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

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  • 4 Ways Art Is Essential to Activism

    Blogpost by Ryan Schleeter - November 18, 2015 at 11:44

    The environmental movement runs on innovation. Our biggest victories aren’t won by out-spending or out-muscling our adversaries. Instead, we out-maneuver. We meet big challenges with even bigger creativity.

    And there are few challenges larger than taking on Thai Union Group.

    Thai Union is the world’s largest canned tuna company. Its major brands in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Thailand and more control 18 percent of the global market and raked in upwards of $5 billion in profits last year. But rather than use its influence to lead on sustainability, the company is behind some of the most devastating environmental and human rights abuses in the industry, having been repeatedly linked to destructive fishing methods, human trafficking and even forced labor.

    All this and ... Read more >

  • Here's why I'm celebrating Russia's fire ban

    Blogpost by Anton 'Benny' Beneslavsky - November 16, 2015 at 11:06

    Today the Russian government has banned the burning of dry grass on agricultural land and conservation areas. This might sound somewhat trivial, perhaps for those who have never witnessed a forest fire or had a chance to stand in line with firefighters. Let me tell you my story of lending a small hand in a big fight.

    Volunteers try to extinguish dry grass fires in Astrakhan Nature Reserve © Igor Podgorny / GreenpeaceDry Grass Fire in the Astrakhan Nature Reserve © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace

    In the summer of 2010 when the smog from burning peatlands reached my home in Moscow, I could hardly make out a house across the street. When 50,000 premature deaths became the cost of the fire disaster, I was a lawyer by profession. I didn’t know anything about Greenpeace; I didn’t know that Greenpeace Russia was knocking on all the governmental doors foreseeing the looming catastrophe. The Governm...

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  • Sad, scared, alone. The baby orangutan orphaned by the plantation industry

    Blogpost by Zamzami - November 13, 2015 at 10:23

    For half an hour Otan wouldn't let go. Only eight months old, he already had a vice-like grip, his nails digging so deep they left half-moon imprints in the skin of his carer. If there were trees, Otan would be swinging freely from branch to branch, his strong grip lifting him in high arcs through the forest canopy. But there were no more trees left for Otan.

    8-month old Otan who lost his mother and home due to deforestation. @ Galih Nofrio Nanda/Greenpeace8-month old Otan who lost his mother and home due to deforestation.

    I was with a Greenpeace team in fire-ravaged West Kalimantan last month, when I heard some news from Linga Village, about 30 minutes by road from the capital, Pontianak in which villagers were nurturing a wild orangutan. Otan's home had been razed to make way for an oil plantation. Only small patches of forest were left, but in time those areas would be razed too. Read more >

  • It’s time to end forest and peatland destruction in Indonesia

    Blogpost by Grant Rosoman - November 11, 2015 at 14:06

    I am a forest campaigner for Greenpeace. I’ve just returned to Christchurch from Indonesia and have bad news to report: Fires are raging through the Indonesian rainforest and peatlands again this year. Every year, these fires grow more intense, tearing through trees and killing all in their path - orangutans, tigers, elephants and lush rainforest.

    A team of Greenpeace forest campaigners are on the ground in Indonesia right now. They’re working to document and expose the fires, as well as the deforestation and peatland drainage that make the situation so much worse.

    Amazing wildlife like orangutans, elephants and tigers are at huge risk as the forests they call home continue to burn. Our team has heard of rescue centres overflowing with injured, homeless and orphaned orangutans – some ... Read more >

  • A coral reef destroyed for a military base? No way!

    Blogpost by Kazue Komatsubara - November 11, 2015 at 9:08

    Aerial view over the exclusion zone off Camp Schwab - US navy base near Oura Bay.

    Two military airstrips are no mean feat to build. They are massive pieces of military infrastructure, from which expensive, machines take off at great, deafening, speed. And that's exactly what's about to happen on the island of Okinawa.

    Thousands of tonnes of landfill will be poured over Oura Bay – home to the very rare Japanese Dugong, which has become a symbol of struggle against the might of the central Japanese government. No one know how many of these 'cows of the sea' remain, perhaps just a handful, or perhaps 50. But what we do know is that their numbers are dangerously small.

    The rare Japanese dugong, found in Okinawa, Japan

    The Camp Schwab US Military base on Oura Bay is one of several on the small island, a reminder that Okinawa, despite nearly 19 years of popular protests, is home to a burdensome number of US bases. As ...

    Read more >
  • The TPPA: A shady deal cooked behind closed doors

    Blogpost by Sophie Schroder - November 10, 2015 at 15:50

    The veil of secrecy behind the controversial TPPA has just been lifted, and it spells bad news for New Zealanders, the seas we swim and fish in, and for the air we breath.

    Greenpeace NZ policy advisor, Nathan Argent, says the deal, cooked up between New Zealand, the USA and 10 other nations, will stifle efforts to combat climate change and instead strengthen the arm of the most powerful polluters on the planet at a time we should be consigning them to history.

    “The ugly truth behind this deal it that it’s clearly been concocted for the sole benefit of foreign companies and their sharp-suited billionaires, not for the people of New Zealand,” he says.

    “The inclusion of so-called investor state dispute settlement clauses gives special legal rights to foreign investors, which could see our... Read more >

  • #NoKXL: The Day the People Won

    Blogpost by Mike Hudema - November 10, 2015 at 12:45

    Keystone XL victory

    Nelson Mandela once said, “It’s always impossible until it’s done.” I never knew truly what that meant until Friday when the President of the United States echoed the words that so many of us had been saying for years and rejected the ‘done deal’, ‘no brainer’ Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

    Keystone was a fight that no one thought we could win. Every energy analyst, every journalist, and every politician when the pipeline was first proposed, either had never heard of it, or thought the same thing - the pipeline was a virtual certainty and its approval was imminent. The thing is they would have been right if it wasn’t for people.   

    Yesterday’s victory was won because of the power of people.

    Keystone XL victory

    It started with Indigenous and Metis communities at the source raising concerns about the d... Read more >

  • Thanks to Fonterra, New Zealand is implicated in the catastrophic forest fires currently raging across Indonesia.

    Fonterra currently imports a third of the world’s palm kernel expeller (PKE) to feed its industrial dairying herds, with figures reaching record highs this year. PKE is a product of the palm industry, much of which is operating unsustainably. It’s used as a supplementary feed on overstocked dairy farms up and down the country.

    Decades of rampant expansion by the palm and paper industry in Indonesia has led to fires burning out of control in and around their plantations. Right now, millions of people across South East Asia are facing a fatal smog problem due to the fires, which are also rapidly destroying the habitat of a third of the world’s wild orangutans and other endange... Read more >

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