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Greenpeace: Turn SBY`s words into action, stop destruction

9th April 2010 | 970 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A group of environmental organization activists dressed up in costumes resembling endangered species rallied at the Environment Ministry here Thursday to demand the enforcement of the laws to protect the environment.

The costumes worn by the Greenpeace activists represented endangered animal species that were losing their habitats and in need of protection such as orangutan, tigers and elephants

As part of the call, the activists also delivered dossiers of companies committing environmental destruction in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua where action to save the country`s forests was most urgently needed.

"Greenpeace welcomes President SBY`s call for Greenpeace to work together with the government to save the Indonesian environment. The Ministry for the Environment has the mandate and the power to take action against those who destroy forests and peat lands," said Yuyun Indradi, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Political Campaigner, in a press statement on Thursday.

According to Indradi, the ministry must turn Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono`s words into action by investigating environmental destruction and taking urgent and necessary action.

"We are here to help the ministry take this action by providing evidence of the oil palm and pulp and paper industries destroying forests and peat lands to aid the ministry`s investigations," he said.

As a start, the ministry, together with President SBY (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) must instigate an immediate moratorium on deforestation and mandate the full protection of peat lands. This is the most important step that can truly protect Indonesia`s environment and achieve the President?s commitment to reduce Indonesia`s emissions by 41 percent by 2020, said Indradi.

Greenpeace is asking for full peat land protection and an immediate moratorium on deforestation as it would provide the space for the implementation of longer term measures for forest protection supported by international donors.

Such a moratorium would also drive investment into other areas for instance yield improvements on existing plantation areas, especially those owned by smallholders.

Furthermore, it will kick-start a planning process with local communities to identify non-forest, degraded areas where the palm oil industry could potentially expand.
A recently-passed environmental law on Environmental Protection and Management gives the Ministry of Environment a greater mandate to implement environmental audit, law enforcement, investigation, and administrative prosecution.

Greenpeace sees their visit to the Ministry?s office not just as an expression of concern regarding continuing forest destruction in Indonesia by a few giant companies, but also as a way of supporting the agency to execute the mandate in the new environmental law.

"We take SBY`s call for partnership very seriously and call on his Ministries to do the same. In order to truly develop a model of forest protection and welfare for the Indonesian people President SBY and the Ministry for the Environment must stop the destruction now," concluded Indradi. (*)