Year in Review 2011

Standard Page - 16 December, 2011
What a year! While global ecosystems were once again pushed to their limits, you helped us fight against the odds and carry out vital work defending our beautiful planet. Thank you for your passion, dedication and friendship. We look forward to an even brighter 2012.

Watch this video for a special message from some furry and flippered friends:

2011 Highlights

Without healthy air, oceans, forests, food and farming our planet couldn’t exist. We campaigned for a worldwide shift from polluting to renewable energies; to defend marine ecosystems from destructive fishing, drilling and mining; to protect the world’s last remaining forests and for agriculture that is good for the planet and for us.

January

The year began on a high when the fruits of a huge win came into place. At the stroke of midnight, a massive 4.5 million sq km in the Pacific Ocean closes to destructive purse seine fishing. More

Yet the summer was marred by the devastation of extreme weather events across the globe and back home, including floods that tore apart Queensland communities. We document the destruction and increase political pressure for strong climate action. More

For the first time, we confront the Taiwanese fishing industry – one of the biggest in the world – for destructive and illegal fishing operations. It marks the beginning of more campaigning in East Asia for ocean protection. More

February

Our campaign targeting Indonesia’s worst forest destroyer, Sinar Mas, celebrates a ground-breaking commitment. Its palm oil arm, Golden Agri-Resources, announces a plan to end its role in forest destruction. This follows our work convincing its clients like Nestlé and Unilever to end their contracts. More

Lu Guang, a photographer commissioned by Greenpeace China, won a prize at the World Press Photo awards – the world’s most prestigious photojournalism competition – for our coverage of the Dalian oil spill. More

March

 With Murray Cook from the Wiggles, we launch our latest Truefood Guide – this time it is a special kids’ edition. For the first time, Kelloggs, Snackbrands Australia (think CC's, Cheezels and Thins) and Aussie pantry favourite SPC (Goulburn Valley, IXL, and Ardmona) make GM-free commitments. More

Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, we conduct independent radiation testing both on land and at sea throughout the year, pressure the government to increase its relief effort and provide citizens with radiation testing kits and seafood guides. More

April

On the 25th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear accident – Chernobyl – we conduct radiation monitoring in nearby surroundings. The results demonstrate that the land and communities remain unsafe. In honour of victims of Fukushima and Chernobyl, we hold vigils around the world. More

May

ANZ – the biggest financer of Australia’s coal industry – comes under sustained pressure, as activists and volunteers across the nation take action outside bank branches. The bank announces it is reviewing its policy investing in ‘sensitive sectors’ such as energy. More

Voices around the world oppose nuclear power – and many governments listen. Germany rules out nuclear power by 2022 and Greenpeace Italy mobilises 23 million people to vote against nuclear power on a referendum. More

Activists on board Greenpeace ships expose the dangers of oil drilling in the Arctic. They suspend Cairn Energy’s drilling operations and force the release of the company’s secret oil spill response plan, which experts derided as completely inadequate. Cairn later returns home with no oil. More

June

Greenpeace joins with environmental and community groups for the Say Yes Australia campaign, to support a price on pollution and counter the climate naysayers. Hundreds of thousands of Australians attend rallies, sign petitions, call their MPs and distribute info. More

Our investigations reveal that the toy industry is using packaging that comes from rainforest destruction. We launch our campaign, urging the biggest toy company, Mattel, and others to stop working with forest destroyer Asia Pulp and Paper. More

After a 10 year court battle against one of the worst logging companies in Papua New Guinea, landowners in Western Province celebrate an overdue victory - they are finally compensated. More

July

Our investigations reveal that a development site in Sydney, Central Park, uses illegal timber from Borneo. Activists take action at the site and campaigners lobby the government to bring in strong illegal timber laws. The developers stop using the illegal timber and agree to audit all timber. More

Our report and activities reveal the controversies surrounding the genetically modified (GM) wheat trials in Australia. The ill-considered health, environmental and economic risks are exposed as well as the vested commercial interests driving the research. More

John West becomes the last major player in the UK tuna industry to commit to only using sustainably-caught tuna. A huge win for our oceans. More

Lego is the first of the toy companies to rule out using forest destruction for its packaging. More

August

We launch our third ranking of Australia’s canned tuna industry – which results in huge improvements. The first Aussie company agrees to go 100% sustainable (Safcol) and other major brands release new sustainable options (Coles, Woolworths & Aldi). More

After 52 years in action, our beloved Rainbow Warrior II is retired. We hand her over to a Bangladesh based NGO which will use it as a hospital ship, bringing medical attention to some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. More

September

Metcash (owner of IGA supermarkets) ends its contract with Asia Pulp & Paper after we reveal that its toilet paper was coming from destroyed tiger habitat. It is a big blow to APP as Metcash was its biggest Australian company. More

Scientists on board Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise research Arctic ice levels and discover that the sea ice had shrunk to one of the lowest levels ever on record. More

After we reveal the devastation clothing manufacturers are causing to China’s waterways, our campaign claims three huge scalps. Nike, Adidas and Puma all agree to eliminate all discharges of toxic chemicals in their supply chains. More

October

 Mattel meets our campaign demands! The biggest toy company agrees to stop working with forest destroyer Asia Pulp and Paper for its packaging. This adds to a long list of companies taking responsibility for where they source their supplies. More

We work with local communities to expose Papua New Guinea’s biggest ever land grab. Under a scandalous new scheme, logging and agricultural companies are clearing forest land, which is set to wipe out 20% of PNG’s remaining forests. Cases are now under investigation. More

After the Rena ship oil spill in New Zealand, we help with the clean-up, document the damage and call on the NZ Government to end its plans to open up NZ’s coast for oil drilling. More

Our sparkly new, environmentally-friendly Rainbow Warrior sets sail! And it doesn’t take long until she confronts her first environmental criminal. More

November

The Esperanza and crew continue its three month patrol of the Pacific Ocean, documenting and taking action against destructive and illegal fishing operators. The crew catch a pirate fishing vessel stealing tuna from international waters, document the slaughter of sharks, swordfish and other bycatch and confiscate deadly fish aggregating devices. The evidence will be used to call for strong conservation measures. More

 The Say Yes Australia team celebrates as a price on pollution is voted through parliament. More

We begin our work with Australian farmers and communities who have had their land contaminated with genetically modified (GM) crops and lobby for Farmers Protection Legislation. More

December

Bakers Delight makes a new promise not to use genetically modified wheat in the future, addressing consumer concerns about its weak GM policy. This commitment is important as the labelling review fails to improve GM labelling laws, leaving consumers to eat in the dark. More

Under pressure, ANZ makes a new policy on financing new coal power stations. It still isn’t quite good enough so our activities ramp up at ANZ’s AGM. More

 At the UN climate change meetings, governments choose to listen to the polluters and not the people as they fail to make strong climate commitments. Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo is expelled from the meetings as he joins thousands of outraged protesters. More

The year ends with a big win! Facebook pledges to switch from coal to renewable energy following our 18 month international campaign. More

Thank you again for giving our earth the voice it deserves!

2011 Year in Review on Dipity.