Indonesian President meets Greenpeace leader on the Rainbow Warrior: welcomes legacy of environmental protection

greenpeace2Jakarta, 7 June 2013 – Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo met with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on board the Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, in Jakarta today, to express Greenpeace’s support for the President’s legacy of protecting the nation’s biodiversity.
“I am pleased to meet with my friend Kumi Naidoo from Greenpeace. I would like to express my gratitude to Greenpeace for having made these efforts to save the environment of Indonesia and the rest of the world,” said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“As a developing country, Indonesia needs economic development, but of course it must be environmentally sustainable. Although, we are facing several challenges, we are committed to working on both. I want to guarantee my grandchildren a clean and peaceful environment in the future,” he added.
“Greenpeace is honored to welcome the President on board the Rainbow Warrior and hope that his presence on board this symbol of environmental protection will lead to ever greater protection for Indonesia’s incredible natural heritage and the people who rely on it to survive,” said Naidoo.
“The President should be congratulated on the progress his government has made on forest protection since our first meeting last year. There is still crucial work to be done but we at Greenpeace can assure the President that we will do whatever we can to support the Government’s commitment to zero deforestation.
The Rainbow Warrior has just sailed through some of the most beautiful and precious – but also most threatened – waters in the world to meet the President here in Jakarta. It is clear that with so many of his citizens reliant on the oceans for their livelihoods that protecting the health of Indonesian waters is high on the President’s agenda.
“We are all working to ensure protection of Indonesia’s biodiversity, not just for the environment’s sake, but also to ensure social justice. It is the poorest rural people who are most dependent on natural habitats for their livelihoods and it is they who suffer first and most deeply when those habitats are degraded or destroyed,” said Naidoo.
Greenpeace hopes that after his final term, the President will continue his efforts to protect the environment.
“Indonesia is one of the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change. As the fourth most populous nation and a powerful emerging economy, I’m hoping we can encourage Indonesia to take the lead in mitigating climate change in Southeast Asia and the world,” said Mr Naidoo.
“We wish the President well in his last year in office and in his efforts to build on his environmental legacy. We hope that he continues to ensure space for a strong and vibrant civil society. Only then can we ensure that progress is made towards realising President Yudhoyono’s vision for a green future for Indonesia,” said Longgena Ginting, Greenpeace Indonesia’s country representative.
The Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, is concluding a one-month tour of Indonesia to raise awareness of the country’s rich, yet threatened, biodiversity. Approximately 10% of the world’s rainforests are located in Indonesia. Fifty years ago, 82% of Indonesia was covered with forests but in the past decade, this has dropped to 48% due to relentless deforestation for pulp and paper, palm oil plantations and mining.
Indonesia’s seas are also among the most diverse coastal and marine habitats. The country’s coral reefs are considered to be among the world’s most threatened biodiversity hotspots, at risk from overfishing, pollution and climate change.
Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organization which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions essential to a green and peaceful future.