News and success stories
Stay in the loop with news of ongoing campaigns and successes in the fight against rainforest destruction.
Success: Mekong will remain free of dams
Inhabitants and global environmental organisations protested against eleven planned hydro-electric power plants at the lower length of the Mekong. This caused the governments of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam to concede today. The decision concerning the planned Xayaburi dam was postponed indefinitely.
La Isla Foundation - The Cost of the Epidemic
Throughout the Pacific lowlands of Central America a epidemic of unknown origin is disproportionately affecting sugar cane workers. There is no sufficient medical care available and the disease is a death sentence that cuts workers off from the ability to provide for their already struggling families.
Return to Indonesia – full of worry about what happens now
For two weeks, the rainforest defenders from Sumatra and Borneo have travelled Germany. They have specified to members of the parliament why sustainable palm oil is a lie. In Hamburg, their demonstration in front of the Unilever headquarter building has triggered big media coverage. But the company refused to acknowledge the demands of the activists and the indigenous people. “My heart is full of concern for our family”, Bidin says before his departure.
Partial success in Peru: Government lifts state of emergency in Cajamarca
The Peruvian government has lifted the state of emergency in four provinces in the region of Cajamarca in northern Peru. Thus, the government has responded to the numerous national and international protests criticising the declaration of the state of emergency and the suspension of fundamental rights associated with it.
Floating protest against Wilmar
On Thursday, December 15th, Feri, Nordin, Bidin and his family chartered a barge in order to protest against Wilmar on the Weser River. The company that cuts down the Indonesian rainforest in favour of palm oil plantations, destroys villages and supplies Unilever with palm oil, operates a palm oil refinery in Brake near Bremen.
The rainforest defenders besiege Unilever
On Wednesday, December 14th, eight human rights activists and palm oil victims start their protest action in front of the Unilever headquarter building located at Strandkai 1. Among the protesters is the family of Bidin and Ida, natives of Sumatra. Unilever’s palm oil supplier Wilmar has robbed them of their forest and destroyed their homes and lives. Now, they want their land back – and they are going to stay until Unilever meets their demands.
Interview: Eyewitness account by the Indonesian rainforest defenders
Daily news about the visit of the Indonesians:Bidin belongs to the indigenous tribe of the Suku Anak Dalam; his family is one of 41 families living in Sungai Buayan. The village is located in the middle of a palm oil plantation – its surrounding forest has been cut down in favour of monocultures. For nine years now, the natives are making efforts to reclaim their common land; Bidin leads the negotiations. Click here and watch the full interview:
Daily news about the visit of the Indonesians: “Palm oil makes us poor!“
Muhammad Rusdi, Mayor of Karang Mendapo on the island of Sumatra, has studied economics. He dispels the myth that the Indonesian economy needs to grow further for the improvement of the common good.
Daily news about the visit of the Indonesians: The Indonesians in Germany
Our visitors finally arrive at the airport in Hamburg one hour behind schedule. Even though they are tired after the long journey, they are pleased to see our welcome sign: Selamat Datang teman-teman dari Indonesia! Welcome, dear friends from Indonesia! Meanwhile, the members of Ida’s and Bidin’s family who stayed behind in the devastated village are still massively under threat. Read the full story:
On the backgrounds
For many generations, the indigenous people of Sumatra have been living in the rainforest. They have made use of it, benefited from it, and they preserved it in order to secure their children’s future. But then, the trees were cut down, a plantation was built and oil palms were planted – all for the sake of palm oil that is contained in our candles, our packet soups and our detergents.
The Indonesian delegation
The rainforest defenders are coming!
Rainforest Rescue, Robin Wood and Watch Indonesia! have invited eight activists and victims from Indonesia to come. Among them is an indigenous family from Sumatra who has lost everything due to the operations of the palm oil company Wilmar.
The Silence of Pandas – What the WWF Isn't Saying
The WWF is the largest environmental protection organisation in the world. Trust in its green projects is almost boundless. With rousing campaigns, the WWF directly targets the conscience of its donors. Multinational companies are WWF partners and help to protect the environment. What is behind of all this green propaganda?
Partial success in Sri Lanka: Dole withdraws from National Park
The Dole corporation, well known for bananas and other tropical fruit, has responded to the protests of international environmental organizations against building new plantations in a tropical forest area and elephant habitat in Sri Lanka.
Indonesia: Success Story of Our Partner Organisation
Our rainforest campaigner’s work continues bearing fruit: At the beginning of July, Nordin, from SOB, informed us that the provincial police of Central Kalimantan has initiated official investigations against ten palm oil groups.
Bolivia stops construction of road through National Park
Bolivian President Evo Morales has enacted a law (Ley Corta) that prohibits the construction of a road scheduled to run through the TIPNIS National Park.
Columbia: No Petroleum Extraction in Insular Paradise
“I want everybody to know you may rest assured there will be no petroleum extraction in our archipelago whatsoever”, Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos officially announced in his speech on 01 October 2011 on the Island of San Andrés. “In agreement with the Ministry of Environment we have decided against this kind of raw material extraction”, the President further explained, and instead promised the introduction of a conservation plan for protecting marine ecosystems.
Success: Madagascar and Panama restrict trade in ebony and rosewood
The Governments of Madagascar and Panama requested the inclusion of 91 species of tropical woods in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). To date, 175 states have become parties to this international treaty that prohibits or restricts the trade in endangered species of animals and plants worldwide.
Cameroon: Court stops deforestation
A recent judicial degree by a Cameroon court declared the planned deforestation of 30.000 hectares of rainforest close to the Korup National Park illegal. The judges stopped the activities of US investor Herakles Capital and followed the arguments of an environmetal lawyer.
Indonesia: Victims of the palm oil industry
August 10th marks the low point in a long tragic history: A special operations force unit of the police and security forces of the palm oil company Wilmar used bulldozers and guns to storm the small village of Sungai Beruang which is located in the middle of a big palm oil plantation 40.000 hectares in size.
Bolivia to halt construction on roadway
Thousands of native peoples including many women and children left their homes in the Amazonian rainforest on a peaceful march to the government palace in La Paz. The reason: The construction of a road through the rainforest is endangering both wildlife and people.
Unilever: Deforestation Award attracted a lot of attention
On Friday, September 23, Rainforest Rescue and over 30 of its supporters tried to present the "Deforestation Award" especially created for this purpose to Unilever. This action was motivated by an environmental award which Harry Brouwer, Chairman of Unilever, was supposed to receive at the Hamburg Airport.
Indonesia: Plantation Law contravenes constitution
This is a huge success for our cooperation partner in Indonesia: On September 19, 2011, the Indonesian Constitutional Court ruled that Articles 21 and 47 of the Plantation Law (Law Act No. 18) of 2004 contravene the Indonesian constitution.
Progress in Bolivia: Bolivian President agrees to meet local Indians
Since August 15, about 1,000 Bolivian Indians – women, men, children and elderly people – are on a protest march toward La Paz. In about one month they are hoping to complete their journey of about 400 miles from the rainforest to the Presidential Palace. Now the Bolivian president wants to personally receive the indigenous people as requested.
Officeworks discontinues selling PaperOne
Officeworks has taken our concerns serious and decided to discontinue procurement of PaperOne as of August 24th 2011.
Lufthansa UPDATE: Effective demonstration against first biofuel flight
On July 15th, Rettet den Regenwald (Rainforest Rescue) and more than 20 supporters demonstrated against Lufthansa's first flight with so-called biofuels on Hamburg Airport.
Allianz Global Investors and palm oil
Rettet den Regenwald (Rainforest Rescue) has met Allianz Global Investors and has agreed upon a conjointly research regarding the palmoil industry.
Activists block Grangemouth docks port to stop Forth Energy’s mad biomass plans
Members of Action Against Agrofuels blocked the two sole access roads to Grangemouth docks yesterday, in protest over Forth Energy’s plans to build a biomass (wood) burning power station at the docks. The company, which is co-owned by Forth Ports, plans to build four large biomass power stations across Scotland . Activists blocked off traffic to the entire port and fuel tankers were at a standstill. Seven protesters were arrested.
Rainforest Rescue on Facebook
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A Reprieve For The Mekong: Xayaburi Dam Delayed
On Monday, 18th April, Rainforest Rescue handed a petition with 15,000 signatures against the construction of the Xayburi Dam to the Laotian and Thai embassies in Berlin and Paris. In doing so we expressed our solidarity with local environmental organisations along the Mekong River. We demanded that the Ambassador of Laos should call on his Government to act in the interest of his country's people and environment and stop those plans.
Victory! Destructive Titanium Mine Denied Permission to Move Forward
In a huge reversal, the Cambodian prime minister has announced that a strip mine previously approved in the heart of an elephant corridor in the Southern Cardamom Mountains will not go forward.
Remonstrative Letter to WWF by the „Deutscher Naturschutzring“ (DNR)
The umbrella organization of all German environmental associations, the "Deutscher Naturschutzring" (DNR) prompts the environmental protection foundation WWF in a open letter of protest to leave the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) immediately. According to DNR, it is not acceptable to associate soy with "sustainability" and that the WWF "protects a failed system of agriculture and secures the profit of companies like Montesano and BP."
What is behind the "responsible" soy label? Detective Pig finds out
In collaboration with environmental and social rights organisations, including Rainforest Rescue, Monkeybizniz launches an animation which shows Detective Pig investigate the realities of soy labelled 'responsible'. The soy industry is not what it seems. Deforestation and toxic chemicals are being used in South America to grow soy so European cattle can be fed.
DWS pulls out of the multinational palm oil company Wilmar
According to our colleagues from Robin Wood, DWS, the Deutsche Bank fund management company, has eliminated all stock from the palm oil conglomerate Wilmar. In doing so, DWS has finally reacted to the criticism from environmental organizations like Robin Wood and Rainforest Rescue, which had called on the financial services provider to stop investing in Wilmar.
No 2 Mining in Palawan Campaign
Please, support the No 2 Mining in Palawan campaign from our friens in Palawan. Go to http://www.no2mininginpalawan.com/
Palawan Campaign: UNESCO express concern
We would like to share with all you the good news about UNESCO DG formally forwarding a letter of concern on the mining threats in Palawan to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the National Commission of the Philippines for UNESCO.
Massive UN-Supported African Palm Plantations Leading to Oppression, Kidnapping and Murder
The promise of carbon credits and free money from schemes like the U.N.-backed Clean Development Mechanism, appear to be among the causes of renewed violence.
Palm Oil in Honduras
Open Letter: UK Government must withdraw authorisation for Aguan and Lean CDM projects linked to assassinations and other human rights abuses in Honduras
Mining, indigenous rights and biodiversity - a rolling case in the Philippines
In spite of the growing outpour of international support and solidarity, it appears to be no end to the attempts of some government institutions to transform the Philippines “Last Frontier” (Palawan Island) into one of the most popular mining destinations infringing the rights of indigenous peopleand the the rules and regulations governing protected area management. Watch a video.