Greenpeace ship visits Indonesia to promote forest conservation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – A Greenpeace ship, the Esperanza, will arrive in Indonesia on October 6 to promote forest and climate conservation as part of the environmentalist organization`s `Forest for Climate` campaign, a spokesperson said.

The Esperanza would arrive in Jayapura, Papua, on October 6 and remain until Nov 15 to spotlight the need to defend the last remaining natural forests in Indonesia, according to Greenpeace media campaigner Nabiha Shahab in an e-mail to Antara on Saturday.

“The last natural forests are to be found in a belt that stretches from South East Asia through Papua New Guinea to the Solomon Islands in the Pacific,” she said.

The natural forests consist of tropical rain, mangrove , coastal and peatland forests that are home to many kinds of plants and animals non-existent in other parts of the world. These forests also held hundreds of original cultures and traditions.

“Indonesia`s forests are shrinking at a very fast rate. Deforestation destroys people, cultures, and biodiversity. It also accounts for about 20 percent of the world`s gas emission which eventually causes climate change,” said Rustar Maitar, spokesperson for Southeast Asia Greenpeace`s Forest Campaign.

The campaign director of Southeast Asia Greenpeace, Shailendra Yashwant, said Esperanza`s visit to Indonesia was meant to urge the government to implement a moratorium soon on all forms of forest conversion, including industrial deforestation, expansion of oil palm plantations, and other activities which can cause deforestation

Esperanza is the biggest ship in Greenpeace`s fleet. Launched in February 2002, it is 72m long and can cruise at a maximum speed of 16 knots.

On its journey to Indonesia, the ship will have Madeline Habib as captain. (*)

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