Greenpeace Blocks Chinese Logging Ship from Leaving Papua New Guinea

By MarEx 2011-10-24 10:41:56

Greenpeace activists have blockaded a Chinese ship carrying logs from leaving a lagoon in the village of West Pomio where it is docked. The environmental group claims that the logs onboard were illegally obtained by the Malayasian owned company Rimbunan Hijau (RH) and its subsidiary, Gilford Limited.

Some 200 landowners have gathered near the Chinese vessel, Fu Tian, to protest the logging activities. Greenpeace activists arrived onboard the Esperanza to rally the protesters. Members of Greenpeace painted “Stop the Land Grab” on the side of the Hong Kong flagged-Fu Tian early Monday morning.

Greenpeace leaders say they’re trying to delay the ships arrival in China. According to Greenpeace, the ship was carrying more than 4,000 cubic meters of logs from the West Pomio – on what would be its eighth trip this year, defying a government issued order by the former acting Prime Minister, Sam Abal.

RH released a statement on Monday, saying the environmental group was obstructing a palm oil project and “There is no justification for Greenpeace’s actions…”

RH’s corporate policy manager Axel Wilhelm, says the project is supported by a majority of the landowners in the West Pomio area.

Pomio’s police commander says that, Greenpeace, known for their often extreme protests, is breaking the law because the group did not seek permission for the protest from the provincial police commander.

On Sunday, an armed team of police were denied a request to board the Esperanza and as of Monday, the protest ship remains in place. 

View Greenpeace photos of the protest here