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

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  • Naming a ship: the legend of the Rainbow Warrior

    Blogpost by Brian Fitzgerald - October 14, 2011 at 13:50


    It was the meeting of many traditions as the Rainbow Warrior received her name today. As with any ship, there was the bottle of champagne and the naming. But in Greenpeace fashion, one of our Climate and Energy campaigners from Canada, a member of the Cree community, took on the role of name-giver. She reminded us that while this ship may be made of new steel and canvass, she's part of a longer story, back beyond her two predecessors and deep into the past, where the legend she is named for was born:

    Tansi Kiya. Niya Melina Miyowapan Laboucan-Massimo. Niya Nehiyaw. Kinaskomitinow.

    Hello. My name is Melina Miyowapan Laboucan-Massimo. I come from a northern Cree community in Alberta, Canada. I have come here today to talk about the prophecy from which the Rainbow Warrior gets... Read more >

  • We were simply not prepared for this

    Blogpost by Dom Zapata, Greenpeace New Zealand activist - October 14, 2011 at 8:01

    It was only a few days ago, as I was on my stand up paddleboard, paddling around Rabbit Island just off Mount Maunganui, that I marvelled at the increasing numbers of seals that have started to re-populate the area. They were sunbathing on the rocks and playing in the water. Shags and penguins were bobbing around close by and the odd stingray shot off as I glided over them. The water was clear and calm and I could see the forests off seaweed on the reef below me gently dancing in the currents.

    The reef is home to a vast array of sealife and is the cornerstone of the marine environment. That’s why people come here, to see and enjoy nature’s playground, to surf and dive, go fishing and kayaking or just relax on the beach with their families and enjoy the gifts of Tangaroa.

    Skip forward tw... Read more >

  • Photo: Gemz Photography

    Environment Minister Nick Smith has declared that the Rena oil spill off the coast of Tauranga has become the worst maritime environmental disaster in New Zealand’s history.

    Hundreds of tonnes of oil have now leaked in to the ocean, and with the vessel listing badly in heavy seas causing many shipping containers to fall into the sea. More and more toxic oil globules have landed on beaches as far as Sulphur Point and along the foreshore at Matua. Sheets of thick, pungent oil, two to three metres wide, have been found covering Papamoa beach.

    And as the oil from the ship is spreading faster than expected, dead birds and other marine life are being left in its wake.

    The captain of the ship has been charged under Section 65 of the Maritime Act, covering dangerous ... Read more >

  • Toxic Rena oil washes ashore

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - October 12, 2011 at 16:45

    Photo: APN

    It has now been seven days since the container ship Rena struck and stranded itself on the Astrolabe reef, just off the coast of Tauranga and the situation continues to worsen. The vessel is carrying 1700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, of which it was initially estimated 30 tonnes had been spilled in to the sea. The media now reporting that between 130 - 350 tonnes of oil spilled from the stricken shift overnight.  

    As the slick pours from the stricken vessel, oiled seabirds are starting to wash up on the beaches, with more oiled birds spotted in the water, and local residents are reporting that highly toxic oil globules are washing ashore at Mt Maunganui, one of the country's most popular beaches.

    The Government has declared that the spill has the potential to be New Zealand's worst... Read more >

  • Rena oil spill an unfortunate lesson

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - October 7, 2011 at 18:40

    Photo by APN

    The Container ship Rena inexplicably crashed into the Astrolabe Reef, about seven kilometres north of Motiti Island, near Tauranga early on Wednesday. It is carrying 1700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, some of which has already started to leak into the sea.

    Since then, fears of a potential environment disaster have grown as the leaking oil has spread threatening wildlife, including whales, birds and seals. Indeed, Environment Minister Nick Smith was quoted as saying that the spill from the ship "had the potential to be New Zealand's most significant maritime pollution disaster in decades”. This is very disturbing news.

    Oiled seabirds have already been found dead close to the Rena and more birds have been spotted in the water, covered in oil. It is also potentially disastrous for th... Read more >

  • "We are people already sold" say voices from African rainforests

    Blogpost by Susanne Breitkopf, Greenpeace International - October 7, 2011 at 10:00

    Approximately 40 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo depend on the rainforest for their basic needs, such as medicine, food or shelter. In this image a local fisherman guides his boat through the waters of Lac Tumba (Lake Tumba). The lake area was identified by the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) as a priority region for conservation. Expansion of logging into remaining areas of intact forests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will destroy globally critical carbon reserves and impact biodiversity. Beyond environmental impacts, logging in the region exacerbates poverty and leads to social conflicts. Image: Philip Reynaers

    Alphonse Muhindo and Silas Siakor have traveled all the way to Washington DC from the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo a... Read more >

  • Today, toy giant Mattel, the company behind Barbie, announced that it will stop buying paper and packaging linked to rainforest destruction.

    The move follows a Greenpeace investigation which revealed that packaging for Mattel toys was being produced using timber from the rainforests of Indonesia, home to endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger. We launched a global campaign to pressure the toy maker into mending its ways - and thanks to your support it has worked!

    From today Mattel is instructing its suppliers to avoid wood fibre from companies “that are known to be involved in deforestation”. One of these companies is notorious rainforest destroyer Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which Greenpeace investigations have shown to be involved in widespread rainforest clearance in Indonesia.... Read more >

  • Success: Barbie and Mattel drop deforestation!

    Blogpost by Laura Kenyon, Greenpeace International - October 6, 2011 at 12:09

    We all know that break ups are hard. Especially when they involve secrets – like the shameful secret that broke up Barbie and Ken back in June: she had destroyed rainforest in her toy packaging. Her manufacturer, Mattel, was using products from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a pulp and paper company notorious for destroying Indonesian rainforests, including the habitat of the endangered Sumatran tiger. Ken was understandably distraught.

    It wasn’t pretty. But all the drama that followed: Ken’s shocking interview, a public Twitter feud between the former couple, inappropriate photos of Barbie with a chainsaw, over 500,000 emails sent by you to Mattel – all of it has a silver lining. It helped bring the continuing destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests for pulp and paper out into the open and f... Read more >

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