Twelve activists blocked cranes at the port to stop pulp
exports, and displayed banners reading, "Forest Destruction: You
can stop this." Their action was meant to urge world leaders,
including Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to take
strong leadership to avert climate chaos and to provide a global
fund for forests to end tropical deforestation as part of a fair,
ambitious and legally binding climate deal at the Copenhagen
Climate Summit in December.
"Deforestation is one of the roots of the climate crisis. We are
shutting down the exports of one of the world's largest pulp mills
at the frontline of forest destruction to tell our elected leaders
that they can - and must - pull us back from the brink of
catastrophic climate change," said Shailandra Yashwant, Campaign
Director, Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
A message for Obama, too
The Greenpeace action comes as President Barack Obama is
attempting to relegate the Copenhagen Climate deal to nothing but a
political statement and to postpone critical decisions on a legally
Yashwant continued: "President Obama and other world leaders
cannot be allowed to sabotage a strong outcome in Copenhagen
because of their lack of political will. Our leaders must agree to
nothing short of a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal to
avert climate disaster. Significant funds are urgently needed to
end tropical deforestation in Indonesia and around the world. This
must be a central part of any climate agreement."
Paper giant APP sells its products on the global market in
China, the United States, Europe and Australia and supplies many
international brands and distributors with paper products including
Vogue, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Marc Jacobs. APP, alongside their
main competitor APRIL, are together responsible for destroying
rainforests and carbon-rich peat soil across Indonesia, including
on the endangered Kampar Peninsula, Sumatra. Containing 2 billion
tonnes of carbon, the Peninsula is one of the planet's largest
natural carbon stores and a key defence against global climate
Greenpeace has been working with local communities from a 'Climate Defenders' Camp' on the Peninsula
over the past month to highlight the central role that
deforestation plays in driving global climate change.
Greenpeace took action in the area against APRIL on November 12. Since then,
both the environmental organization and the local communities
have been under sustained intimidation by the authorities
including threats, arrests
and deportations. Last week the Indonesia's Forest Minister, Mr.
Zulkifli Hasan, suspended APRIL from destroying the area pending a
review of the company's permits.
Indonesia is the world's third largest climate polluter after
China and the US, mainly as a result of the ongoing destruction of
its forests and their peat soils. Globally, a million hectares of
forests are destroyed every month - that is an area the size of a
football pitch every two seconds - emitting so much CO2 that
deforestation is one of the main causes of climate change,
responsible for about a fifth of global greenhouse gas
Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaigner Bustar Maitar said:
"Indonesia is climate change's 'ground zero'. Stopping forest
destruction here and around the globe is not only one of the
quickest but also one of the most cost effective ways to prevent
runaway climate change."
Tell President Obama that it's time to sign an ambitious climate treaty in Copenhagen that includes protections for the world's rainforests!