Rainbow Warrior III begins Indonesian tour

Rainbow Warrior III (Antara/Nigel Marple-Greenpeace)

Rainbow Warrior III (Antara/Nigel Marple-Greenpeace)

Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior III has arrived in Jayapura, Papua Province, to document one of the world’s most biodiverse environments.

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

“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,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency.

“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 forest moratorium extended.”

Approximately 10% of the world’s rainforests are located in Indonesia.

Fifty years ago, 82% of Indonesia was covered with forest 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.

“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.

The Rainbow Warrior tour of Indonesia is part of the Greenpeace “Ocean Defender tour of Southeast Asia.”

In June and July, the Greenpeace ship Esperanza will continue this tour in Thailand and the Philippines to call for ocean protection throughout the region.

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