On October 27, 2009 Greenpeace established a base in the heart of the Indonesian rainforest in order to bring urgent attention to the role that deforestation plays in driving dangerous climate change, a critical issue to be addressed at the UN Copenhagen Climate Summit in December.Greenpeace activists and 200 local community members take part in a traditional ceremony to mark the completion of the Climate Defenders’ Camp, which they built together on the threatened Kampar Peninsula. © Greenpeace / Ardiles Rante
Two hundred local people held a welcoming ceremony for the
Greenpeace activists at the Climate Defenders' Camp, which was
built on the threatened Kampar Peninsula on the Indonesian island
of Sumatra. The forest peat soils in Kampar are particularly deep
and store some 2 billion tons of carbon. They form one of the
largest natural carbon stores on the planet and a significant
global defense against global climate change.
There have been several Greenpeace actions out of the Climate
Defenders Camp, and the Indonesian authorities have sought to close
it down multiple times. But each time, local Indonesians came to
the camp's defense. Read more about these developments:
Much of the forest that once surrounded the Peninsula has been
destroyed to make way for plantations, largely for products like
paper and palm oil, which are transported worldwide and used to
make chocolate, toothpaste and so-called "climate-friendly"
"We are taking up position at the frontline of forest and
climate destruction to tell world leaders that to avert climate
chaos they must tackle deforestation here and now," said Bustar
Maitar, Greenpeace South East Asia forest campaigner, speaking from
the heart of the rainforest.
Southest Asian leaders declare commtiment to stop
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders met at
the 15th ASEAN Summit in Thailand in October 2009 and declared
their commitment to a successful outcome in Copenhagen. The
imperative for global action to fight climate change demands the
same commitment from developed countries. President Obama and EU
leaders must get serious about climate change by committing to much
deeper cuts in emissions from both fossil fuels and from
deforestation. This means investing the funds needed to end global
Ending global deforestation requires industrialized countries to
invest $42 billion annually in forest protection, as well as a
commitment from Indonesian President Yudhoyono to end the
destruction of Indonesia's forests and peatlands.
Ending deforestation is vital to tackling climate change
Globally, almost 2.5 million acres of forests are destroyed
every month - an area the size of a soccer field every two seconds
- emitting so much CO2 that deforestation is one of the main causes
of climate change. Deforestation accounts for about a fifth of
global greenhouse gas emissions. That means we will face mass
species extinction, floods, droughts and famine in our lifetime
unless we stop destroying forests in countries like Indonesia.
Emissions from deforestation make Indonesia the world's third worst
climate polluter, after China and the US.
Greenpeace is calling on European Union Heads of State to commit
to establishing a fair, ambitious and binding deal at the upcoming
UN Climate Summit. In order to help end deforestation they must put
money on the table.
While a forest protection system is being set up, Greenpeace is
also calling on President Yudhoyono to give the climate some
breathing space by instigating an immediate moratorium on any
further destruction of Indonesia's rainforests or the carbon rich
peat soils they grow on.
At the UN climate talks in Bangkok earlier this year, Yudhoyono
pledged up to a 41 per cent reduction in Indonesia's greenhouse gas
emissions, pending the availability of international funds.