Greenpeace Stops Palm Oil Shipments from Leaving Indonesia

JAKARTA ~ Environmental group Greenpeace said this week it had stopped several palm oil shipments from leaving Indonesia and called for an end to forests and peatlands being destroyed to make way for plantations.

The ships were about to leave from Dumai, Indonesia’s main oil export port, to Europe.

“Greenpeace activists painted the words ‘Forest Crime’ and ‘Climate Crime’ on the hull of three palm oil tankers and a barge full of rainforest timber,” Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Campaigner Bustar Maitar said.

“The government and businesses should stop the rapid conversion of forests and peatlands into palm oil plantation in order to combat climate change,” Maitar said.

A Greenpeace activist was also chained onto the anchor chain of a ship carrying palm oil owned by the Wilmar group to stop it leaving for the Netherlands.

“Deforestation will continue without strong commitment,” Maitar said, adding that meeting demand for palm oil was possible without further deforestation.

Greenpeace said massive tracts of tropical forests in the easternmost Papua region were being converted for oil palm plantation.

The group has also exposed ongoing forest destruction for timber in Papua and discovered fresh forest clearances in the peatland forests of Riau.

The rapid conversion of forests and peatlands for palm oil and pulp plantations is a major driver of deforestation in the country.

Forest destruction has made Indonesia the world’s third biggest greenhouse gas emitter behind the United States and China.

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