Elephants take Thai Buddhist monks to bless the Greenpeace Chang(e) Caravan.
Chang for Change
The Chang(e) Caravan, was launched at a colourful ceremony on
the outskirts of Khao Yai National Park, a UNESCO world heritage
site, and one of the last refuges of the Asian elephant. Chang,
Thai for Asian elephant, is facing imminent extinction due to loss
of forest cover. When an elephant's habitat is gone, it's gone:
they can't just pack their trunks and move.
"Southeast Asia is one of the most vulnerable and least prepared
regions to cope with the impacts of climate change. Likewise, the
Elephant, along with almost 20 percent of world's biodiversity
in the region, is severely threatened by relentless deforestation
which in turn magnifies climate change impacts," said Von
Hernandez, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
"Unfortunately despite the science and the obvious signs, world
leaders are reluctant - even unwilling - to act. It is time for
President Obama to take responsibility and deliver on the change he
promised. He has a second chance to make history again. And that
opportunity could be the United Nations General Assembly meeting in
New York on September 22," he added.
Chang(e) all over Thailand
The Chang(e) Caravan, led by elephants rehabilitated by the
Thai Elephant Research and Conservation Fund (TERF), is a TckTckTck initiative. Tck Tck Tck
involves a growing number of organisations mobilising civil society
and galvanising public opinion in support of profound change and
rapid action to save the planet from the devastation effects of
The 15-day journey, a people's caravan for change, will traverse
the vast Central Plains of Thailand, from Khao Yai National Park to
the outskirts of Bangkok. The city is the venue of a crucial UNFCCC
(United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change) meeting
ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit in December.
View Chang(e) Caravan
(English) in a larger map
The elephant in the room
"Time is running out. A strong climate treaty will not only
reverse the march of dangerous climate change - it will also help
us tackle the world's most urgent issues - energy security, food
security, water security and protection of our last remaining hope,
biodiversity on planet Earth," said Tara Buakamsri, campaign
manager of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
Deforestation is responsible for about 20 percent of greenhouse
gas emissions - and that is the real elephant in the room. The
plight of the Asian Elephant is the plight of the rest of the
If developed countries do not help developping countries to face
the challenges raised by climate change, this might be the end
for one of the world's biggest mammals.
"Protecting the elephant by protecting its forest home means
protecting the entire ecosystem on which the entire human species
is also dependent. Developing countries are in urgent need of
assistance and aid from developed countries to stop deforestation.
However, they must also strictly enforce national laws to protect
the elephants and their forest habitat," said Alongkot Chukaew,
Executive Director of TERF.
Latest scientific research shows catastrophic climate impacts
can be averted by reducing global greenhouse gas emissions after
2015 in order to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees
Celsius. Greenpeace is urging developed countries, as a group, to
cut emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
Deforestation, one of the main contributors to climate change, must
stop by 2020.
Global leaders hold the fate of the Asian elephant in their hands. Ask them to go to Copenhagen and sign a fair, ambitious, and binding deal.
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