Hands off the rainforest, Mr. “Climate President”!

Two farmers look toward a clearing to be planted with oil palms. Rainforests are being cleared on a large scale for oil palm plantations in Peru (photo: Mathias Rittgerott, Rainforest Rescue) (© RdR)

Berlin – The host of the UN climate conference in Lima, Peru’s President Ollanta Humala Tasso, is preparing to leave a legacy of deforestation and environmental destruction. He will soon be signing a law that will let commercial interests run roughshod over the country’s rainforest. “Humala pontificates about climate protection while opening the floodgates to wholesale clear-cutting and resource exploitation,” notes Reinhard Behrend of Rainforest Rescue, an NGO based in Hamburg, Germany. “As the host of the UN climate summit in December, he must put an end to his country’s destruction of the rainforest immediately. You can’t make progress on climate change to the sound of chainsaws!”

Vast swathes of rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon are being clear-cut for oil palm plantations, as NASA satellite images document. “The rainforest dwellers are locked in a bitter struggle for their land. The clearings are eating deeper into the forests every day,” explains Angelika Kotzur, a German living in the Amazon region who has witnessed the destruction firsthand: “When it comes to land grabbing, the plantation companies don’t have any scruples.”

Demonstration: July 14, 1:30 pm, Pariser Platz, Berlin

The proposed law 3627/2013-PE would further endanger Peruvian rainforests by impeding the designation of conservation areas, lowering environmental standards, altering the protocols and timeframes for environmental impact assessments and curtailing the powers of the Ministry of Environment. 107 environmental organizations from around the world have called on the Peruvian president in an open letter not to sign the draft into law.

Ollanta Humala Tasso will be taking part in the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin. Rainforest Rescue environmentalists will be protesting the destruction of the Peruvian rainforest in front of the conference venue at Pariser Platz on July 14 from 1:30 pm onward. More than 137,000 supporters have signed Rainforest Rescue’s petition against rampant deforestation in Peru.

Notes for journalists:

Demonstration in Berlin: July 14, 1:30 pm, Pariser Platz (central island), Berlin

Please contact us for images from Peru: Kathrin Heidtmann, +49 40 41038047

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Rainforest Rescue (Rettet den Regenwald e.V.)
Jupiterweg 15
22391 Hamburg, Germany

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