Greenpeace calls on EU Funding for forest protection not destruction as it blocks import of palm kernel from Indonesia into France

Press release - October 31, 2009
Yesterday Greenpeace activists in two inflatable boats intercepted a ship in France, the Izmir Castle, carrying 15,000 tonnes of palm kernel from Indonesia in the port of Montoir-de-Bretagne. The Greenpeace activists painted "Climate Crime" on the hull of the cargo ship, while eleven other activists climbed on the top of three cranes unloading the cargo. They also unfurled banners reading "Funding for forest protection, not their destruction".

Greenpeace activists in two inflatable boats intercepted a ship in France, the Izmir Castle, carrying 15,000 tonnes of palm kernel from Indonesia in the port of Montoir-de-Bretagne. The Greenpeace activists painted "Climate Crime" on the hull of the cargo ship, while eleven other activists climbed on the top of three cranes unloading the cargo.

Indonesia's forests are being destroyed by the palm oil and paper industries - which is contributing to climate change. With the EU meetings today and tomorrow, Greenpeace is demanding EU Heads of State, including  French President Sarkozy' to provide funds for an end to deforestation in order to save the climate.

In addition to blocking imports of commodities which drive the destruction of Indonesian forests, earlier this week Greenpeace activists established a Climate Defenders Camp in the heart of the Sumatran forest and are calling on French President Sarkozy and other EU leaders to put money on the table to halt forest destruction.

The 15,000 tonnes of palm kernel cake (co-culture palm oil) originating mostly from Indonesia, used mostly as cattle feed in France, is one of the drivers of deforestation that has ravaged Indonesia's forests and which could push all of Indonesia's forests to disappear by 2022.

Deforestation is responsible for around 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions and Indonesia is the 3rd biggest climate polluter in the world largely due to emissions resulting from the rampant deforestation.

"The palm kernel cargo of 'Izmir Castle' comes in part from plantations in the province of Riau in Sumatra, where previously rich natural forests were home to an exceptional variety of biodiversity and endangered species like Sumatran tigers. In addition, Riau's carbon rich peatland forests hold huge amounts of carbon, which if released when the forests are destroyed for palm or paper, will add to climate chaos. Emissions due to the destruction of Indonesia's peatland forests account for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions", said Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest campaigner.

At the Copenhagen Climate Talks in December, forest protection funding must be agreed by world leaders to fight climate change.

"By this action, we demonstrate that France and Europe are customers of tropical deforestation and become de facto accomplices in a climate crime. France and other European countries are currently driving deforestation in countries like Indonesia and must stop importing all commodities from forest destruction and urgently provide funding instead for forest and climate protection " said Gregory Lejonc, Greenpeace France Forest campaigner. 

"President Sarkozy and the French Government talk a lot about climate change, protecting tropical forests and the people and rich biodiversity that depend on them for survival. But, until now, they refuse to provide the level of funding needed to protect these magnificent forests, and to help fight climate change, " continued Lejonc.

Meanwhile, "Inglorious Basterds" actress, Melanie Laurent, is staying at Greenpeace's Climate Defenders Camp in Riau to witness the ravages of deforestation on biodiversity, local communities and the climate, and to take part in Greenpeace activities to highlight the plight of Indonesia's forests.

Other contacts: Gregory Lejonc, Greenpeace France Forests Campaign: +33 6 26 79 62 32 Sylvain Trottier, Greenpeace France Communication officer: +33 6 30 23 52 78 Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Campaigner, +62 81344666135

Categories