Forest Defenders Camp

Background - 2 November, 2007
The Forest Defenders Camp is part of our international effort to protect the world's remaining forests and global climate prior to December's negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol. The camp is located 150 km to the south and east of Pekanbaru, on the border of the plantations operated by subsidiaries of the company PT Duta Palma Nusantara. The camp is based close to the boundary of forest destruction, where a palm oil plantation is clearing peatland forest.

A bulldozer clearing forest near the Greenpeace Forest Defenders Camp. Palm oil companies are clearing forest and peatlands with fires in preparation for oil palm plantations.
© Greenpeace/ Ardiles Rante

Volunteers at the Forest Defenders Camp take part in spotting and fighting forest fires, conduct surveys of the depth of peat underlying the forest and undertake a comprehensive assessment of biodiversity in the area.


The main camp structure, the Balai Adat, is a traditional Sumatran community meeting house located on community land. The area surrounding the camp has recently been cleared of forest and peatlands have been destroyed to make way for oil palm plantations. (It will be 'no frills' living conditions for the volunteers).

Mr Ali Mursyid, the community leader of the village closest to the camp, said, "Our people consider the forests a sacred inheritance from our ancestors and we have an obligation to protect them because it is our source of life. We are trying to save our remaining forests at any cost and are committed to rehabilitating whatever others have destroyed."

The activities and documentation work conducted over the coming months will draw attention to the urgency of ending deforestation, biodiversity loss and the problem of climate change.