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

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  • New Zealand, not John Keyland

    Blogpost by Sophie Schroder - February 5, 2016 at 16:31

    The fact that TPPA protestors managed to bring Auckland’s entire CBD to a standstill yesterday is a testament to just how powerful a tool people power is.

    Even better, it shows us it’s a card we all have in our back pockets.

    While outwardly John Key was arrogant enough to dismiss the thousands upon thousands of people who descended on Central Auckland as nothing but a “rent-a-crowd”, internally it must be a cause for concern that the TPPA protests have now escalated to a level that some say has rarely been seen in New Zealand since the 1981 Springbok tour.

    Alongside the tens-of-thousands strong traditional march down Queen Street, another few thousand protestors demonstrated clever organisation and innovation by creating a peaceful “TPPA Free Zone” around Sky City Convention Centre, ... Read more >

  • After 20 years, Canada's Great Bear Rainforest gets the protection it needs

    Blogpost by Eduardo Sousa - February 3, 2016 at 16:15

    Banners on logging machines. Greenpeace activists occupy logging machines protest against clearcutting of Great Bear rainforest by Western Forest Products. 21 May, 1997 © Greenpeace / Mark Warford

    At long last, today we celebrate the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest – one of the largest remaining coastal temperate rainforests on earth.

    Greenpeace Canada began protesting against the destruction of the Great Bear Rainforest in the mid-1990s – exposing the story to the world through blockades, protests and banners. Along with other environmental organisations and Indigenous leaders, Greenpeace shined a light on the impacts of forest destruction on First Nations communities who have lived there for thousands of years and on wildlife like the rare white spirit bear. We used this spotlight to pressure logging companies and the local government to change their approach. And it worked! 

    After customers around the world threatened to cancel contracts that would cost millions and ...

    Read more >
  • The North Face and Mammut can't take PFC pollution back

    Blogpost by Mirjam Kopp - February 3, 2016 at 16:09

    Nature lovers and long-time customers across the globe are asking outdoor brands Mammut and The North Face to stop using hazardous chemicals to produce their gear.

    The past 4 days alone have seen almost 100 protests in 13 countries around the world. From Hamburg to London, and Stockholm to Hong Kong, Greenpeace volunteers and outdoor enthusiasts stood up in flagship stores to expose the toxic addiction of Mammut and The North Face.

    Detox Action in Front of a North Face Store in Budapest. 25 Jan 2016 © Bence Jardany / Greenpeace

    How are the brands responding?

    Since the release of product testing results last week, The North Face has announced that they will eliminate PFCs from apparel by 2020!

    This may look like a partial victory, but it is not enough. We can't accept hazardous chemicals in our sleeping bags, backpacks, tents, shoes and other outdoor gear either. The North Face c... Read more >

  • Answer? A fresh water crisis.

    Gone are the days of Aussies telling Kiwi sheep jokes. In the past 20 years, sheep,  pine trees and shrub have made way for more and more cows,  mostly for intensive dairying.   At the same time our lakes, rivers and aquifers are becoming more and more polluted.  

    You don’t have to be the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to put two and two together there. (Although she did do that in this report).

    5 million cows and their impact on our fresh water could easily become just another statistic if it wasn’t for everyday Kiwis willing to step up and take action to protect our waters.

    Recently shocked trampers snapped shots of cows standing in lakes and rivers in Canterbury and Otago and sent them in to the media, clearly showing just how inadequate ... Read more >

  • Great news for outdoor lovers: high performance without PFCs is possible

    Blogpost by Chiara Campione - February 2, 2016 at 10:07

    "Going PFC-free in one of the world's most extreme and challenging natural environments is possible. I can do it". This was the idea David Bacci – an Italian professional climber – submitted to us when we asked the outdoor community for ideas to make the PFC threat more visible to the public and challenge the outdoor sector to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their products. We thought it was the perfect way to show the world that PFC-free alternatives do work.

    David asked us to help him find some PFC-free gear for the challenge, so we decided to borrow some clothing from Páramo, a UK brand that doesn't use PFCs in any of its products.

    Now, a few months later, David has successfully completed two of the most intense climbing trails in the world, reaching the Patagonian peaks of Cerro ... Read more >

  • Coal is widely considered a dead industry here in New Zealand, where yonks ago we discovered the benefits of hydro dams far outweighed unprofitable, unsafe, dirty mines.

    We like to think that coal is one of those outdated things that’s still dug up and pumped out into the atmosphere elsewhere - probably in “less developed” countries than our own.  

    But the truth is, while other countries are starting to kill coal completely – just yesterday the Prime Minister of Vietnam announced the country would drop all further coal-fired power plant projects – here at home we’re trying to revive it.

    On Monday, it was revealed that several of New Zealand’s electricity industry leaders have been conducting backdoor meetings with Huntly Power Station owner Genesis Energy in an attempt to subvert an earl... Read more >

  • Hong Kong’s ivory ban just a sliver of its wildlife crime

    Blogpost by Shuk-Wah Chung - January 27, 2016 at 14:02

    It’s worth more than cocaine, diamonds, gold, or heroin. So what’s stopping the Hong Kong government from stamping out all illegal wildlife products?

    Along Hollywood Road in Hong Kong’s touristy arts district sit rows of large window shop fronts filled with exquisite handicrafts. Amongst oriental antiques and wares, are boutique stores proudly and boldly selling ivory carvings. Big-bellied Buddhas, smooth elegant horses, towering gods and goddesses – you name it and it’s likely to be in ivory form. Read more >

    Hong Kong ivory shop PHOTO CREDIT: ALEX HOFFORDPhoto: Alex Hofford (@alexhofford on Twitter)

    Hong Kong is the world’s largest market for elephant ivory. But an announcement last week by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, the head of Hong Kong’s administration, to ban the domestic ivory trade will change all that. Leung said they "will kick...

  • Hazardous chemicals found in outdoor gear

    Blogpost by Mirjam Kopp - January 26, 2016 at 7:19

    Remember in September when we asked major outdoor brands if they use PFCs to make their products?

    Product testing voting results - graphic

    Most brands had to admit that they do use PFCs. But they didn’t tell us which products they were in.  So we asked you which products you wanted tested. We got more than 30,000 votes on the Detox Outdoor website from outdoor lovers around the world, and sent the 40 most voted for to an independent lab for testing.

    The results are in. PFCs were found in all but four of the products we tested.

    In 18 items we found high concentrations of the more hazardous long-chain PFCs, even though most of the brands tested claim publicly that they are no longer using them.  We also found PFOA – a long-chain PFC that is linked to a number of health effects, including cancer – in some products by The North F...

    Read more >

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