Greenpeace's newest ship, Esperanza, and flagship, Rainbow Warrior, joined forces today off the coast of the Netherlands to block the harbour and stop ancient forest timber from entering the port of Flushing.
Greenpeace activists boarding the MV Balaban 1, a ship delivering illegally logged Amazon wood.
The Rainbow Warrior and the Esperanza entered the harbour with
the Balaban I close behind. Ten Greenpeace inflatables were in the
water. As the Balaban I approached, several Greenpeace climbers
were able to board her. Meanwhile a tug boat was attempting to
attach a bow line but was delayed by Greenpeace inflatables.
The Turkish flaged ship 'Balaban 1´ is carrying 4,000 cubic
metres of wood from the Amazon rainforest. As the ship neared the
harbour, its crew used fire hoses to spray water on the six
Greenpeace activists who were attempting to board the vessel.
The two Greenpeace ships then blocked the timber ship´s intended
berth while the six activists boarded it and unfurled two banners,
one displaying the Dutch and Brazilian flags, urging those and
other governments meeting in the Hague, to "Act Now" to save the
World governments meeting at the Ancient Forests Summit this
week have made no progress towards agreeing to protect the world's
ancient forests. Today's Greenpeace action exposes the need for
international cooperation to save ancient forests.
Just two days ago Greenpeace activists were arrested in Miama
attempting to stop yet another ship carrying illegal timber from
As the world's ancient forests continue to be destroyed, Brazil
and the Netherlands, in particular, seem to be uninterested in
taking leadership at the Ancient Forest Summit. The Netherlands,
hosting the Summit in the Hague, is not controlling the importation
of illegal timber and is not showing the leadership that is
required to make the negotiations on ancient forests a success.
The Brazilian government recently announced that it will
continue to eradicate illegal logging of mahogany. However, it is
not clear who defines the Brazilian position, the President or the
Brazilian delegation in the Hague.
In the negotiations this past week, Brazilian delegates have
been strongly opposing the prioritisation of ancient forests
protection, and refusing to take immediate action on combating
illegal logging and related trade. Without international
cooperation, markets around the world will continue to accept
timber from illegal and destructive logging, fuelling the crisis in
the world's last remaining ancient forests.