Greenpeace Activists Detained after Boarding Palm Oil Tanker

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  • Greenpeace illustration. TEMPO/Subekti

    Greenpeace illustration. TEMPO/Subekti

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Six Greenpeace activists were arrested for carrying out a peaceful rally by boarding a 185 meter long cargo ship containing palm oil from Wilmar International. The action was carried out on the Stolt Tenacity Ship on the waters of Cadiz Bay near Spain.

    Greenpeace representative Esperanza Hannah Martin said that Greenpeace had limited radio contact with the captured volunteers. She said that Greenpeace had also asked the ship's captain to release the volunteers.

    "So they can continue to hold peaceful protests against companies like Wilmar that sent dirty palm oil from forest destroyers to our supermarkets and homes," said Hannah Martin in a press release on the Greenpeace website, Saturday, November 17, 2018.

    The Stolt Tenacity Ship brought Wilmar oil from Indonesia to Europe. Greenpeace volunteers who participated in the peaceful rally to protest the destruction of Indonesia's forests came from Indonesia, Germany, Britain, France, Canada and the United States.

    Before being arrested, Greenpeace activists managed to unfurl banners reading 'Save our Rainforest and Drop Dirty Palm Oil'. The captain of the ship was said to have been told via the VHF radio channel about the peaceful protest. However, the captain actually detained the volunteers in one of the cargo ship cabins.

    Greenpeace stated that Wilmar is the main supplier of palm oil for the Mondelez snack company. The company is one of the largest buyers of palm oil in the world to use on many well-known products such as Oreo biscuits, Cadbury chocolate, and Ritz biscuits.

    Greenpeace International's investigation found that Mondelez's palm oil supplier had destroyed 70,000 hectares of forest throughout Southeast Asia in two years. Greenpeace found evidence of forest fires, employing children, exploiting workers, illegal logging and land grabbing.

    Kiki Taufik, Head of Greenpeace Southeast Asia's Global Forest Campaign on board the Esperanza, said that palm oil can be produced without destroying forests. More than one million people around the world are called to take action.

    "Now is the time for Mondelez and other household brands to listen to calls for them to stay away from Wilmar until it is proven that palm oil is clean," said Kiki Taufik.

    The cargo ship Stolt Tenacity is called to carry palm oil from the Wilmar refinery in Dumai, Riau. The refinery also accommodates palm oil supplies from other companies such as Bumitama, Djarum, Fangiono and Gama families.

    "I came from Indonesia. I have witnessed the impact of deforestation related to the act of rogue oil palm plantation companies which caused our cities to be suffocated by the haze of forest fires. I am here to send a message to Mondelez that Wilmar's dirty palm oil has destroyed our home," Waya Maweru, a climber from North Sulawesi who was listed by Greenpeace.

    Greenpeace stated that deforestation in the tropics has produced more greenhouse gas emissions every year than the entire European Union, outperforming every country except the United States and China. In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) called for an immediate cessation of deforestation to limit global temperatures which increased to 1.5 ° C.