JAKARTA, Indonesia, Nov. 25 /CNW/ - A Greenpeace Canada campaigner was among fourteen international Greenpeace activists detained by police following the occupation of one of the world's largest pulp and paper mills in Indonesia today. The non-violent direct action shut down the entire export facility of the mill, owned by APP and parent company Sinar Mas, for seven hours.
Stephanie Goodwin, a senior Greenpeace forest campaigner from Vancouver, BC was on a boat on the adjacent river, bearing witness as twelve Greenpeace activists scaled four cranes at the port to stop pulp exports. They displayed banners reading, "Climate Crime" and "Forest Destruction: You can stop this." The mill, one of the largest in the world, is fed by wood from the peatland forests there, which store up to 2 gigatonnes of carbon. Indonesia is the world's third largest climate polluter after China and the US, largely due to the ongoing destruction of its forests and their peat soils.
"Deforestation in countries like Indonesia is one of the main causes of climate change, accounting for a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions," said Goodwin from the Kampar Peninsula on Sumatra in Indonesia. "Harper must take a leadership role in Copenhagen and commit to ending tropical deforestation, reducing greenhouse emissions and protecting carbon stores like Canada's own Boreal Forest to avert mass species extinction, floods, droughts and famine in our lifetime."
Greenpeace occupied four cranes at the facility in the morning, but police and company personnel were able to force most of the activists down from the occupied cranes. One team remains in place and is committed to staying as long as it takes to stop exports from leaving the port. Stephanie Goodwin is among the 14 international activists being detained.
The Greenpeace action comes as Harper, Obama and other leaders attempt to relegate the Copenhagen Climate deal to little more than a political statement and to postpone critical decisions on a legally binding agreement to later in 2010.
Greenpeace has been working with local communities from a Climate Defenders' Camp on the Peninsula over the past month to highlight the central role that deforestation plays in driving global climate change. Greenpeace took action in the area against APRIL on November 12. Since then, both the environmental organisation and the local communities have been under sustained intimidation by the authorities including threats, arrests, evictions and deportations. Last week Indonesia's Forest Minister, Mr. Zulkifli Hasan, suspended APRIL logging operations pending a review of the company's permits.
On November 16, Indonesian police detained, interrogated and later deported two Greenpeace activists from Italy and Germany and two independent journalists from India and Italy, all of whom were travelling on valid business and journalist visas. Eleven other people from Greenpeace were also deported that week.
More information, including links to photo and video is available at www.greenpeace.ca
SOURCE Green News
For further information: For further information: Stephanie Goodwin, Greenpeace Canada senior forest campaigner, onsite at action in Indonesia: +62 081 388 678441; Jessica Wilson, Greenpeace Canada media and PR officer, in Vancouver: 1-778-228-5404