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No flashlights. No red carpets. Don’t talk about fancy five-star hotel because here we don’t even have a proper toilet. But Inglourious Basterds superstar Mélanie Laurent seems like she’s really enjoying life at Greenpeace’s Climate Defenders Camp, in the heart of Indonesia’s tropical forest, Semenanjung Kampar, Riau Province.

Oct. 30, 2009 – Mélanie Laurent, who stars in Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie ‘Inglourious Basterds’, in the Indonesian Rainforest with Greenpeace speaking out against forest destruction and climate change in the lead up to the UN Copenhagen Climate Summit in December 2009. ©Will Rose/Greenpeace

“I miss my comfortable bed, though. But I really am enjoying my stay here,” said Mélanie in the middle of a sunny morning conversation.

We had just finished breakfast. Everyone was gathering in the main area of the camp. Not luxurious but we’ve got everything that we need: Coffee, milk, bread, fried rice, and friends.

About twenty activists were preparing their gear for the damming activity. They were willing and ready to pull another hard and tiring day of work. Mlanie had already prepared for the trip to Kerumutan Conservation Area to see the beauty of the untouched peatland forest on this beautiful Sunday morning.

Kerumutan is two hours by boat. I am sure Mélanie will enjoy the surroundings. But mother nature’s beauty is not always the scenery for her trip to Sumatra. Mélanie has been on this Greenpeace trip since last Friday, and she has witnessed a lot of horrible forest destruction.

On our way to Kampar Peninsula last Friday, we stopped at Pangkalan Bunut, at PT, the Arara Abadi concession area. Mélanie was just stunned seeing the massive peatland forest being destroyed by canals and being burned for land clearing.

“It’s horrible. I am really sad to see how this once beautiful forest now more looks like a war zone,” she said. She couldn’t stop capturing this massive destruction with her digital camera.

Mélanie understands that forests are the lungs of the world and shouldn’t be destroyed like that. The 26 year old actress wants that to stop, and she knows that Greenpeace’s Climate Defenders Camp is here to stop deforestation.

“I am impressed with all of Greenpeace’s efforts here. What makes me more impressed is the spirit, I’ve visited the dam-building activity and see everyone working really hard. But I’ve never seen anyone looking down, everyone was working with passion and the spirit is high.”

Through the sparks in her beautiful eyes I can see that she really meant what she said. And I believe when she said she really likes the life at the camp. Blistering heat, bugs and mosquitos can not keep her from enjoying herself. For the past two days Mélanie has mixed with all the activists and local communities at the camp. Having lunch and dinner together, sharing the beautiful scenery of Kampar River, even hanging out and singing together during night time.

“In this camp, everyone treated everybody with respect. I am glad everybody treated me the same, not as an actress. Without flashlights and public attention, I can really enjoy myself here,” Mélanie smiled.

No flashlights and no red carpet for Mélanie. Just a lot of friends who share the common interest and objective: to stop deforestation!
-Hikmat –

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