November 25, 2009
Fidelis E Satriastanti The Jakarta Globe
More Greenpeace Activists Detained For Protest in Riau
Undeterred by their encounter with local police earlier this month, Greenpeace activists once again carried out protests in Riau on Wednesday — and were promptly detained.
At 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 14 activists — nine of whom were foreigners — snuck into Perawang Port in Siak district, which is owned by PT Indah Kiat Pulp and Paper, a subsidiary of the Sinar Mas Group. They tied themselves to four cranes at the facility as part of the protest.
The activists were demanding that world leaders, particularly US President Barack Obama and the heads of European Union countries, provide the necessary financing to protect forests from destruction ahead of a UN climate change summit in Copenhagen that begins on Dec. 7.
Greenpeace has called Sinar Mas a major contributor to climate change due to its role in the widespread logging of Indonesia’s forests.
Police and company personnel managed to evict most of the activists by about 9 a.m., detaining five Indonesian activists and the nine foreigners involved in the protest.
Hikmat Soeritanuwijaya, a spokesman for Greenpeace Southeast Asia, identified the nine foreign activists detained as Richard Carlson of New Zealand, Benoit Calvi (Belgium), Nina Matthess (Germany), Roderick Moro Andrada (Philippines), Stephanie Hillman (United States), Stephanie Goodwin (Canada), Valerie Phillips (Australia), Ashish Fernandes (India) and Asti Gabriella Roesle (Switzerland).
According to a media release issued by Greenpeace, one of the detained activists, Phillips, a forests campaigner from Australia, called on world leaders to address climate change by looking at deforestation in countries such as Indonesia.
“Prime Minister Rudd, President Obama, all the leaders of the developed countries must agree to nothing short of a fair, ambitious and legally-binding deal to avert climate disaster,” she said, referring to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
“Significant funds are urgently needed to end tropical deforestation in Indonesia and globally, which is driven by commodities such as paper and palm oil.”
In an official statement, Asia Pulp and Paper, Indah Kiat’s holding company, said that despite Greenpeace’s “dangerous and illegal activities” on Wednesday, it understood the group’s concerns regarding the need to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“APP engaged UK-based Environmental Resource Management [ERM] to conduct an independent Carbon Footprint assessment. And, we are currently using the results to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in each of our production facilities, to monitor APP’s current footprint, and to calculate the full life cycle of our products,” the statement read.
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