This message comes from Africa, the continent of considerable economic progress and some of the top emerging economies. The continent that is also highly vulnerable to climate change, despite being home to some of the most beautiful ecosystems, and richest natural resources on our planet.
This message comes from Senegal, a country on the West African coast, where, in 2012, the very same Arctic Sunrise blew the lid off illegal fishing activities by foreign fleets, that were depleting our fish stocks and affecting the livelihoods of millions. The bold actions by the crew of the Arctic Sunrise then led to the President of Senegal cancelling 29 fishing licenses that had been given to foreign fleets. That was as a direct result of Greenpeace's bold action, welcomed by those that depend on these natural resources to survive.
In Senegal, the fleets responsible for such illegal activity in foreign waters were allowed to return home and our government responded humanely and benevolently. In Russia, the Arctic Sunrise and its crew were arrested and detained for exposing the crimes being committed against the global environment that we all share.
This simple act, currently borne by few, should be carried by millions, fighting against oil drilling in the Arctic.
The Arctic 30 should all be incredibly proud to be the voice and ambassadors for all those that are unable to be heard because they are silenced by the effects of these fossil fuel based economies. What more noble cause can there be to fight for the lives of not just the billions alive on the planet today, but the billions to come?
Serving as environmental “warriors”, their actions are supported across the world. Here in Dakar, we also stood in solidarity with the 262 other cities on November 16th to say “we are with you” and in recognition of you, Arctic 30, in your bravery and courage as the fighters for a better future for us all.
From my memory, it seems that there have never been so many leaders, high-profile persons and followers speaking out and denouncing these actions against our very own global, environmental warriors.
Know that your actions mattered, still matter and will always matter. Millions are in support, but if the billions knew and understood the importance of your action, they too would stand in support.
So thank you for being courageous. Thank you for being daring. Thank you for speaking out for the voiceless!
Masse LÔ lives in Senegal and is a member of the Greenpeace International Board.