over 30,000 recorded species of plants and over 3,000 mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Together with other countries that form the Southeast Asian region, it is home to more than 20 percent of all known animal, plant, and marine species.
Indonesia’s seas are among the most diverse coastal and marine habitats. Its coral reefs are the most biologically rich in the world, with approximately 590 recorded species of hard coral. In these reefs reside a rich and diverse population of fish and other marine species, with at least 2,200 reef fish species recorded. However, experts identify the country’s coral reefs as among the world’s most threatened biodiversity hotspots, at risk from overfishing, pollution and climate change.
Approximately 10 percent of the world’s rainforests are also located in the country. Fifty years ago, 82 percent of Indonesia was covered with forests. In the last decade, this figure has dropped to 48 percent. Today, Indonesia’s forests, and its resident species, are facing unparalleled pressures from rampant deforestation for paper and oil palm plantations and mining.
Greenpeace believes that as a significant centre for biodiversity, any effort to preserve the oceans and forests in the Indonesia will provide a significant contribution to the larger effort to save the environment globally.
“Our oceans and our forests are our future. Greenpeace is urging Indonesia government to immediately act to ensure Indonesia’s biodiversity protection, including extending and strengthening the moratorium on forest conversion. And for all industries –including Freeport particularly in Papua – to stop their destructive practices and move to more sustainable business practices for the sake of Indonesia environment, economy, and people,” Longgena concluded.
The Rainbow Warrior that docked today in Jayapura is the newest Greenpeace ship and one of the most environment-friendly vessels of its kind. The Greenpeace fleet of ships is a unique asset in the environmental campaign to save planet Earth and protect the global commons. Greenpeace ships often sail to remote areas to bear witness and take action against environmental destruction.
It is open to the public for tours from May 10-11, 2013. Please visit www.greenpeace.or.id for details. Indonesians who wish to be part of the campaign can sign up here.
The Rainbow Warrior tour of Indonesia is part of the Greenpeace “Ocean Defender tour of Southeast Asia.” In June and July, the Greenpeace ship Esperanza will continue this tour in Thailand and the Philippines to call for oceans protection throughout the region.
Longgena Ginting, Head of Greenpeace Indonesia,
Veralien Maloali, FOKER LSM Papua Executive secretary,
Hikmat Soeriatanuwijaya, Media Campaigner for Greenpeace Indonesia,
For Photo, Grace Duran Cabus,Greenpeace Southeast Asia Photo Officer,
For video, Godi Utama, Greenpeace Indonesia Video Producer,