Revealing the facts about palm oil to the Chinese public

Shangwen gets ready to fly © Greenpeace/Maitar

Shangwen gets ready to fly © Greenpeace/Maitar

The Forest Defenders Camp we set up last year has gone, and so too has the ancient forest.

I saw the disastrous landscape through the lens of John our photographer and the pictures he has taken. I can feel the pain of our earth and I feel pain in my heart that I couldn’t catch the last cry of the forest which once stood in the same spot where we held the banner. There is an echo in my ears: the Earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the Earth. What will be the future?

The Earth needs a voice. The forests need a voice. I believe that’s why we, Greenpeace volunteers from around the world, stood in the middle of the devastation yesterday, even though many times we’ve felt hopelessness in the depth of our hearts. We must face the truth instead of turning our back and walking away. We must make decisions and take action instead of just talking while the forests are being chopped down. We must understand this: if we can not stop deforestation immediately, we will lose the struggle against climate change.

With the disappearance of forest will go the future of our children and grandchildren. It’s not just the business of politicians, industry leaders or even environmentalists and scientists, it’s all of our business.

As a forest campaigner from Greenpeace China, I am here with three Chinese journalists, because not only do we know we’re now citizens of the global village, but also because we understand we’re part of the crime of forest destruction here in Indonesia and around the world. We know we share the responsibility for stopping the crime. China is one of the largest consumers of palm oil in the world, and most of that is imported from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Journalist Hau Feng © Greenpeace/Maitar

Journalist Hua Feng © Greenpeace/Maitar

By standing in front of this forest wall, and by witnessing these destructive crimes, we hope to bring back the urgency to the public in China. We also want to send a message to all Chinese companies using palm oil – you’re part of the problem here since your suppliers are neglecting most, if not all, environmental principles, destroying the peatland forests and setting the timer on the climate bomb. It’s time for you to take action to stop it!

I know it won’t be an easy mission. I understand most Chinese consumers even don’t know what palm oil is or what palm oil is used for. I understand the deforestation is far away from China and the carbon dioxide emitted from the land can not be seen or touched by Chinese citizens. But I won’t lose my confidence since I truly believe what Greenpeace does: taking action to make positive changes.

And I know I’m not alone. I have the whole team in Greenpeace China and people from other Greenpeace offices to fight alongside me. And more importantly, I begin to hear the voices of Chinese citizens: the live broadcasting blog on the Tian Ya website, which two of the journalists are posting to, has received over 100,000 clicks within a week and we’ve got hundreds of positive feedbacks and comments. I know they’re the people we can rely on to fight for the earth and to fight for our own future.

posted by Shangwen on board the Esperanza

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    It is encouraging to read your post in this blog, my friend. Yes, please keep up you good work to campaign against any forest destruction. The massive destruction that you have seen in Riau should be stopped.


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