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

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  • Why Piss is the Problem With Industrial Dairying in New Zealand

    Blogpost by Gen Toop - May 2, 2016 at 14:23

    It’s pretty obvious that letting cows wander into waterways, collapsing stream banks and defecating in the water is not good for our rivers.

    But the most serious freshwater health issue facing NZ’s waterways still involves cows but is much less obvious and there’s no amount of fencing or streamside planting that can deal with it.

    It’s cow urine.

    Cow urine is full of nitrogen. Nitrogen in small quantities can be taken up by plants and used to grow. But dairy cows urinate, a lot and in the same spot.

    The plants receiving this huge load of cow urine from an overstocked, intensive dairy farm can’t use it all up so the nitrogen either runs off into waterways or leaches through the soil and gets into the groundwater.

    From the groundwater it either rears its ugly head back in rivers or sink... Read more >

  • Lights, camera, direct action: 6 times Emma Thompson spoke up for the planet

    Blogpost by Danielle Boobyer - April 28, 2016 at 10:11
    Emma and Sophie Thompson jump over a fence
    All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

    Today Emma Thompson and her sister Sophie are occupying a fracking site. The actors are using whisks, spoons & cake to challenge fracking with their unusual protest - the Frack Free Bake Off.

    Emma’s no stranger to speaking up for our planet. From marching for climate justice to protesting outside Shell's HQ with a giant polar bear puppet, this is one actor who's not afraid of direct action.

    Here's six moments when Emma took action on environmental issues.

    1. The time Emma teamed up with a giant polar bear to stop Shell

    Emma joined Aurora - the huge polar bear puppet - and over 60 activists outside Shell’s London HQ last September, to send a message to the oil company’s CEO to put an end to Arctic drilling.

    One badas... Read more >

  • Munduruku Indigenous leaders participate in General Electric’s (GE) Annual General Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida. 27 Apr, 2016, © Fran Ruchalski / Greenpeace

    Today, Munduruku Indigenous representatives and activists traveled thousands of kilometres from the heart of the Brazilian Amazon to the annual shareholder’s meeting of General Electric (GE) in the United States. Their goal: to confront the company on its involvement in destructive hydroelectric mega dams in the Amazon.

    The Munduruku are fighting a massive hydroelectric project – the São Luiz do Tapajós mega dam – along the Tapajós River in the Amazon Rainforest that would displace entire villages and destroy livelihoods. As Munduruku leader Adalto Jair Munduruku explains, “We journeyed here to speak to the leadership of GE and meet those that would consider profiting off the displacement of thousands of people from our traditional lands against our will, destroying our natural environ...

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  • Ecological Farming - Farming for the Future

    Blogpost by Gen Toop - April 27, 2016 at 9:26

    Industrial dairying is failing. It’s failing people who want to swim in clean rivers, its failing our tourism industry, it’s failing our climate, and it’s failing farmers.

    The good news is that there are alternative ways to produce food that are not only better for our rivers, and the environment, but also good for farmers' bottom lines.

    We are not saying "stop farming"; rather we're advocating a win-win way forward. It's called ecological farming, sometimes known as smart farming.

    Ecological farming works with and not against natural ecosystems.  Protecting and using these natural systems to improve soil and water health, help control weeds, pests and diseases and create resilience through biodiversity.  

    This in turn leads to healthy livestock, healthy crops, and healthy bottom li... Read more >

  • How birdwatching helps stop Thai Union's ocean destruction

    Blogpost by François Chartier - April 27, 2016 at 7:45

    "I have a visual at two o'clock!" We rush to the 'monkey island', the highest platform of the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, where watchers scan the ocean from sunrise to sunset. The ship changes course and heads towards the small floating construction of bamboo, nets and buoys. It's day four of our expedition and our third catch.

    Greenpeace campaigner searches for FADs (Fish Aggregation Devices) on the ship's monkey nest. 17 Apr, 2016 © Will Rose / GreenpeaceA Greenpeace campaigner scans the horizon for fish aggregating devices from the monkey nest of Greenpeace ship Esperanza.

    The 'catch' we're after are marine snares called FADs – fish aggregating devices – used by the fishing industry. Fish congregate under floating objects and these simple, handmade rafts attract schools of tuna. But scores of other marine species, including sharks, are also drawn by the rafts and the small ecosystem growing beneath. These animals m...

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  • Chernobyl's children of hope

    Blogpost by Andrey Allakhverdov - April 26, 2016 at 10:22

    The word nadeshda means hope in Russian. The Nadesha rehabilitation centre was founded to give hope to children living in towns and villages contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster.

    Nadeshda Chernobyl Recreation and Rehabilitation Centre in Belarus. 2 Apr, 2016 © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace

    Thousands of children across Belarus have been robbed of a healthy childhood. Their food and playgrounds are contaminated. Their health weakened by radiation.

    Nadeshda Chernobyl Recreation and Rehabilitation Centre in Belarus. 2 Apr, 2016 © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace

    At Nadeshda I meet Elena Solovyeva, a teacher from the heavily contaminated Mogilev region, who has brought her class to the centre. She tells me that around 40% of her students have health problems: asthma, diabetes and cancer or weak immune, respiratory and digestive systems.

    Nadeshda Chernobyl Recreation and Rehabilitation Centre in Belarus. 2 Apr, 2016 © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace

    "We explain to the kids where their problems come from. They get it. We breathe contaminated air, we eat contaminated food… You never get used to it, but it is almost impo... Read more >

  • When palm oil companies get banned, are they willing to change?

    Blogpost by Kiki Taufik - April 26, 2016 at 10:19

    As Indonesia's president announces a temporary ban on palm oil development, one of the world's biggest palm oil traders faces a customer revolt over its deforestation in Borneo… and it could lead to some big wins for forest protection.

    Remnant forest beside artificial drainage and recent plantation development in IOI's PT Bumi Sawit Sejahtera oil palm concessionRemnant forest beside artificial drainage and recent plantation development in IOI's PT Bumi Sawit Sejahtera oil palm concession.

    Earlier this month [PDF], the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) finally took action on palm oil company IOI, suspending its certification because it was destroying rainforests in Borneo. Now the destructive company can no longer claim its palm oil is "sustainable".

    IOI is huge: it supplies palm oil to over 300 companies, including the household brands whose products line our supermarket shelves. It's also hugely destru... Read more >

  • EU bows to US pressure to open door to new GMOs

    Blogpost by Franziska Achterberg - April 26, 2016 at 10:14

    People in Europe have massively rejected GMOs, and our governments have started to ban their cultivation, but agro­chemical companies have cooked up a new way to get GMOs onto the European market. They are claiming that GMOs which are produced through a range of new techniques ­aren’t in fact GMOs.

    Marking out undeclared GMO maize. 05/09/2007 © Greenpeace / Vincent Rok

    Don't let unlabelled or untested GMOs in through the back door.

    If the companies get their way, GM plants and animals could soon end up on our fields and on our dinner table without any safety testing or labelling - and without any way to ban them. And we wouldn’t even know! European law requires that GMOs undergo a detailed assessment of health and environmental risks, as well as labelling, to allow consumer choice.

    The European Commission said that it would publish a legal opinion to tel... Read more >

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