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

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  • Shark-finning fines add to spotlight on Taiwan's ocean destruction

    Blogpost by Lagi Toribau - February 20, 2012 at 9:06

    Late last year, while I was onboard the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, we discovered a Taiwanese ship, the Sheng Chi Hui Number 7, catching and finning sharks in Palauan waters. This is a sad, destructive and unfortunately widespread practice in the Pacific Ocean: sharks are caught, their fins cut off and the bodies thrown back into the ocean, left to die. Millions of sharks are caught for their fins every year in this way for making shark fin soup, an expensive delicacy served mostly in Asian nations.

    For over ten years, I have been working in the Pacific region to unify the Pacific island governments to protect our oceans- a key source of food and jobs for our communities. We’ve made a lot of progress in bringing Pacific communities together in recent years, convincing governments to... Read more >

  • Brewing climate friendly tea in the garden

    Blogpost by Iza Kruszewska - February 17, 2012 at 9:12

    Sustinable agriculture

    Recently, when I was attending my local community seed swop in rural Lewes in East Sussex, in England, I came across an allegedly environmentally friendly version of charcoal called biochar, which the industry mouthpieces are promoting as an alleged way of keeping carbon in the soil reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time improving soil fertility and thus the productivity of crops. Really?

    It is fairly well known that you can use charcoal to heat your house or to cook your food. Biochar, however, is a type of coal that is created when you burn biomass and the biochar industry is promoting biochar as an alleged way of keeping carbon in the soil and thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the soil, while at the same time improving soil fertility and thus the ... Read more >

  • Yet more proof that Asia Pulp and Paper's green claims don’t stack up

    Blogpost by jamie - February 17, 2012 at 8:30

    Deforestation in Sumatra, Indonesia by Sinar Mas supplier PT Arara Abadi

    Another blow has been delivered to the credibility of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) - the parent company of NZ brand Cottonsoft - thanks to some excellent work by WWF. In a survey of the certification bodies that APP regularly references to prop up its flimsy claims of sustainability, none of them would support APP's assertions about its environmental performance.

    In December, WWF and Indonesian organisation Eyes of the Forest released a report showing that APP's suppliers were cutting down trees in APP's own tiger sanctuary in Sumatra – a lack of joined-up thinking doesn't even begin to cover that particular mess. It also stated that APP has no "independent, credible, third-party certification to demonstrate their sustainability".

    APP didn't like this and responded with a press release (... Read more >

  • Protecting oceans: It's not rocket science

    Blogpost by Sofia Tsenikli - February 16, 2012 at 9:30

    Starfish in the Mediterranean Sea

    It’s not rocket science -  closing areas of land and water to humans allows nature to recover and restore its fragile balance. The idea has been successfully tried and tested many times on land but it has taken years of destruction before the message has hit home for the oceans.

    Ten years ago in Johannesburg, global leaders committed for the first time to establish by 2012 networks of marine protected areas to protect oceans from human impacts. The 2012 target has been reiterated over and over in global and regional environmental political meetings. In 2007 Mediterranean governments agreed to set aside by 2012 marine protected areas including seas areas of international waters to save marine life, and in 2009 they agreed to a plan to make it happen.

    It’s now February 2012. I am... Read more >

  • What I talk about when I talk about F***ing

    Blogpost by Areeba Hamid, Greenpeace India - February 15, 2012 at 22:01

    Areeba HamidI am on the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, en route to Port Blair right now. It has been fantastic to sail from Singapore to India (took us 5 days) and calming to have just the never ending ocean stretched out before you every time you look outside.  I also saw some cruise liners, some blink- and-you-miss-it dolphins, and a large piece of cargo floating past us which seemed to have either fallen off or gotten rid of in a hurry.

    The Espy – as we call her - has proven to be a very effective campaigning tool for Greenpeace offices around the world, and this is her second voyage to India. With me is a team comprising crew members, media specialists, photographers, videographers and campaigners. And we share one objective—to bring the story of the sea into the lives of people on land. Th... Read more >

  • In 30 years we've lost 75% of the Arctic sea ice

    Blogpost by James - February 14, 2012 at 14:05

    In 30 years we've lost 75 percent of the Arctic sea ice

    If there's one fact to remember which underlines the urgency in protecting the Arctic it's this: in 30 years we've lost 75 per cent of the Arctic sea ice.

    That ice is not only a pristine environment supporting threatened species like the polar bear - it also supports us. By reflecting the suns rays back into space, the Arctic ice acts as the world's air conditioner, cooling our planet down. This in turn underpins our agricultural systems which when shaken, push millions over into hunger and worse.

    The Arctic ice is a life supporter, but we're destroying it. 

    Our obsession with dirty energy has melted three quarters of that ice in a little over three decades.

    Here's BBC Newsnight explaining the 75% figure:

    Some people compare Arctic sea ice amount by looking at the ... Read more >

  • Greenpeace photographer Paul Hilton honoured at World Press Photo awards

    Blogpost by John Novis - February 14, 2012 at 8:59

    A shark is pulled from the depths on the Taiwanese longliner, Li Chyun No. 2 in the Central Pacific by Paul Hilton

    Many congratulations to our trusted friend and photographer Paul Hilton on his ‘Shark Fin’ World Press Photo 2012 3rd prize in Nature win.

    It’s great news for Greenpeace too - this powerful picture of a shark being pulled onto a Taiwanese longliner, in the Central Pacific Ocean, was taken by Paul while he was on board our ship, the Esperanza in September 2011.

    Paul is originally from the UK, immigrating with his family to Australia at an early age. Later in life he moved to Hong Kong where he became a successful photographer ‘stringer’ with EPA (European Press Agency). We first commissioned Paul to document Greenpeace Hong Kong activities. Later, because of his extraordinary skills both under and above water, he joined our long ship tours, such as those in the Pacific Ocean, to... Read more >

  • Eat it up Monsanto!

    Blogpost by nyoung - February 13, 2012 at 9:31

    GMOs - No Thanks

    There's a story doing the rounds again,  about how Monsanto, one of the world’s largest profiteers of genetically engineered (GE) food, banned GE food from its own corporate canteens!

    Monsanto had its pants pulled down by Friends of the Earth in 1999, who revealed that the company was refusing to serve to its own staff the very same GE food that it incessantly foists upon impoverished nations on the premise that it will save populations from starvation. Although it has never been proved, Monsanto constantly claims that GE food is harmless – so why wasn't it serving it in its own office?

    In one canteen, run by external provider, Sutcliffe Catering, a notice read that a decision has been taken to remove, as far as practicable, GE soya and maize from all food products served in th... Read more >

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