Stop talking, start acting ­ save the forests for our future

Hundreds of Greenpeace activists and supporters call on SBY to take climate action

Berita - 21 Nopember, 2009
Hundreds of Greenpeace activists and supporters from several of Java’s main cities today rallied in support of President Yudhoyono¹s international commitment to reduce carbon emissions from Indonesia. They called for his promise to be immediately put into practice by halting deforestation which is driving runaway climate change. More than hundreds activists gathered early in the morning at Monas and marched down Jl. Sudirman to Bunderan Hotel Indonesia where they unfolded a banner reading, “Stop talking, start acting ­ save the forests for our future”.

Greenpeace activists wearing face masks of US President Obama and Indonesian President Yudhoyono’s pose in front of a banner which reads “Stop talking, start acting, save the forests for our future” in front of welcoming statue, HI. Yudhoyono’s international commitment to reduce the country’s carbon emissions.

At the Pittsburgh G20 Summit earlier this year, President Yudhoyono made an international commitment of a 41 percent reduction in carbon emissions with international support. This commitment needs to be matched by developed countries making deep emissions cuts at home and support forested countries like Indonesia by committing to provide funding for the protection of tropical forests under the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) scheme.

President Yudhoyono has showed true political leadership by committing to reduce carbon emissions. Now young people are rallying to turn these commitments into action by immediately halting deforestation. Runaway climate change will change life as we know it; it’s up to decision makers now to ensure these young people have a future without dangerous climate instability

The rally comes over three weeks after Greenpeace opened its “Climate Defenders Camp” in the Kampar Peninsula, in Sumatra’s province of Riau, with strong support from local communities, to highlight the destruction of its peatland forests for paper. Last weekend the local community rallied around Greenpeace and stopped a police operation to remove the activists and the camp. 

The Kampar Peninsula is one of the largest carbon stores in the world with peat layers up to 15 metres deep, holding over 2 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases. If Kampar’s peatland forests are cleared and drained for pulp and paper this will increase Indonesia’s emissions and undermine President Yudhoyono’s climate commitment. The destruction of the Kampar is a snapshot of the deforestation happening across Indonesia, making it the world’s 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases. However, earlier this week, Indonesia’s

Forest Minister, Mr. Zulkifli Hasan, ordered Asia Pacific Resources International Holding Limited (APRIL) to halt its forest clearing activities on Kampar, pending review of their permits. 

The Southeast Asian region is one of the most vulnerable and least prepared to cope with the devastating effects of climate change. We welcome President Yudhoyono’s commitment to reduce emissions and secure Indonesia’s future. Now action must be taken, with the immediate protection of our precious forests and peatlands.