The flagship of Greenpeace – The Rainbow Warrior, returned triumphantly to Indonesia on May 9, 2013, after being unceremoniously shown the door by Indonesian officials in October 2010.
The Rainbow Warrior sailed into the Papuan port of Jayapura as part of its stated mission, according to Greenpeace Indonesia’s Country Director for Indonesia, Longgena Ginting, “to raise awareness of Indonesia’s rich yet fragile environment, and to support President SBY’s commitment to protect the country’s forests and to restore our living oceans back to health.”
Continued Ginting: “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. 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 forests moratorium strengthened.”
Known for its rich biodiversity, Indonesia's aggressive land clearance and overfishing threaten future sustainability. The Country is home to 10% of the world’s rainforests, but the amount of the country covered in primal forests has declined from 82% to just 42% in the span of only 50 years.
Offshore, Indonesia’s coastal and marine habitats are now considered among areas most at risk from overfishing, pollution and climate change.
Signifying a change in atmosphere, Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has accepted an invitation extended by the Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Kimi Naidoo, to visit the ship during its current Indonesian tour.
The ship left Jayapura on May 11, 2013 and sailed to Manokwari, Raja Ampat and Sorong. The famous Greenpeace vessel is scheduled to berth in Bali May 31-June 1, 2013, before visiting Jakarta June 7-10, 2013.
The Rainbow Warrior is actually the third ship bearing that name. The 1st Rainbow Warrior was bombed and sunk in 1985 by French secret agents displeased with Greenpeace’s vocal opposition to nuclear testing on pristine South Pacific islands. A second ship by the same name, sailed for 22 years campaigning the globe on behalf of a greener world until it retired on August 16, 2011. The latest ship – built to the greenest specifications, entered service on October 14, 2011, continuing its proud legacy of environmental advocacy.
In the words of Longgena Ginting, “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.”
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