Greenpeace activists joined by giant trees called Ents, that fans will recognise from the Lord of the Rings, have welcomed government delegates from around the world to the 9th meeting of biodiversity (SBSTTA).
At this meeting the Greenpeace team will be talking a lot about
protected areas. Many of the world's ecologically vital areas are
still not protected, and many of those that are protected on paper
are still in trouble in reality. As Christoph, a Greenpeace forests
campaigner, put it, "If protected areas are to really help protect
life in the world's forests and oceans they must be adequately
funded, well managed and must be expanded into global and
comprehensive networks recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples
and other concerned communities".
Day one - Highlight Chile
Today, along with some people in giant Ent costumes, we set up
video screens on either side of the entrance with a recorded
message from an activist in Chile at last weeks protest there. Last
Thursday, there were protests in both Toronto and Santiago de Chile
against a Canadian company named Noranda.
Noranda is a notorious polluter in Canada - where they've racked
up $1.2 million (US) in fines. Now they want to flood a huge area
of pristine wilderness in Patagonia, Chile, to build an aluminum
smelter that will emit 1.5 million tones of gaseous and solid waste
each year. Given Noranda's track record it's hard to imagine that
the environmental impact of this project would be less than
disastrous. For more on Noranda see our,
"A Life of Crime" report.
In Canada, activists
erected a giant 'dam' in front of Noranda's headquarters in
downtown Toronto. An inspirational and authentic Chilean band
strummed and fluted while the activists passed out close to 1000
leaflets detailing the Noranda's plans for Patagonia.
In Chile, the activists
arrived at Noranda's offices in green trucks with sirens as though
they are "arresting" Noranda. In the street they drew animals and
people representing what is at risk, and they "blocked" (not
totally) Noranda's main entrance while pasting up "Wanted"
See the video:
Day three - Highlight Amazon
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Today the delegates were confronted with video from the Amazon.
The Amazon is the world's largest remaining tropical forest, and is
thought to be the most diverse ecosystem on Earth, supporting
around 60,000 plant species, 1,000 bird species and more than 300
mammal species. So, it's impossible to talk about preserving
biodiversity with out talking about the Amazon.
The Amazon is also home to 20 million people, including 400
different indigenous groups. The people living in the forest make
practical and sustainable use of the forest, and live within the
constraints of this harsh environment. But as logging companies
move in, indigenous people are losing their traditional
Right now Greenpeace has a large team in the Amazon - working
with both the indigenous peoples, and Brazil's federal
See the video:
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Day four - Highlight Australia
Today it was Stefan's turn to great the delegates from the
world's highest tree sit in Tasmania, Australia. An international
team of activists have constructed a tree platform, dubbed Global
Rescue Station, 65 metres up one of the world's tallest trees. The
tree they are in is just one of many slated for logging.
Many of these trees are more than 80 metres tall, larger than a
25-storey building. They are over 400 years old and up to five
metres wide at the base. In 1996, only 13% of the original cover of
Eucalyptus regnans remained as ancient forest in Tasmania. Less
than half of that 13% is protected in national parks and other
See the video:
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Updates from the
Check back here for more tomorrow.