15 Jun 2010

Greenpeace urges forest conservation in Papua

1:28 pm on 15 June 2010

A Greenpeace forest campaigner says immediate action is needed to stop the destruction of forests in Papua.

The Papua Forestry Office last week told the Jakarta Post it believed forested areas of the Indonesian province are shrinking even further because of new infrastructure developments and are being threatened by plans to develop a massive food estate.

Dorothy Tekwie from Greenpeace says the conversion of forests into palm oil is one of the major threats to Papua's forests and indigenous food sources.

She says the forests need to be saved now and says there's a need for moratoria on logging by the leaders of Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Papua.

"Most of these communities are not into the economy. They're subsistence farmers and hunters and gatherers. And if these forests are removed then they will be driven into poverty and extinction. So it's a threat to the indigenous people; it's a threat to the environment. The destruction of forests on this island also contributes to 20 percent of the global greenhouses that come from forest destruction."

Dorothy Tekwie from Greenpeace.