Greenpeace presents ‘World Cup of Forest Destruction’ to SBY

Feature story - January 26, 2010
Greenpeace activists today presented the ‘World Cup of Forest Destruction’ to Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, outside the Jakarta Convention Centre, where the real Jules Rimet Trophy is on public display.

A Greenpeace activist dressed as an endangered orangutan presented the "World Cup of Forest Destruction" trophy to Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, outside the Jakarta Convention Centre, where the real Jules Rimet Trophy is on public display.

A Greenpeace activist dressed as an endangered orangutan presented the "World Cup of Forest Destruction" trophy to Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, outside the Jakarta Convention Centre, where the real Jules Rimet Trophy is on public display.

A Greenpeace activist dressed as an endangered orangutan presented the "World Cup of Forest Destruction" trophy to Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, outside the Jakarta Convention Centre, where the real Jules Rimet Trophy is on public display.

Watched by the world's leading football stars, and to symbolise the terrible impact of Indonesia's deforestation, an endangered orangutan presented the world famous trophy to Indonesia's President Yudhoyono.

Greenpeace awarded the 'World Cup of Forest Destruction' to President Yudhoyono as a reminder that Indonesia has the fastest rate of forest destruction in the world. Every minute an area of forest the size of five football fields is destroyed to make way for palm oil or pulp and paper plantations, averaging more than 1.8 million of hectares annually over the past five years. This rate of forest destruction drives Indonesia to 3rd place in the greenhouse gas emission league behind China and the US.

"A moratorium on forest and peatland destruction is the most effective way to meet Indonesia's reduction targets," said Joko Arif, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Campaigner. "Protecting peatlands from conversion to plantations could benefit Indonesia's economy. President Yudhoyono must show the red card to climate criminals like Sinar Mas and APRIL who continue to destroy Indonesia's future."

 In his first 100 days in office President Yudhoyono made an ambitious commitment to cut Indonesia's emissions by 26% in 2020 and by 41% with international support. But so far no real action has been taken to fulfil this commitment. The government has been pushing new plantations and plantation giants like Sinar Mas and APRIL continue with their destructive business as usual. Ironically, the only solution presented is a program of replanting, while forest and peatland destruction is allowed to continue adding to Indonesia's emissions, destroying forest-dependent communities and decimating rich biodiversity.

In 2010 the Indonesian government must show that they're serious about meeting their emission reduction targets by implementing a moratorium on deforestation and peatland clearance. Civil society organisations and BAPENAS, Indonesia's National Planning Agency, also recently called for an end to peatland conversion, in a presentation they gave at the Copenhagen Climate Talks. Instead the government is focusing on replanting programmes whilst trying to convince the international community that these plantations are actually forests. In practice this means that forests, rich in carbon and biodiversity, will continue to be cleared to be replaced by barren monocultures of oil palm or acacia. The replanting program should be used for ecosystem restoration and not more timber plantations.

"SBY must stop forest criminals by enforcing the law. RAPP is already under investigation for illegally clearing peatlands on Sumatra's Kampar Peninsula. SBY still has time to take his first action to stop emissions from deforestation within his first 100 days by revoking all RAPP's permits on Kampar. That would show that he is serious about combating climate change," concluded Arif.

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