Tuesday, 20 May 2008

First Lady and Forestry Minister honoured for tree planting

We really need your help today, please.

Indonesia's Forestry Minister Kaban has just received an award from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for 'planting' trees, whilst Ministry of Forestry personnel are being investigated (against Minister Kaban's wishes and despite his objections) for numerous alleged corrupt logging practices and, he sells (legally) licences to cut down protected forests inhabited by equally protected orangutans.

Can this be the same UNEP who in February 2007 produced a scathing report on deforestation and the demise of orangutans? How can UNEP justify this award? What next? Maybe a special Nobel prize for Orangutan Conservation or, perhaps a job for the Minister in UNEP New York? It's (almost) beyond belief that UNEP could do this.

This same Minister personally intervened in a court case last year, resulting in Indonesia's most notorious illegal logger going free and two (at least) of the judges subsequently being promoted.

Please would you write to the head of UNEP and express your own views on his organisation rewarding Minister for cutting down PROTECTED forests? Please do so today, whilst it is fresh in your mind. His name is Mr Achim Steiner: exexecutiveoffice@unep.org If it helps you. When writing you might ask Mr Steiner how he justifies giving the "Certificate of Global Leadership" award to Minister Kaban, when (a) last year UNEP condemned Indonesia for its illegal logging and the rapid decline in the orangutan population (b) this Minister is attempting to prevent the anti-corruption officers from investigating his Ministry (c) Minister Kaban personally helped Indonesia's most notorious illegal logger walk free from court last year. Please will you write - today? It will only take a few minutes and I hope it will give you the satisfaction of helping the orangutans.

Thank you.

First Lady and Forestry Minister honoured for tree planting

Adianto P. Simamora , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Thu, 05/15/2008
The United Nations awarded First Lady Any Yudhoyono with a special certificate for her role in promoting tree planting in Indonesia to support the global war against climate change.

The UN's Environment Programme (UNEP) also honored Forestry Minister Malam Sambat Ka'ban with the "Certificate of Global Leadership" for his support of the billion-tree planting campaign.

"The award is an encouragement for Indonesia to work harder and intensify tree planting activities to prevent natural disasters, such as floods and landslides, which often hit the country," Dana Kartakusuma, a staff expert to the environment minister at the UN headquarters in New York said as quoted by Antara.Dana received the awards on Tuesday on behalf of Any and Ka'ban.

The government said at the climate change conference in Bali in December last year it had planted about 86 million trees in 2007. The conference resulted in a roadmap urging forest nations to end deforestation to reduce carbon emissions.

Indonesia has the third largest forest area in the world, with about 120 million hectares.UNEP said the billion-tree planting campaign had catalyzed the planting of two billion trees in just 18 months.

"When the billion-tree campaign was launched at the Climate Convention meeting in Nairobi in 2006, no one would have imagined it could flow so fast and so far. Rather, it has given expression to the frustrations, but also the hopes, of millions of people around the world," UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said in a statement.

"Having exceeded every target that has been set for the campaign, we are now calling on individuals, communities, business and industry, civil society organizations and governments to evolve this initiative onto a new and even higher level by the time of the crucial climate change conference in Copenhagen in late 2009