Palm Oil Shipment Heading to Europe Delayed by Greenpeace for Over 24 Hours

Six Greenpeace climbers still held by captain of giant tanker

by Kate Fried

November 18, 2018

© Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert / Green

Algeciras, Spain, 18 November 2018 – The Stolt Tenacity tanker carrying dirty palm oil from Indonesia to Rotterdam has now been delayed for over 24 hours after Greenpeace international activists peacefully boarded the giant vessel near Spain in the Gulf of Cadiz to protest against the world largest palm oil trader Wilmar, which trades in palm oil associated with rainforest destruction.

Photos and video are available here

The six men and women were detained yesterday by the captain of the 185-metre long tanker ship transporting palm oil products from Wilmar international from Dumai in Indonesia to Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

“Our volunteers have been detained for speaking the truth to destructive companies like Wilmar that are shipping dirty palm oil from forests destroyers into our supermarkets and homes. They acted peacefully to protect the Indonesian rainforests and to prevent a further climate and extinction crisis. They should be free to protest against deforestation and human rights abuses by the palm oil industry”, said Hannah Martin, campaigner on board the Greenpeace ship Esperanza.

The Stolt Tenacity was safely scaled by Greenpeace International volunteers from Indonesia, Germany, the UK, France, Canada and the US in a peaceful protest against rainforest destruction in Indonesia for palm oil. They demand that Mondelez, the maker of Oreo cookies to stop buying palm oil from Wilmar, until it can prove it no longer trades palm oil from forest destroyers.

Before being detained, the volunteers unfurled banners reading “Save our Rainforest”. The Greenpeace ship Esperanza displayed two big banners reading “Drop Dirty Palm Oil”. The captain of the Stolt Tenacity was informed via maritime VHF radio of the non-violent nature of the protest. However, he detained the climbers in one of the cargo ship’s cabins and the activists’ communications with Greenpeace ship Esperanza were interrupted.

The plantation sector- palm oil and pulp – is the single largest driver of deforestation in Indonesia. Around 24 million hectares of rainforest was destroyed in Indonesia between 1990 and 2015, according to official figures released by the Indonesian government [1].

Tropical deforestation produces more greenhouse gas emissions each year than the entire European Union; outranking every country except the USA and China. In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change called for an immediate end to deforestation to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C.

The UN’s Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Cristiana Pașca Palmer, warned that biodiversity loss was ‘a silent killer’ and as serious a threat as climate change.

Half of the Bornean orangutan population has been wiped out in just 16 years, with habitat destruction by the palm oil industry a leading driver.

Wilmar International is the largest and dirtiest palm oil trader in the world and has been regularly accused of exploiting workers, children and local communities.

ENDS

Photos and video are available here

NOTES

[1] Figures cover loss of natural forest. Sources:

1990–2012: MoEF (2016b) Table Annex 5.1, pp90–1 gross deforestation 21,339,301ha

2012–2013: MoEF (2014) Lampiran 1, Tabel 1.1 gross deforestation 953,977ha

2013–2014: MoEF (2015) Lampiran 1, Tabel 1.1 gross deforestation 567,997ha

2014–2015: MoEF (2016a) Lampiran 1, Tabel 1.1 gross deforestation 1,223,553ha

Contacts:

Kate Fried, Greenpeace USA, (202) 257.0057, kfried@greenpeace.org

Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours), pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org

By Kate Fried

Kate Fried is a Senior Communications Specialist for Greenpeace USA. With nearly two decades of communications experience on behalf of progressive organizations, her work at Greenpeace focuses on deforestation and climate issues. She is based in Washington, D.C.

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