Rock Band Occupies Palm Oil Tanks With Activists Protesting Deforestation
Thirty activists, including members of Greenpeace and the Indonesian rock band Boomerang, occupied a palm oil refinery owned by Wilmar International, the world's largest palm oil trader, on Tuesday to protest deforestation in Indonesia.
The environmentalists abseiled down silos and unfurled a banner that read "Drop Dirty Palm Oil Now" and painted the word "DIRTY" onto another tank.
Boomerang also performed a number of pro-environment songs on top of a tank, Agence France-Presse reported. The protest ended after 12 hours.
The refinery, located the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, processes palm oil from major producers that are destroying rainforests in Kalimantan and Papua, Indonesia, according to Greenpeace.
"Wilmar has been
promising to clean up its supply chain since 2013. Yet it is still buying palm oil from forest destroyers. It is not Greenpeace's responsibility to police their supply chain. Wilmar should only buy palm oil from producers it can prove are clean. That is what Wilmar CEO Kuok Khoon Hong promised almost five ago," Kiki Taufik, head of Greenpeace's global Indonesia forests campaign stated in a press release.
Indonesia is the world's biggest producer of palm oil. The widely used commodity is found in a vast number of consumer goods, including chocolate, baked goods, soaps, detergents and more.
However, clearing tropical forests for palm oil plantations is a major threat to iconic and endangered wildlife, including Sumatran tigers, orangutans, elephants and rhinos, as well as the communities of people that depend on the forests to survive. Deforestation and peatland destruction is also a leading contributor to climate change in Indonesia.
Last week, Indonesian president Joko Widodo signed a three-year moratorium on all new palm oil plantation development in the country.
Activists occupy a palm oil refinery belonging to Wilmar International, the world's largest palm oil trader and supplier to major brands including Colgate, Mondelez, Nestlé and Unilever.Nugroho Adi Putera / Greenpeace
Singapore-based Wilmar International, which supplies palm oil to major brands including Colgate, Mondelez, Nestlé and Unilever, described Greenpeace's action as a "criminal act of trespassing and vandalism" as well as a safety risk to the activists as well as Wilmar staff, according to a statement posted on its website on Tuesday.
"No organization is above the law, and we urge Greenpeace to adopt a collaborative mindset and work with the palm oil industry to take genuine and positive action," the statement reads.
"We are disappointed with the allegations made by Greenpeace that discredits the genuine efforts and progress made by Wilmar and the palm industry to promote the sustainable development of palm oil."
The palm oil giant added that it is monitoring its supply chain and has suspended more than a dozen suppliers for failing to fulfill sustainability requirements.
Greenpeace activists hung a banner reading "Drop Dirty Palm Oil Now" and painted "DIRTY" onto silos.Nugroho Adi Putera / Greenpeace
A recent Greenpeace International investigation reported that 25 palm oil producers had cleared 130,000 hectares—or almost twice the size of Singapore—of rainforest since 2015, and Wilmar was buying from 18 of those palm oil groups. Three of these groups supplied the refinery where Tuesday's protest took place, Greenpeace said.
"This refinery is loaded with Wilmar's dirty palm oil and if we weren't here it would be on its way to factories and supermarkets all over the world. Hundreds of thousands of consumers from all over the world have had enough of forest destruction," said Yeb Sano, executive director at Greenpeace Southeast Asia, speaking from one of the activist boats at the palm oil refinery, in the press release. "The message to big brands like Unilever, Nestlé and Mondelez is simple: cut Wilmar off until it can prove its palm oil is clean."
The activists are calling on Wilmar to prove it no longer sources palm oil from "forest destroyers," and to "require all producer groups in its supply chain to publish mill location data and concession maps for their entire operations and to cut off any that refuse."
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- Conflict Palm Oil - Rainforest Action Network ›
'Kicking Ass for Her Generation': Applause for 16-Year-Old Greta Thunberg as EU Chief Pledges $1 Trillion to Curb Climate Threat
By Julia Conley
Sixteen-year-old climate action leader Greta Thunberg stood alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Thursday in Brussels as he indicated—after weeks of climate strikes around the world inspired by the Swedish teenager—that the European Union has heard the demands of young people and pledged more than $1 trillion over the next seven years to address the crisis of a rapidly heating planet.
In the financial period beginning in 2021, Juncker said, the EU will devote a quarter of its budget to solving the crisis.
‘Plastic Is Lethal’: Groundbreaking Report Reveals Health Risks at Every Stage in Plastics Life Cycle
With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the world's oceans every year, there is growing concern about the proliferation of plastics in the environment. Despite this, surprisingly little is known about the full impact of plastic pollution on human health.
But a first-of-its-kind study released Tuesday sets out to change that. The study, Plastic & Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet, is especially groundbreaking because it looks at the health impacts of every stage in the life cycle of plastics, from the extraction of the fossil fuels that make them to their permanence in the environment. While previous studies have focused on particular products, manufacturing processes or moments in the creation and use of plastics, this study shows that plastics pose serious health risks at every stage in their production, use and disposal.
Air pollution within the home causes 3.8 million deaths a year, according to the World Health Organization. A recent University of Colorado in Boulder study reported by The Guardian found that cooking a full Thanksgiving meal could raise levels of particulate matter 2.5 in the house higher than the levels averaged in New Delhi, the world's sixth most polluted city.
But soon, you will be able to shop for a solution in the same place you buy your budget roasting pans. IKEA is working on a specially-designed, air-purifying curtain called the GUNRID.
A rare species of giant tortoise, feared extinct for more than 100 years, was sighted on the Galápagos island of Fernandina Sunday, the Ecuadorian government announced.