Greenpeace ends 26-hour dramatic non-violent direct action in Indonesian rainforest

10 days left for world leaders to avert climate crisis

Press release - 26 November, 2009
Ten days before the critical UN Copenhagen Climate Summit when world leaders will decide the fate of the world’s forests as part of the UN Copenhagen Climate deal, eighteen Greenpeace activists from 11 countries (1) have been detained by police following a non-violent action that shut down the export facilities of a giant pulp and paper mill in the heart of the Indonesian rainforest. The mill is operated by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and owned by Sinar Mas, a main driver of global climate change due to its leading role the destruction of Indonesia’s forests.


Twelve activists blocked cranes at the company’s port yesterday to stop pulp exports, and displayed banners reading: "Forest Destruction: You can stop this". Four climbers remained locked onto one of the loading cranes for 26 hours, but were removed by police this morning. The activists were from Indonesia, USA, Canada, Australia,New Zealand, India, Switzerland,Belgium, Germany, the Philippines and the Netherlands.

“Deforestation is one of the roots of the climate crisis and requires a global solution.  We will not stop until our leaders rouse from their inertia and commit to a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal in Copenhagen that includes a global fund to end deforestation (2),” said Von Hernandez, Executive Director, Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

The action comes on the heels of ongoing attempts by US President Barack Obama and other world leaders to tone down expectations of a legally binding deal at the Copenhagen Climate summit to a political statementand to postpone the critical decisions required to tackle climate change.

The Obama administration is proposing inadequate cuts in thecountry’s greenhouse gas emissions and has not yet committed to a global forest protection fund. Yesterday, the White House announced that the President will attend the international climate talks in Copenhagen on December 9th, over a week before other heads of state are due to arrive to negotiate an ambitious and comprehensive climate deal.

 “President Obama has a great deal of work to do if the US is not to become a dead weight that causes the climate negotiations to fail – so far, he has got the numbers wrong, the money wrong, and even the date wrong,” said Hernandez.

“We know that President Yudhoyono is aware of the climate and deforestation problem and is eager to demonstrate leadership on the issue.His commitment to reduce Indonesia’s emissions by 41%, with international support, is a step in the right direction but  we need to see this translated into immediate political action beginning with a moratorium on deforestation and peatland destruction in Indonesia now,”  said Nur Hidayati, GreenpeaceCountry Representative for Indonesia.

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 (3). Globally, a million hectares of forests are destroyed every month (4) -that is an area the size of a football pitch every two seconds. Significant funds are urgently needed to end tropical deforestation in Indonesia and around the world, because it accounts for a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. A global forest fund must be a central part of any climate agreement.

Other contacts: In Indonesia: Martin Baker, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Communications Director: +62 (0) 8131 5829513Von Hernandez, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director: + 63 917 5263050In Europe Belinda Fletcher, Greenpeace International forest campaigner +44 (0) 7801212991Matilda Bradshaw, Greenpeace International communications +31 (0) 629001131

VVPR info: Michael Nagasaka, Greenpeace International video producer: +44 (0)7533625409John Novis, Greenpeace International photography: +44 (0) 7801 615 889

Notes: (1) The activists detained by police today are from Indonesia, the US, Belgium, Germany, the Philippines, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Canada and India. On November 12, Greenpeace took action in the area against APP’s rival company APRIL. Since then, both the environmental organisation 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.(2) Greenpeace estimates that ending global deforestation requires industrialised countries to invest $42 billion (€30 billion) annually in forest protection. (3) WRI 2008. Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) Version 6.0 (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute) FAO 2005. Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2005. a map and photographic evidence of current active clearing of peatland forest by APP please go here: further information please see: