Police stop Greenpeace from preventing palm oil shipment leaving Indonesia

Feature story - November 11, 2008
Police and port authorities in Dumai today forced down a Greenpeace activist from the anchor chain of a Rotterdam-bound tanker ship laden with crude palm oil extracted from destruction of the rainforests of Indonesia.

Greenpeace is campaigning to save Indonesia’s precious rainforests and peatlands for the stability of the global climate, the sake of biodiversity, and the welfare of forest-dependent people. The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is in Dumai Port to protest the ongoing destruction of forests and peat lands in Indonesia by large corporations for palm oil plantations, pulp, paper plantations and other commodities.

Greenpeace activists have locked themselves to the anchor chain of the Gran Couva to stop it from leaving for Europe since yesterday. The palm oil onboard the Gran Couva is owned by the Wilmar group.

"Greenpeace believes that increasing productivity on existing palm oil plantations is the solution to increased global demand, rather than destroying our remaining forests," said Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace

Southeast Asia Forest Campaigner, "Continued palm oil expansion in the intact forests of Indonesia is the biggest driver of deforestation and peatland destruction."

"Ironically, companies like Wilmar and Sinar Mas belong to the industry body RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). Until these palm oil companies and the RSPO publicly commit to a moratorium on deforestation, 'sustainable' palm oil remains a myth," said Maitar.

During the ongoing "Forest for Climate' Esperanza's tour of Indonesia, Greenpeace witnessed massive conversion of Papua's tropical forests for palm oil plantation in a Sinar Mas concession near Jayapura.

Greenpeace also exposed ongoing forest destruction for timber in Papua  and discovered fresh forest clearances in concessions in the peatland forests of Riau

"Greenpeace is calling upon RSPO that meets next week to support this moratorium and pressure the Indonesian government to take urgent action. The RSPO standards must be tightened to ensure that members stop deforestation and peatland clearance in all their operations." Added Maitar

The Esperanza, started the Indonesian leg of its "Forest for Climate" tour on October 6th in Jayapura, to shine the spotlight on the rampant destruction of the Paradise Forests - the last remaining ancient forests

of Southeast Asia.

Greenpeace is calling on the Indonesian government to implement an immediate moratorium on all forest conversion, including expansion of oil palm plantations, industrial logging, and other drivers of deforestation.

Note: (1) The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is an association created by organisations related in various chains of the palm oil supply chain. Their objection is to "promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil through co-operation within the supply chain and open dialogue with its stakeholders."Unilever, a leading and founder member of the RSPO, earlier this year agreed to stop buying palm oil that originates from deforestation. Unilever also agreed to build a coalition of allies to put pressure on palm oil suppliers in Indonesia to agree to the moratorium.

Act now!

Write to the Indonesian president, demanding an end to the destruction


Without donations from individuals like you, we couldn't afford to protect ancient forests and keep our ships running.