Daily blogs from the frontlines of the Greenpeace planet down under. 

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  • Toxic Rena oil washes ashore

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - October 12, 2011 at 16:45

    Photo: APN

    It has now been seven days since the container ship Rena struck and stranded itself on the Astrolabe reef, just off the coast of Tauranga and the situation continues to worsen. The vessel is carrying 1700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, of which it was initially estimated 30 tonnes had been spilled in to the sea. The media now reporting that between 130 - 350 tonnes of oil spilled from the stricken shift overnight.  

    As the slick pours from the stricken vessel, oiled seabirds are starting to wash up on the beaches, with more oiled birds spotted in the water, and local residents are reporting that highly toxic oil globules are washing ashore at Mt Maunganui, one of the country's most popular beaches.

    The Government has declared that the spill has the potential to be New Zealand's worst... Read more >

  • Rena oil spill an unfortunate lesson

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - October 7, 2011 at 18:40

    Photo by APN

    The Container ship Rena inexplicably crashed into the Astrolabe Reef, about seven kilometres north of Motiti Island, near Tauranga early on Wednesday. It is carrying 1700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, some of which has already started to leak into the sea.

    Since then, fears of a potential environment disaster have grown as the leaking oil has spread threatening wildlife, including whales, birds and seals. Indeed, Environment Minister Nick Smith was quoted as saying that the spill from the ship "had the potential to be New Zealand's most significant maritime pollution disaster in decades”. This is very disturbing news.

    Oiled seabirds have already been found dead close to the Rena and more birds have been spotted in the water, covered in oil. It is also potentially disastrous for th... Read more >

  • "We are people already sold" say voices from African rainforests

    Blogpost by Susanne Breitkopf, Greenpeace International - October 7, 2011 at 10:00

    Approximately 40 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo depend on the rainforest for their basic needs, such as medicine, food or shelter. In this image a local fisherman guides his boat through the waters of Lac Tumba (Lake Tumba). The lake area was identified by the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) as a priority region for conservation. Expansion of logging into remaining areas of intact forests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will destroy globally critical carbon reserves and impact biodiversity. Beyond environmental impacts, logging in the region exacerbates poverty and leads to social conflicts. Image: Philip Reynaers

    Alphonse Muhindo and Silas Siakor have traveled all the way to Washington DC from the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo a... Read more >

  • Today, toy giant Mattel, the company behind Barbie, announced that it will stop buying paper and packaging linked to rainforest destruction.

    The move follows a Greenpeace investigation which revealed that packaging for Mattel toys was being produced using timber from the rainforests of Indonesia, home to endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger. We launched a global campaign to pressure the toy maker into mending its ways - and thanks to your support it has worked!

    From today Mattel is instructing its suppliers to avoid wood fibre from companies “that are known to be involved in deforestation”. One of these companies is notorious rainforest destroyer Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which Greenpeace investigations have shown to be involved in widespread rainforest clearance in Indonesia.... Read more >

  • Success: Barbie and Mattel drop deforestation!

    Blogpost by Laura Kenyon, Greenpeace International - October 6, 2011 at 12:09

    We all know that break ups are hard. Especially when they involve secrets – like the shameful secret that broke up Barbie and Ken back in June: she had destroyed rainforest in her toy packaging. Her manufacturer, Mattel, was using products from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a pulp and paper company notorious for destroying Indonesian rainforests, including the habitat of the endangered Sumatran tiger. Ken was understandably distraught.

    It wasn’t pretty. But all the drama that followed: Ken’s shocking interview, a public Twitter feud between the former couple, inappropriate photos of Barbie with a chainsaw, over 500,000 emails sent by you to Mattel – all of it has a silver lining. It helped bring the continuing destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests for pulp and paper out into the open and f... Read more >

  • Ending pirate fishing for the future of the Pacific

    Blogpost by Lagi Toribau, Greenpeace Australia Pacific - October 5, 2011 at 12:59


    Pohnpei is a beautiful tropical island in the middle of the Central Pacific, the largest and most populated island of the Federated States of Micronesia. Much to its green lush beauty is down to the rain that falls every day and the amount of which tops almost every other place on the planet . It is also at the heart of the biggest tuna fishing ground in the world, the West and Central Pacific from where almost 60% of the world’s favorite fish comes from Just yesterday, there were seven massive carrier vessels here receiving tuna from purse seiners from fishing powers such as Korea, Taiwan and the USA.

    So there I was, thinking the local fish market would be full of locally caught fish and that the local fishermen would be coming in every day with their line caught catches. I was wro... Read more >

  • Bearing witness to the threatened beauty of Indonesian rainforests

    Blogpost by Cakra Prathama, Greenpeace Indonesia - October 4, 2011 at 11:34

    "For ten days now we have been touring Sumatra to bear witness to the true state of Indonesia’s rainforests - and everywhere we go we see forest destruction. It’s distressing, but at the same time it drives us to keep fighting against deforestation, like that caused by the creation of industrial plantations for pulp and paper by companies like Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). My name is Cakra, I am one of the ‘tiger’s eye’ activists participating in the tour, and although it is tiring, our desire to protect Indonesian rainforests keeps us going.

    This week we travelled to Tesso Nilo National Park, one of the last remaining natural forests in Sumatra, but its existence is under threat. I’ve been imagining the beauty and biodiversity of our rainforests and hoping to see some of it at Tesso Nilo... Read more >

  • 2011 Green Game Changers

    Blogpost by Kumi Naidoo - October 3, 2011 at 12:04

    The Huffington Post has been kind enough to include me in their list of game changers for 2011. It really is an honour to see myself in the company of such amazing and inspiring people – all of whom are doing fantastic work.

    While all of the nominees deserve to be recognised, there is one I would single out, and that is Tim DeChristopher.

    The creativity of Tim’s peaceful protest, the honourable nature of his actions and the courage of conviction he displayed in the face of grossly disproportionate punishment serve as an inspiration to the entire environmental movement.

    Tim and others like him around the world who are taking direct peaceful action to stand up for a better future are the ones making that future a reality. For that reason, my personal vote goes to Tim.

      Read more >

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