Greenpeace's "Forests for Climate" Tour reaches Indonesia

The Greenpeace ship, Esperanza, arrived in Jakarta on Halloween calling for urgent action to protect forests in order to save the global climate and bearing new evidence of the mounting threat to Papua’s forests. Greenpeace is calling on the central government to provide legal support to the Riau governors in declaring a moratorium on forest conversion.In response to this emergency and to show the value of intact forests for the environment and people, Greenpeace and Ministry of Environment of Indonesia will host an international seminar to present Forests for Climate (FFC), a landmark proposal for an international funding mechanism to protect tropical forests on board Esperanza in Jakarta this week. The Riau Governor, who has recently declared a moratorium, will be one of the speakers along with the governors of Papua and Papua Barat, and Aceh.

Having witnessed the ongoing decimation of the last remaining ancient forests of Papua over the last three weeks, there is a need for urgent measures to be taken to protect Indonesia’s rainforests and peatlands. Greenpeace hopes that the new moratorium in Riau is the first step in the path to stopping deforestation

The tour
When the Esperanza leaves Jakarta, she heads to Sumatra where Greenpeace will be working with local communities and administration to conduct mapping surveys of the Kampar peninsula of Riau, as a first step to protecting the pristine area from conversion and implementing the moratorium.

In Sumatra millions of acres of peatland forests have already been cleared or are earmarked to be converted into palm oil plantations. In August, the Governor of Riau, recognizing the damage that forest conversion had caused to his province’s citizens and environment, declared a moratorium on deforestation.

A moratorium on forest conversion is a good start and an opportunity for the local government, forest communities and other stakeholders to improve forest governance. Greenpeace welcomes the move by Governor of Riau to protect the peatlands of Sumatra, a significant intervention that will help in reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Kampar Peninsula
The Kampar Peninsula has been threatened for decades by extensive and intensive conversion of forests and peatland by oil palm plantation and the pulp and paper industry. A total of 700,000 hectares of Kampar’s intact forest have been allocated for three big logging concessions, 19 pulp and paper concessions, and 12 oil palm plantation concessions.

In addition to the threats from huge emissions releases and massive biodiversity loss, many local communities are also threatened.

The upstream river and peatland areas of the Kampar Peninsula, have historically served as the hub of Riau’s Malay community. With the areas now under serious threat of drainage, this community faces loses its homeland and livelihood.

The last remaining intact tracts of Indonesia’s forest must be protected in order to combat climate change, stop biodiversity loss and protect the livelihoods of forest-dependent peoples.

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.

How Forest for Climate works
Industrialized countries that commit to doing their fair share in reducing energy and industrial emissions would be allowed to meet a portion of their overall commitments through the purchase of cost effective "tropical deforestation units." A major benefit for industrialized countries is that the units would act as hard currency for compliance purposes, since the mechanism would be responsible for delivering verifiable emission reductions.

Developing countries with tropical forests that choose to participate in Forests for Climate would make commitments to protecting their forests consistent with the UNFCCC "common but differentiated responsibilities." In exchange, developing countries would have the opportunity to receive funding for capacity-building efforts and for national-level reductions in deforestation emissions. Countries that reliably and accurately report emission reductions would receive a greater return for their services. This would provide a strong incentive for developing countries to continually improve their forest protection programs.

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