The tanker is a large one, loading tons of palm oil. The Rainbow
Warrior has two anchors out from its bow. One is actually under our
ship and our crew has rigged ropes from the back of the Warrior to
the anchor's chain. This keeps the Rainbow Warrior from being swung
around by current or wind - so it stays in good position.
What's wrong with this stuff
This particular cargo of palm oil is headed for India, but
countries all over the world import the stuff. The harbor here has
huge holding tanks full of it from plantations on what was once
The exporting company is Permata Hijau Sawit. They source oil
from companies known to be involved in forest destruction and
forest fires on peat land in Riau province, Indonesia.
The expansion of palm oil plantations into forest and peatland
areas poses a serious threat to the global climate and Indonesia's
remaining forests. Expansion plans in Riau province alone have the
potential of triggering a "climate time bomb." Riau's peatland
forests store a massive amounts of carbon - equivalent to one
year's global greenhouse gas emissions.
Among other things, palm oil is used in cosmetics and to make
snack foods like Pringles and KitKats. It's also used for
Taking action in the port and in the forest
"The crew and captain did an amazing job getting us into
position - calm, smooth and controlled," said Sue Connor,
Greenpeace International forests campaigner on board the Rainbow
Warrior. "The logging, draining and burning of Indonesia's peatland
forests releases a massive amount of stored carbon back to the
atmosphere. This contributes to Indonesia being the third largest
emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet. That's why we're
We're also taking direct action in the forest. The peat soils
of Riau have the highest concentration of carbon stored per hectare
of anywhere in the world. But as the forests are cleared, drained
and burned this carbon is released.
Our solution - stop the draining. With the help of locals,
activists at our Forest Defenders Camp have been damming up the
drainage canals. This will prevent the peatland from drying out
and releasing carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas, into the
In less than three months time, Indonesia is also going to host
a meeting in Bali where governments will decide their next steps on
climate change. Commitment to zero deforestation is one of the
things that needs to come out of that meeting.
Let's hope they get the message.