Greenpeace activists urged Southeast Asian leaders to put global warming on the agenda of the 14th summit of the 10-nation Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) held in Thailand’s Hua Hin resort.
They hoped that the issue can be tackled alongside the global economic crisis.
Activists unfurled a banner reading: "Ten Nations - One Vision, Climate Action Now," on the back of a billboard across the street from the hotel in Cha-am.
The group argued that South-East Asia was among the most vulnerable and least prepared to cope with the impacts of global warming.
In a street protest on 1 March 2009 at the venue of the ASEAN summit, Greenpeace activists wearing masks of ASEAN heads of states and orang-utans mimicked the ceremonial hand-holding gesture of the ASEAN heads.
Greenpeace is demanding that ASEAN leaders immediately declare a moratorium on deforestation, and agree on zero deforestation in the region by 2020.
The protestors claimed that 283 million hectares of forests in the region (which has 16% of the world’s tropical forest cover) was under threat and deforestation is resulting in massive greenhouse gas emissions responsible for runaway climate change.
They are also lobbying ASEAN to support the call for industrialized countries to provide at least €30 billion annually to halt deforestation.
Greenpeace pointed out that tropical forests keep climate in check, regulate water flow, and maintain the healthy ecosystems on which humanity depends. Forests contain half of all life on earth and up to 150 million indigenous people.
Earthtimes, "Greenpeace urges South-East Asian leaders to discuss climate change" dated 27 Feb 2009 in the Earthtimes website [downloaded on 9 March 2009], available at http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/257668,greenpeace-urges-south-ea...
Greenpeace, "Greenpeace: protection of ASEAN forests can deter climate change" dated 1 March 2009 in the Greenpeace Southeast Asia website [downloaded on 9 March 2009], available at http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/en/news/asean-save-forests-for-climate