Greenpeace activists arrested for demanding that Indonesian government stop issuing “License to Kill” the Forests

Feature story - December 11, 2006
Twenty three Greenpeace activists were arrested and detained by Indonesian police for a non-violent protest held at the Ministry of Forestry this morning. They are being charged with “unpleasant action” which carries fines and a 1-year jail term.

Security personnel forcibly remove a Greenpeace activist. Twenty three Greenpeace activists were arrested and detained by Indonesian police for a non-violent protest held at the Ministry of Forestry this morning. The activists blocked the entrance of the Ministry with wooden cross and chains to demand that the Ministry stop giving “Licenses to Kill” the forest to logging companies in Indonesia.

Security personnel forcibly remove Greenpeace activists from their protest. Twenty three Greenpeace activists were arrested and detained by Indonesian police for a non-violent protest held at the Ministry of Forestry this morning. The activists blocked the entrance of the Ministry with wooden cross and chains to demand that the Ministry stop giving “Licenses to Kill” the forest to logging companies in Indonesia.

Twenty three Greenpeace activists were arrested and detained by Indonesian police for a non-violent protest held at the Ministry of Forestry this morning. The activists blocked the entrance of the Ministry with wooden cross and chains to demand that the Ministry stop giving “Licenses to Kill” the forest to logging companies in Indonesia.

Security personnel forcibly remove banners and protest materials from a Greenpeace activist. Twenty three Greenpeace activists were arrested and detained by Indonesian police for a non-violent protest held at the Ministry of Forestry this morning. The activists blocked the entrance of the Ministry with wooden cross and chains to demand that the Ministry stop giving “Licenses to Kill” the forest to logging companies in Indonesia.

Twenty three Greenpeace activists were arrested and detained by Indonesian police for a non-violent protest held at the Ministry of Forestry this morning. The activists blocked the entrance of the Ministry with wooden cross and chains to demand that the Ministry stop giving “Licenses to Kill” the forest to logging companies in Indonesia.

"Where is justice when those who try to protect the forests for the sake of future generations get arrested while those who destroy and kill our forests are allowed to continue their destructive rampage with impunity? We call on the Indonesian government to stop persecuting those who are fighting to protect our remaining forests by revoking all existing commercial logging permits and stopping the issuance of new permits," said Hapsoro, Forest campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia and among those arrested.

Greenpeace activists this morning blocked the entrance of the Ministry of Forestry with wooden cross and chains to demand that the Ministry stop giving "Licenses to Kill" the forest to logging companies in Indonesia. The activists demanded that the government stop the large-scale decimation of the country's remaining forests by revoking existing commercial logging permits and stopping the issuance of new permits.

Indonesia has the world's third largest forest area, considered by scientists as among the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth. Unfortunately it is vanishing at an astonishing rate over the past decade. In total, Indonesia has already lost more than 72% of its intact ancient forest areas and 40% of its forests completely. Large scale industrial logging and illegal logging operations are mainly to blame for these problems.

"The Ministry of Forestry itself is responsible for the continuing destruction of our forests through its issuance of logging concession permits, which in reality has become a license to kill our forests" said Hapsoro, Forest Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. "In 2005, the Ministry of Forestry has officially estimated that 2.8 million hectares of forest have already been destroyed. Urgent and drastic measures must be taken to prevent the further destruction of our remaining forests. The most important step is to revoke all existing commercial logging permits and to stop issuing out new licenses," he added.      

Last Thursday, Greenpeace dumped leaves and branches - remains of dead logged trees - at P.T. Kayu Lapis Indonesia, branding the logging company as the forest killer in Papua. Greenpeace believes forestry violations incurred by Kayu Lapis Indonesia is common among other logging concessions in Indonesia.

"How can people respect forestry regulations if the institution in charge - The Ministry of Forestry - does not sanction violators at all? The power to permit, must be matched with the power to protect our forest and our people from this relentless destruction," said Hapsoro.

"Where is justice when those who try to protect the forests for the sake of future generations get arrested while those who destroy and kill our forests  are allowed to continue their destructive rampage with impunity? We call on the Indonesian government to stop persecuting those who are fighting  to protect our remaining forests  by revoking all existing commercial logging permits and stopping the issuance of new permits."

Hapsoro

Forest campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Ancient forests are one of the planet's vital natural resources. They harbor around two-thirds of the world's land-based species of plants and animals. Industrial and destructive logging is the major threat to these remaining forests. Without control these companies will continue plundering our ancient forests, destroying cultural diversity, biodiversity and degrading the environment at the expense of current and future generations.

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