Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Our Climate Defenders are at it again – Pulp exports halted at climate change’s ‘ground zero’ by Chuck Baclagon

The climate can’t wait, the remaining Indonesian forest can’t wait, and today Greenpeace sent a strong message to world leaders by blocking the Asia Pulp & Paper mill in the heart of the Indonesian forest. This mill is a massive greenhouse gas emitting facility – it is so big that it has its very own coal-fired plant to fuel it’s operations!

At dawn, 12 activists [from Germany, Belgium, the US, the Philippines, the Netherlands and Indonesia] made their way through the hot and rancid air of the plant, climbed the towering cranes used for exporting pulp and took their positions. Within minuted they had lowered themselves from these enormous structures, and suspended mid-air, they unveiled banners saying “Climate criminals” and a sending a direct message to world leaders “You can stop this”.

As the activists were setting up, huge barges passed by, each loaded with massive piles of logs, at least 4-5 truckloads of wood. These particular loads were identified as natural forest, not plantation grown, all of it about to be pulped for paper products.

Police arrived after some time and lowered two of the cranes, detaining the first two groups of activists. Right now they are being taken to Pekanbaru police headqurters, the capital of Riau Province where the mill, and our Climate Defenders Camp, are both located. A third team has just been detailed, and one final team remain.

The activists were supported by campaigners from Canada, Switzerland, India, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia, who were also detained at the police station.

APP is owned by Sinar Mas, one of the leading drivers of global climate change due to its widespread role in forest destruction. Destroying rainforests and carbon-rich peat soil has made Indonesia the third largest emitter of in the world.

With less than two weeks before the Climate Summit in Copenhagen, we are running out of time to avert a climate crisis. Our dedicated activists continue to push this issue at the local level here in Indonesia, and overseas. It is vital that the world’s leaders listen to this message: “Forest Destruction: You can stop this”, and show strong leadership at next months summit.

“Deforestation is one of the roots of the climate crisis. We are shutting down the exports of one of the world’s largest pulp mills at the frontline of forest destruction to tell our elected leaders that they can – and must – pull us back from the brink of catastrophic climate change,” said Shailandra Yashwant, Campaign Director, Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Join us – become a climate defender and keep an eye on the action updates here.

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