Greenpeace Ship "Rainbow Warrior III" Begins Indonesian Tour


Jakarta (Antara) - Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior III" arrived in Jayapura, Papua Province, on Thursday to document one of the world's most biodiverse environments.

"The Rainbow Warrior is here to raise awareness of Indonesia's rich yet fragile environment, and to support President Susilo Bambang Yudyohono's commitment to protect the country's forests and to restore our living oceans back to health," said Greenpeace Indonesia's Country Director Longgena Ginting in a press statement on Friday.

"Indonesia is home to some of the richest biodiversity spots on earth, but continued land clearance to make way for industrial plantations and overfishing of our country┬┐s oceans are putting this all at risk. We hope our visit will support the political will needed to save this precious part of the world and to add to growing momentum to have the forests moratorium strengthened," he stated.

Approximately 10% of the world's rainforests are located in Indonesia. Fifty years ago, 82% of Indonesia was covered with forests but in the last decade, this has dropped to 48% due to rampant deforestation for paper and oil palm plantations and mining.

Indonesia's seas are also among the most diverse coastal and marine habitats. However, experts identify the country's coral reefs as among the world's most threatened biodiversity hotspots, at risk from overfishing, pollution and climate change.

In a meeting with Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo, in Jakarta on June 7, 2012, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono accepted Naidoo's invitation to visit the ship.

On 25 October 2010, the Rainbow Warrior II was escorted out of Indonesian waters after the government refused to let the ship dock in Jakarta.

On its current tour, the Rainbow Warrior III will sail from Papua to Jakarta from May 9 to June 10.

"The Rainbow Warrior has been the heart and soul of Greenpeace global campaigning for over 30 years. She's been raided, rammed, shot at and bombed, but the spirit of the Rainbow Warrior is as strong as ever," said Longgena. (*)
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