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

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  • There’s no question about it -  drought is causing serious problems for our farmers and communities.

    So what do we do about it? Dams and irrigation are often touted as the best way to deal with increasing dry spells, especially in regions with low rainfall.  But what’s actually happening is water captured for irrigation in New Zealand  isn’t just being used to help tide farms over during droughts. It’s being used to intensify farming.

    So what happens if droughts keep getting worse, and the irrigated water that allowed farms to intensify is no longer there?  We only need look to Opuha dam in Canterbury to see how this critical problem plays out.

    The Opuha dam was built in 1998 with the promise of helping farmers through the tough droughts that had been hitting Canterbury. In the summer of 2... Read more >

  • The day they blew up heaven

    Blogpost by Ruby Powell - July 25, 2016 at 14:26

    The history of hydrodams in the Amazon is riddled with corruption, human rights abuse and destruction.

    One hydrodam was built on the site the Munduruku believe their good spirits go when they die - their heaven. Seven waterfalls on the Teles Pires River were blown up and replaced by a hydrodam that was then given the same name.

    As you can imagine, the destruction of a sacred site in order to construct a hydrodam is devastating for the Munduruku, just like it would be for many of us if Cape Reinga was destroyed.

    Munduruku in the Forest near Lake Leonardo in the Amazon

    This type of careless disregard for indigenous groups is also clear when we look at the effects of the Belo Monte hydrodam on the Xingu River, a dam of similar size that’s close to the SLT hyrdodam planned for the Tapajós River.

    As a result of the Belo Monte dam, tens of thousa... Read more >

  • US ship visit: Why's John Key afraid of people-power?

    Blogpost by Russel Norman - July 22, 2016 at 14:26

    Q/ Why is John Key telling us that the US back down on visiting ships is not a victory for New Zealand’s nuclear free movement?

    A/ Because if things are to stay the same (which is how the Prime Minister likes them), it is vital that people don’t feel they have the power to change anything. Hence it’s important for him to never acknowledge that people power works.

    But people power does work. In fact it’s one of the few ways we get positive change. People power stopped the Marsden B power station, it made Antarctica a World Park, it drove  Shell out of the Arctic and ended Government logging of West Coast native forests. And people power made New Zealand nuclear free and kept it that way for 30 years and counting.

    Public rally as flotilla leaves Auckland for Moruroa to protest French nucle... Read more >

  • They murdered my mother for defending the environment — help me seek justice

    Blogpost by Salvador Edgardo Zuniga Cáceres - July 21, 2016 at 14:39

    It has been four months since the murder of environmental and Indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres, and her killers have still not been brought to justice. Instead, the violence continues – on 7 July, another activist from Berta Cáceres' organisation was abducted and killed.

    Please read this powerful message from Berta's son, Salvador Edgardo Zuniga Cáceres, and take action to seek justice on Berta's behalf.


    Berta Cáceres in 2015. © Tim Russo / Goldman Environmental Prize.Berta Cáceres in 2015. Photo by Goldman Environmental Prize. Photo Credit: Tim Russo

    In March, my mother Berta Cáceres was murdered in her own home. Her death pains me in a way I cannot describe with words.

    She was killed for defending life, for safeguarding our common goods and those of nature, which are sacred. She was killed for defending the rivers that are sources of ou... Read more >

  • Greenpeace International Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid and Greenpeace Brasil Amazon Campaign Coordinator Tica Minami meet with several Munduruku Caciques in the Amazon rainforest along the Tapajós River. 8 Jul, 2016  © Lunae Parracho / Greenpeace

    There is nothing quite like flying over the Brazilian Amazon. The forest spreads out like an endless green carpet, crisscrossed by ribbons of water, and goes on for as far as the eye can see. Banks of clouds break up the vast sky. As the green of the mighty Tapajós River comes into view, I know we’ve entered the territory of the Munduruku Indigenous People – my hosts for the coming days.

    Greenpeace is working alongside the Munduruku to push for formal recognition of their land and to halt the massive São Luiz do Tapajós (SLT) hydrodam planned for the Tapajós River, in the very heart of the Amazon. I have come to meet with the Munduruku chiefs and show our global support for the protection of the Tapajós and the rights of the Munduruku who have lived here for generations.

    The Munduruku... Read more >

  • 5 Small Things That Explain The Big Problem with Microbeads

    Blogpost by India Thorogood - July 21, 2016 at 14:13

    What's the deal with microbeads? Here's 5 things that'll explain it all in no time at all.

    1. This straight to the point cartoon:

    IB Image 

    2. This video from Story of Stuff shows the story of a microbead from production, to purchase and to our plates. Click the picture to watch:

    3. This infographic from Greenpeace Australia:

    IB Image

    4. This shocking video showing how trillions of pieces of microplastic were found in our oceans. Click to watch on Youtube

    5. This piece of research that found microplastics in sea salt:

    Read more >

  • Life on the edge with the Munduruku

    Blogpost by Ruby Powell - July 18, 2016 at 13:43

    Tapajos by night

    I've been living in a Munduruku traditional village for one week today.

    Every morning I wake up to the chorus of calls from the forest. The bird sing and rattle, the crickets chime, and the roosters crow as the light filters in through bananas palms and the mosquito net that hangs over my hammock.

    I'm in love with my new bedroom: A platform filled with hammocks that I share with 20 other Greenpeace people; it has a thatched roof and no sides.

    Breakfast is served between 7am-8am, and like all our other meals, it’s shared with the Munduruku. 

    After breakfast it’s time to do chores, and we all pitch in to keep the camp clean and comfortable. The facilities Greenpeace have built here, some of which will be left behind for the Munduruku, are impressive: Three sleeping huts, an office, a ki... Read more >

  • This week the Electricity Authority – New Zealand’s supposed power watchdog – decided it wasn’t keen on being stuck in the middle of public and private interests anymore, so it picked a side.

    Three guesses about which side it picked.

    Against a backdrop of huge public outcry, the authority ruled that a controversial move by Hawke’s Bay lines company, Unison, to charge its solar users an extra fee for choosing to use sunshine to power their homes, was not in breach of any regulations.

    What are they, vampires??

    via GIPHY

     

    To keep things “fair” it did give naughty kid Unison a mild telling off, saying the tariff (read: Tax) isn’t as clearly service-based and cost-reflective as it could be, and doesn’t offer sufficient choices to consumers.

    But really, let’s not be fair: New Zealand’s elect... Read more >

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