Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Climate Defenders Camp by Chuck Baclagon

Our team in Indonesia has set up a camp in the heart of the rainforest where activists will remain for several weeks in order to bring urgent attention to the role that deforestation plays in driving dangerous climate change.

Our Climate Defenders Camp is on the threatened Kampar Peninsula, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Here, the forest peat soils are particularly deep – storing some 2 billion tones of carbon and forming one of the largest natural carbon stores on the planet. This ecosystem is a vital global defense against climate change.

Much of the forest that once surrounded the Kampar Peninsula has been destroyed to make way for plantations, largely for products like paper and palm oil, which are transported worldwide and used to make chocolate, toothpaste and so-called ‘climate-friendly’ biofuels.

Our climate defenders are taking up position at the frontline of forest and climate destruction to tell world leaders that to avert climate chaos they must tackle deforestation here and now.

Here’s an update from Bustar – one of our forest campaigners at the new camp in Sumatra

Dear Friends,

I am very happy to inform you that the Climate Defenders Camp was officially opened in Teluk Meranti in Kampar peninsula of Riau in Indonesia today, at a simple but colourful ceremony attended by over 200 community members, village elders and representatives of local NGOs and administration.

During our official welcome – we expressed thanks for the proactive support and hospitality from local community members. They have helped us realise our goal of protecting the peatlands and forests of Indonesia. Local leaders then expressed their full support for our work and their own commitment to protect their forests and their homeland.

The opening ceremony concluded with a blessing that was followed by a gala lunch with for all our honoured guests. Besides the local journalists we also had US Public radio and CNN at the camp today.

A number of volunteers have worked hard alongside our staff over last few days to give finishing touches to the camp and now the spanking new camp is ready to host activists, media and political personalities from around the world to drive home the message of forest protection as the first step for global greenhouse gas reduction, protection of biodiversity and interests of indigenous people dependent on them.

Thanks to our technical team here our communication lines are up and running smoothly so that I am able to send you this message and our media team is now blasting out images, videos and stories from here.

Watch out for pictures and video coming soon from the forest!

Yesterday activists and volunteers from Thailand and Philippines joined our team here to make this camp a big success. We hope you’ll stay with us – through the next month. There will be a lot happening here and together let us tell the world leaders, how to stop climate change. Zero deforestation now!



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