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

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  • How palm oil companies like IOI have set Indonesia on fire

    Blogpost by Adi Prabowo - September 28, 2016 at 9:04

    This morning, while most of the Netherlands was still asleep, my colleague Nilus and I - along with dozens of Greenpeace activists - slipped into Rotterdam’s port facilities. The temperature is just eight degrees celsius, my first time ever being this cold.

    IOI Palm Oil Company Blockade in Rotterdam Harbour, 27 Sept 2016. © Greenpeace / Marten van DijlIOI Palm Oil Company Blockade in Rotterdam Harbour, 27 Sept 2016

    Our mission must not fail: we are blockading the entry of dirty palm oil to IOI’s refineries. IOI is one of the largest palm oil companies in the world.

    Thousands of kilometres away from Rotterdam, in our hometown, in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, forest fires occur every year. Fire has destroyed the peat forests and brought orangutans closer to extinction. IOI opens up palm oil plantations by drying out the peat, which makes it very flammable, leading to haze-making infer...

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  • Last year’s devastating fires in Indonesia were devastating for public health and the environment — and every one of them was a human-caused disaster.

    study released last week by Harvard and Columbia reports that more than 100,000 people in Southeast Asia may have had their lives cut short by the toxic smoke and haze from Indonesia’s massive 2015 forest fires. In Indonesia alone, the study estimates 91,600 premature deaths as a result of the fires.

    It’s hard to imagine a catastrophe of this scale; in many ways, the world is just now coming to terms with the magnitude of the fires, the aftermath, and the lives taken.

    As Indonesia’s fire season approaches this year, we need to resolve that this human-environmental tragedy never happens again.

    To stop this, we must understand why the f... Read more >

  • Brent Spar: The sea is not a dustbin

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - September 24, 2016 at 11:21

    In August 2016, Prestel Books published Photos That Changed the World, including this image of the Greenpeace Brent Spar campaign, captured by David Sims on 16 June 1995.

    Brent Spar

    Greenpeace approaches Brent Spar, 1995, dodging a Shell water cannon. Photo by David Sims, Greenpeace. Selected for "Photos that Changed the World," from Prestel Books.

    The story begins in the 1950s, when Royal Dutch Shell found oil near Groningen, in Permian sandstone linked to North Sea formations. By 1971, Shell had located the giant Brent oilfield in the North Sea, 220km east of Shetland, England. The Brent field produced a valuable, low sulphur crude, and set the standard for the European, or "Brent", oil price.

    In 1976, Shell constructed the Brent Spar, a floating oil storage tank, 147 metres tall, with thick st... Read more >

  • UN report highlights the challenges Indigenous People in Brazil face to protect their land

    Blogpost by Danicley de Aguiar - September 24, 2016 at 11:18

    For Indigenous activists defending their traditional lands, Brazil is one of the most dangerous places in the world.

    Xavante indigenous people from Maraiãwatsede with traditional body paint for war. Due to conflicts over land ownership, this traditional painting is now a daily ritual in the lives of Indians.Xavante indigenous people from Maraiãwatsede with traditional body paint for war. Due to conflicts over land ownership, this traditional painting is now a daily ritual in the lives of Indians.

     Last year alone, 50 environmental activists – including Indigenous activists – were murdered in Brazil for standing up to illegal logging, mining and agribusiness.

    The injustice isn’t limited to violence. Indigenous Peoples in Brazil also face years of red tape and bureaucracy to get their lands officially recognised and protected, giving industry plenty of time to move in and damage their territory.

    Many Indigenous communities – like the Guarani-Kaiowa – have been fighting for the...

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  • Three small letters destroying the rainforest

    Blogpost by Nick Young - September 21, 2016 at 17:53

    Last year, Indonesian forest fires shocked the world. Some called them ‘the worst environmental disaster of the 21st century’. So why hasn’t that shock turned into action - and why are fires blazing across Indonesia again?

    Aerial view from a helicopter of fires at forest and palm oil plantation in peatland area in Pangkalan Terap, Teluk Meranti, Pelalawan regency, Riau. Riau Province Forest Fires Task Force still try to extinguish the fire in the peatland area from the air and on the ground.

    Decades of forest destruction by palm oil and paper companies laid the foundations for 2015’s Indonesian forest fires. The Indonesian government responded with a firm commitment to crack down on rogue companies. Hundreds of thousands of us pushed brands like Colgate to toughen up their ‘no deforestation’ policies.

    But while some progress has been made, some of the biggest palm oil traders are still sitting on their hands. One particular company, called IOI, has been making and breaking promises on forest protection for almost 10 years. It is one of the biggest palm oi...

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  • Let’s make it a green peace

    Blogpost by Bunny McDiarmid - September 21, 2016 at 8:36

    On New Years Day 2016, a Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders (MSF)-Greenpeace team on the Greek island of Lesbos were joined by groups such as Sea-Watch, the Dutch Refugee Boat Foundation and local communities, to create a peace sign formed from over 3,000 discarded refugee life jackets. The groups are calling for safe passage to those fleeing war, poverty and oppression.

    Today (21 September), around the globe, we mark Peace Day knowing that for many, peace is nowhere to be found. Not today. And unless things change dramatically, not any time soon.

    2015 saw the number of refugees and displaced people reach record numbers - surpassing even post-World War II. It is with heavy hearts that we follow the news from around the world. The images are heartbreaking: a terrified child, a ruined hospital, a capsized boat, a city bombed to the ground, a community struggling for survival. For every image that catches the media’s attention, many others go unnoticed. Suffering and grief beyond comprehension and beyond the limits of what people should have to endure, are the daily reality for many.

    And while we cannot pretend to comprehend, we must, ask ourselves - what ... Read more >

  • Our Government, the blockheads. Again.

    Blogpost by Sophie Schroder - September 20, 2016 at 17:00

    The New Zealand Government is pleased to announce that next year they’re keen to open more than 500,000 square kilometres of our ocean for oil companies to survey and drill, including parts of the marine mammal sanctuary, home to the world’s most endangered dolphin, the Māui. 

    What utter blockheads.

    We live in a time when the changing climate means widespread devastation is looming. In our lifetime, we’re going to see mass extinction, sea level rise, threatened food and water security, and an influx of climate refugees. 

    Many countries around the world are desperately working together to action plans that cut our dirty fossil fuel emissions before it’s too late. 

    Meanwhile, in New Zealand, our Prime Minister and his government are doing worse than nothing - they’re sitting back, twiddli...

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  • It’s said that in war the first casualty is the truth. Increasingly this is now the case in politics and economics as well.

    Over the last week or so we’ve witnessed Te Ohu kaimoana crying crocodile tears over the “removal of Maori Treaty rights”.
     
    And sadly many are buying into this bullshit.
     
    Let’s back the truck up a bit ...
     
    Back in 1989 the government began hatching a plan to subvert legitimate Maori authority over the country's fisheries.
     
    The origins of Maori authority are fundamentally sourced in the principal of “mana tuku iho” (mana that originates from the atua and is handed down through the generations.)
     
    This authority was subsequently acknowledged and protected by Te Tiriti o Waitangi:
     
    "Ko te Kuini o Ingarani ka wakarite ka wakaae ki nga Rangitira ki nga hapu – ki nga tangata katoa... Read more >

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