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

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  • #WorldOnFire: Forest-fire smog has no borders

    Blogpost by Khalimat Tekeeva - July 29, 2016 at 15:37

    The vast, lush, green of Siberia’s forests is black and smoldering.

    The fires rage on, already scorching an area the size of Belgium, Luxemburg and The Netherlands combined - seven million hectares. I can see the haze 4500km away in Moscow. You can see the smoke from space. It seems unimaginable and unmanageable, but there is something you can do about it.

    Wildfires in Irkutskaya region, July, 2016. Photo: © Greenpeace/Max Grigoryev

    The smoke from these wildfires covers 12 regions in Siberia; from the banks of the great Volga river and reaching far to the West. It isn’t dangerous for Moscovities yet – but millions of people are suffering from toxic smoke in Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Kazan and other Russian cities.

    These fires are destroying one of the largest forested regions in the world – the Russian Boreal. The forests here are one of the most 'biologically ou...

    Read more >
  • A decade ago, the expansion of soybeans posed an enormous risk to the Amazon rainforest. Today, this commitment proves zero deforestation is possible.

    Soya beans in the hands of a Greenpeace Amazon Campaigner, in a soya plantation.28 Jul, 2005  © Greenpeace / Daniel Beltrá

    When civil society, private enterprise and governments come together to develop environmental solutions, the results can be remarkable. Practical proof of this is the Soy Moratorium, which was adopted ten years ago this week in Brazil. 

    This industry agreement is the result of one of Greenpeace's most successful campaigns in Brazil and marked a turning point in the protection of the Amazon – showing that an end to deforestation is not only possible, but also extremely beneficial to the market.

    Before 2006, soy was replacing Amazon rainforest at an astonishing speed. 

    Ten years ago, the rapid expansion of the soybean crop in the Amazon... Read more >

  • Vaquita success! New protections could save this endangered porpoise

    Blogpost by Phil Kline - July 28, 2016 at 16:54

    With only 60 animals remaining, the vaquita porpoise is on the brink of extinction. That's why 150,000 Greenpeace supporters have stood up to save this shy, beautiful animal. And the Mexican government just announced new protections for the vaquita. But will it be enough?

    With only 60 remaining, the elusive vaquita is the most endangered porpoise in the world. 19 October 2008 © NOAA/Wikimedia Commons.With only 60 remaining, the elusive vaquita is the most endangered porpoise in the world. © NOAA/Wikimedia Commons.

    The Mexican government has just announced new vaquita protections in the upper Gulf of California, the only place in the world where the vaquita lives.

    More than 150,000 Greenpeace supporters have demanded greater protections for the vaquita, the world’s most endangered porpoise. And I want to thank all of you vaquita lovers for your help in pushing the government of Mexico to make this happen.

    Only two w... Read more >

  • There’s no question about it -  drought is causing serious problems for our farmers and communities.

    So what do we do about it? Dams and irrigation are often touted as the best way to deal with increasing dry spells, especially in regions with low rainfall.  But what’s actually happening is water captured for irrigation in New Zealand  isn’t just being used to help tide farms over during droughts. It’s being used to intensify farming.

    So what happens if droughts keep getting worse, and the irrigated water that allowed farms to intensify is no longer there?  We only need look to Opuha dam in Canterbury to see how this critical problem plays out.

    The Opuha dam was built in 1998 with the promise of helping farmers through the tough droughts that had been hitting Canterbury. In the summer of 2... Read more >

  • The day they blew up heaven

    Blogpost by Ruby Powell - July 25, 2016 at 14:26

    The history of hydrodams in the Amazon is riddled with corruption, human rights abuse and destruction.

    One hydrodam was built on the site the Munduruku believe their good spirits go when they die - their heaven. Seven waterfalls on the Teles Pires River were blown up and replaced by a hydrodam that was then given the same name.

    As you can imagine, the destruction of a sacred site in order to construct a hydrodam is devastating for the Munduruku, just like it would be for many of us if Cape Reinga was destroyed.

    Munduruku in the Forest near Lake Leonardo in the Amazon

    This type of careless disregard for indigenous groups is also clear when we look at the effects of the Belo Monte hydrodam on the Xingu River, a dam of similar size that’s close to the SLT hyrdodam planned for the Tapajós River.

    As a result of the Belo Monte dam, tens of thousa... Read more >

  • US ship visit: Why's John Key afraid of people-power?

    Blogpost by Russel Norman - July 22, 2016 at 14:26

    Q/ Why is John Key telling us that the US back down on visiting ships is not a victory for New Zealand’s nuclear free movement?

    A/ Because if things are to stay the same (which is how the Prime Minister likes them), it is vital that people don’t feel they have the power to change anything. Hence it’s important for him to never acknowledge that people power works.

    But people power does work. In fact it’s one of the few ways we get positive change. People power stopped the Marsden B power station, it made Antarctica a World Park, it drove  Shell out of the Arctic and ended Government logging of West Coast native forests. And people power made New Zealand nuclear free and kept it that way for 30 years and counting.

    Public rally as flotilla leaves Auckland for Moruroa to protest French nucle... Read more >

  • They murdered my mother for defending the environment — help me seek justice

    Blogpost by Salvador Edgardo Zuniga Cáceres - July 21, 2016 at 14:39

    It has been four months since the murder of environmental and Indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres, and her killers have still not been brought to justice. Instead, the violence continues – on 7 July, another activist from Berta Cáceres' organisation was abducted and killed.

    Please read this powerful message from Berta's son, Salvador Edgardo Zuniga Cáceres, and take action to seek justice on Berta's behalf.

    Berta Cáceres in 2015. © Tim Russo / Goldman Environmental Prize.Berta Cáceres in 2015. Photo by Goldman Environmental Prize. Photo Credit: Tim Russo

    In March, my mother Berta Cáceres was murdered in her own home. Her death pains me in a way I cannot describe with words.

    She was killed for defending life, for safeguarding our common goods and those of nature, which are sacred. She was killed for defending the rivers that are sources of ou... Read more >

  • Greenpeace International Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid and Greenpeace Brasil Amazon Campaign Coordinator Tica Minami meet with several Munduruku Caciques in the Amazon rainforest along the Tapajós River. 8 Jul, 2016  © Lunae Parracho / Greenpeace

    There is nothing quite like flying over the Brazilian Amazon. The forest spreads out like an endless green carpet, crisscrossed by ribbons of water, and goes on for as far as the eye can see. Banks of clouds break up the vast sky. As the green of the mighty Tapajós River comes into view, I know we’ve entered the territory of the Munduruku Indigenous People – my hosts for the coming days.

    Greenpeace is working alongside the Munduruku to push for formal recognition of their land and to halt the massive São Luiz do Tapajós (SLT) hydrodam planned for the Tapajós River, in the very heart of the Amazon. I have come to meet with the Munduruku chiefs and show our global support for the protection of the Tapajós and the rights of the Munduruku who have lived here for generations.

    The Munduruku... Read more >

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