Thursday, 3 March 2016

Protesting the Indonesian forest fires with @GreenpeaceUK

I was horrified to read about the devastating forest fires
that laid waste to huge tracts of Indonesia last year. It is almost unbelievable that this wasn't a one-off natural disaster, but a planned event that will recur annually unless we stand up against it by signing this petition and utilising our purchasing power. I received the following e-mail from Greenpeace this afternoon:

"The greatest environmental disaster of the 21st century happened last September. Yet this disaster will happen all over again in just a few months - unless we take action now.

Six months ago enormous forest fires tore across Indonesia - they reduced vibrant, living tropical rainforest and peatland to smoking ash. The fires spewed out more CO2 than the UK does in a year, made hundreds of thousands of people sick, and destroyed precious orangutan habitat.

Please sign the petition telling companies like PepsiCo, Johnson and Johnson, and Colgate Palmolive to stop the fires.

The fires were no natural disaster. Over several decades, huge areas of Indonesian forest have been slashed and burned, and watery peatland has been drained for palm oil and paper plantations. That destruction is the root cause of the forest fires.

But we can stop this happening. Last year over 250,000 of us told the Indonesian president to stop letting companies destroy forests and peatlands. It worked - the president brought in ambitious new plans to protect Indonesian peatland. But now the big brands need to play ball.

These companies like to talk loudly about their 'no deforestation' policies. But despite promises and pledges, deforestation in Indonesia is actually getting worse. Empty promises aren’t working, because they’re not enforced on the ground. These brands have to give us real commitments, real timelines and real action against their suppliers who destroy forests and peatlands.

A forest fire in Indonesia may seem thousands of miles away, but the everyday products that cause this suffering are in our cupboards and on our bathroom shelves. Palm oil is in everything from cosmetics and shampoo to chocolate bars and breakfast cereals. It’s hard to avoid, and sustainable alternatives are so incredibly limited. The only answer is to change the entire industry. I hope I can count on you to be a part of protecting these last precious forests:

Thanks for all that you do, Victoria and the forests team"

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