Annual Report 2006

Publication - 25 October, 2006
Our annual report for 2006

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Executive summary: 2005 was a milestone for the planet -the year that the Kyoto Protocol finally became law. It took a long time to get here – over ten years – and it’s only the beginning of the battle, but Kyoto is about more than reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For me, one of its most exciting results is to prove that people from the diverse communities of the world are learning to work together to solve global environmental problems.

People power is the future for environmental campaigning, and this year we have had some exciting victories by using the internet to bring together people from around the world to put pressure on companies and politicians -demanding change through ´cyberactivism’. Earlier in the year, Sony Ericsson became the latest global electronics giant to announce that it will phase out toxic chemicals from its products following our online action in which thousands of ordinary people took part to pressure electronics companies to come clean.

Of course, cyberactivism is just one part of ´creative confrontation’, which can range from lobbying your local hardware store to stock only FSC® certified timber, all the way up to using high pressure hoses to disrupt the Japanese whale hunt in the Southern Ocean.They are all as important as each other, and it’s the combination of lots of these techniques which brings companies and governments to the negotiating table and brings about lasting solutions to global environmental problems.

2005 was also a time of reflection, as it marked the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. In 1985, as she was due to lead a peaceful flotilla of ships to Mururoa to protest against nuclear testing, French government agents bombed and sank the Rainbow Warrior, drowning Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira. That day is etched into the memories of everyone involved with Greenpeace and those who believe in peaceful protest, and the anniversary is a timely reminder of how some will stop at nothing to pursue their wanton destruction of the natural world, and of those who seek to protect it.

As I look through this summary of our activities across our campaigns and across the world, I am struck by the creativity, dedication, perseverance and bravery of everyone involved – from those on the high seas or standing face to face against the authorities, to those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to enable our organisation to continue its work.

I feel privileged to be involved with an organisation which has the dignity, courage and determination to continue that work, and the talent and creativity to do it successfully. I hope that in reading the following pages, you will too.

Gerd Leipold, International Executive Director

Num. pages: 33