Clarification on Leonardo DiCaprio’s Allegedly Black Campaign Against Palm Oil in Indonesia

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(kiri ke kanan): Chairperson Yayasan Hutan, Alam dan Lingkungan Aceh (HAkA) Farwiza Farhan, Penasihat Forum Konservasi Leuser (FKL) Rudi Putra dan Aktor Leonardo DiCaprio berfoto bersama dengan diapit sepasang gajah sumatera di kawasan Taman Nasional Gunung Leuser, Minggu (27/03/2016) lalu. Foto: Ist.

Jakarta (Greeners) – Actor Leonardo DiCaprio was reported to be facing deportation from Director General of Immigration of Legal and Human Rights Ministry, Ronny F. Sompie, a few days earlier.

It came after the immigration office suspected Leonardo was conducting black campaign attacking palm oil plantation while he visited Leuser National Park, Aceh, on Sunday (27/3).

Rudi Putra, Leuser Conservation Forum Advisor, clarified the news stating that the Best Actor of 2016 Oscar came as a tourist to the site.

DiCaprio went to see elephants in East Aceh, orangutan quarantine in North Sumatra and Ketambe Research Station in Southeast Aceh.

“He did not go to other places. Only those places,” said Rudi who accompanied Dicaprio during his short visit to the national park.

On black campaign against palm oil companies, Rudi argued that it was public knowledge that oil palm plantations expansions have been ravaging what’s left of Indonesian forests.

The evidences, he added, can be seen in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua where forests have been converted into oil palm plantation, either legally or illegally.

“The government cannot hide that fact. It is not just Leonardo but lots of people have been voicing the same concern. This is not black campaign but it is what happens,” he said.

Furthermore, Rudi underlined that it did not mean that they were anti oil palm. However, people, NGOs, and Leonardo hoped that oil palm would not destroy forest and its ecosystems. The situation, he added, was critical in Leuser National Park and needed to be saved.

“I don’t know what the government official is thinking. To compare oil palm against other vegetable oils is not even worth the try. I think with abundant production, Indonesia can start build the industry not instead of land expansion to fulfill CPO export,” he said.

Previously, Ronny F Sompie stated that Leonardo DiCaprio had issued statement which discredited Indonesia’s government and subjected to be deported as he was still in the country and the immigration had the right to deport him.

Ronny said that the deportation was in accordance with the 2011 Law on Immigration.

DiCaprio arrived at Kualanamu Airport from Japan, on Saturday (26/3), around 6.45 am using private jet. At 10 am, DiCaprio and his group flew to Leuser National Park with helicopter. He returned to Medan and stayed at JW Marriott Hotel. At 5.05 pm, the group left Kualanamu Airport for Palau.

On his Instagram account, DiCaprio wrote his disappointment with oil palm plantation expansion resulted in forest damages and threatened endangered animals existence, such as Sumatran elephant.

His statement received protest from Acehnese oil palm bussinesman, Asmar Arsyad.

“Leonardo hit the wrong target. He ought to campaign for environment in the Amazon forest against soy plantation,” he said.

Report by Danny Kosasih