Greenpeace calls for political commitment to protect Forests and People in upcoming elections

Press release - March 16, 2009
Greenpeace today kicked-off its “Vote for Forests, Vote for Our Future” campaign along with politicians, celebrities, and supporters at Lapangan Banteng.

Greenpeace today kicked-off its “Vote for Forests, Vote for Our Future” campaign along with politicians, celebrities, and supporters at Lapangan Banteng.

Greenpeace is calling on Indonesia's people, ahead of the Monday 16th March public election campaign launch, to vote for political parties who commit to protect the nation's fast disappearing forests, and the peoples and rich biodiversity that depend on them.

Indonesia's forests cover over 120 million hectares, make up 10% of the world total, and are critical biodiversity habitats, crucial for the livelihoods of forest-based communities and indigenous peoples and are essential for regulating the world's climate. Unfortunately, Indonesia also has one of the fastest rates of deforestation in the world, which makes it the planet's third largest green house gas emitter.

"2009 is a decisive year for Indonesians to choose their future leaders. It is also a critical year globally to tackle climate change with immediate action. As Indonesians will be some of the most affected people by climate change, and most of Indonesia's emissions are due to deforestation - stopping forest loss must be a top priority for the future government," said Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forests campaigner.

Greenpeace contacted each of Indonesia's 38 national political parties to ask them to commit to an immediate moratorium on forest and peatland conversion, and develop and implement an action plan to reduce Indonesia's greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation by 75 per cent by 2012, as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono committed to the global community last year during the G8 meeting in Japan.

Greenpeace has received enthusiastic support for its election campaign from Indonesia's leading artists, who recorded video testimonies encouraging people to "Vote for Forests, Vote for Our Future", including, Coklat, Samuel RIzal, Nadine ChandrawInata, Leony and Didi Riyadi.

"By voting for those who will protect our forests, we are voting for leaders who will see the economic, social and environmental value in Indonesia's forests. We are blessed with some of the most biodiversity-rich tropical forests in the world - it is every Indonesian's duty to protect them," concluded Maitar.

Other contacts: Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forests campaigner, 081366644135 Martin Baker, Greenpeace International Communications Coordinator (Asia), 081315829513

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