Indonesia Suspends Climate Polluters’ License to Destroy Rainforest

For Immediate Release


In US: Daniel Kessler, Greenpeace US Press Officer +1 510 761 5455
In Indonesia: 
Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest campaigner: +62

Hikmat Soeritanuwijaya, Media Campaigner - Greenpeace Southeast Asia: +62
(0) 818930271

Photos, B roll and a video feature package are available from: Maarten van Rouveroy, Greenpeace International video producer: +31 (0) 646197322
John Novis, Greenpeace International photography: +44 (0) 7801 615 889

Indonesia Suspends Climate Polluters’ License to Destroy Rainforest

Greenpeace calls on Indonesian President Yudhoyono to end deforestation

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Greenpeace welcomed today's
decision by Indonesia's Forest Minister, Zulkifli Hasan, to temporarily
stop paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Holding Limited
(APRIL) from destroying the carbon-rich forest peatlands of Indonesia's
Kampar Peninsula, Sumatra, pending a review of the company's permits.

move follows a Greenpeace protest on November 12 to prevent the company
destroying the forest and peatland in the area, in order to grow acacia
plantations for the pulp and paper it supplies to the global market.
Containing 2 billion tonnes of carbon, the endangered Kampar Peninsula
is one of the planet's largest natural carbon stores. (1) It is under
threat of destruction by APRIL and Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). (2)

suspending this company's licence to destroy the forest, the Indonesian
authorities are giving the climate some breathing space. Deforestation
is one of the roots of the climate crisis. We will only avert this
crisis if President Yudhoyono and other world leaders permanently stop
all companies like APRIL and APP from destroying the planet's forests,"
said Shailendra Yashwant, Campaign Director, Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

causes about a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. (3) Over a
million hectares of forest, mostly tropical rainforest, are destroyed
every month - that is an area of forest the size of a football pitch
every two seconds. Rainforest and peatland destruction in Indonesia
emits such huge quantities of CO2 that is has driven the country to
become the world's third largest climate polluter after China and the
US. (4) 

"To pull the world back from the brink of a climate
crisis, we need Obama, Merkel, Sarkozy, Brown and other world leaders
to commit to much deeper cuts in emissions from fossil fuels and to
provide the critical funds needed so that countries like Indonesia can
end deforestation.(5) If they fail, we will face mass species
extinction, floods, droughts and famine before the end of the century,"
added Yashwant.

Greenpeace set up a ‘Climate Defenders Camp' on
the Kampar Peninsula over three weeks ago to bring urgent attention to
the role that rainforest and peatland destruction play in driving
dangerous climate change in the run-up to the critical UN Copenhagen
Climate Summit this December. Since then, the camp has been visited by
‘Inglourious Basterds' film star Melanie Laurent, the US Ambassador to
Indonesia and supported by Indonesian folk-rock star Iwan Fals.

the last week, 13 international Greenpeace activists have been deported
from Indonesia, even though they all held valid business visas. 

two independent journalists have also been detained, questioned and
subsequently deported - whilst holding valid permits and visas. This
has prompted criticism and condemnation from parliamentarians, civil
society and journalist associations both nationally and

"We hope the Indonesian authorities stop
intimidating peaceful protestors who are trying to help President
Yudhoyono fulfill the commitment he has made to cut Indonesia's massive
CO2 emissions," said Bustar Maitar of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
"Instead, they must continue to investigate companies like APRIL that
are destroying the forest and driving global climate change." 

Greenpeace is calling for an end to deforestation globally by 2020 as a key part of the UN climate negotiations this December.


Notes to Editor

Greenpeace calculation based on Wahyunto, S. Ritung dan H. Subagjo
(2003). Maps of Area of Peatland Distribution and Carbon Content in
Sumatera, 1990 - 2002. Wetlands International - Indonesia Programme
& Wildlife Habitat Canada (WHC).

(2) Combined, APRIL and APP control 73% of Indonesia's total pulp capacity and own two of the world's largest pulp mills

(3) WRI 2008. Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) Version 6.0 (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute)

(4) Greenpeace estimates that ending global deforestation requires
industrialised countries to invest $42 billion (€30 billion) annually
in forest protection.

(5) Calculated from: IPCC (2007). IPCC Fourth Assessment Report,
Working Group III, Final Chapter 1. Page 104. Figure 1.2: Sources of
global CO2 emissions, 1970-2004 (only direct emissions by sector).

For further information please see:

Background media briefing on Indonesia's
forests and climate change is available at:


Independent campaigning organization that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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