November 11th, 2008 by Melissa Elliott
Three tankers containing crude palm oil were halted by Greenpeace when they attempted to leave an Indonesian port for China and Europe. Activists wanted to highlight the rapidly expanding palm oil industry currently destroying rainforests, harming wildlife, and emitting greenhouse gases.
The activists painted words like “Climate Crime” in bright yellow on the sides of the ships and then climbed one ship’s anchor chain, preventing the ship from leaving the harbor.[social_buttons]
Southeast Asia’s palm oil industry has come under attack by green groups for the deforestation caused by the cash crop. This is not the first time Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, has seen Greenpeace use the tactic of blocking palm oil tankers in a bid to protest environmental concerns.
“Today Greenpeace is taking action to expose the disastrous impacts of the palm oil and logging industries on Indonesia’s peatlands, forests and on the global climate,” said Bustar Maitar of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
The blocked ships included Gran Couve, owned by the world’s largest listed palm oil firm Wilmar International Ltd, which had been loading 27,000 tons of crude palm oil bound for Rotterdam. The other two ships blocked at the port of Dumai in Sumatra were Smooth Sea, owned by PT Musim Mas, and Victory Prima, owned by Sarana Tempa Perkasa.
Greenpeace is calling on the Indonesian government to implement an immediate moratorium on all forest conversion, including expansion of oil palm plantations, industrial logging, and other drivers of deforestation.
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