Greenpeace activists blocked operations of Malaysian palm oil trader IOI at Rotterdam Port, accusing it of forest destruction and child labor, but other traffic at Europe's busiest port was unaffected, a port spokesman said.
Plantation industries, such as palm oil, have been clearing rainforests and draining peatland for years, creating ideal conditions for the extensive forest fires that have ravaged Indonesia over the past two decades, says Greenpeace. Last year’s fires were catastrophic, blanketing the region in a choking smoke haze for months. Between July and October 2015, more than 2 million hectares of Indonesian forest and peatland burned, an area half the size of the Netherlands. The resulting smoke haze caused an estimated 100,300 premature deaths across southeastern Asia in 2015, a Harvard and Columbia study revealed.
Two Indonesian men, who have been directly affected by forest fires, are blocking access to the refinery with eight activists.
The 10 people are blocking IOI, one of the world's biggest producers and traders of palm oil, from accessing its refinery, and the Greenpeace ship Esperanza is preventing oil from being unloaded from incoming tankers, Greenpeace said.
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