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

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  • Answer? A fresh water crisis.

    Gone are the days of Aussies telling Kiwi sheep jokes. In the past 20 years, sheep,  pine trees and shrub have made way for more and more cows,  mostly for intensive dairying.   At the same time our lakes, rivers and aquifers are becoming more and more polluted.  

    You don’t have to be the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to put two and two together there. (Although she did do that in this report).

    5 million cows and their impact on our fresh water could easily become just another statistic if it wasn’t for everyday Kiwis willing to step up and take action to protect our waters.

    Recently shocked trampers snapped shots of cows standing in lakes and rivers in Canterbury and Otago and sent them in to the media, clearly showing just how inadequate ... Read more >

  • Great news for outdoor lovers: high performance without PFCs is possible

    Blogpost by Chiara Campione - February 2, 2016 at 10:07

    "Going PFC-free in one of the world's most extreme and challenging natural environments is possible. I can do it". This was the idea David Bacci – an Italian professional climber – submitted to us when we asked the outdoor community for ideas to make the PFC threat more visible to the public and challenge the outdoor sector to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their products. We thought it was the perfect way to show the world that PFC-free alternatives do work.

    David asked us to help him find some PFC-free gear for the challenge, so we decided to borrow some clothing from Páramo, a UK brand that doesn't use PFCs in any of its products.

    Now, a few months later, David has successfully completed two of the most intense climbing trails in the world, reaching the Patagonian peaks of Cerro ... Read more >

  • Coal is widely considered a dead industry here in New Zealand, where yonks ago we discovered the benefits of hydro dams far outweighed unprofitable, unsafe, dirty mines.

    We like to think that coal is one of those outdated things that’s still dug up and pumped out into the atmosphere elsewhere - probably in “less developed” countries than our own.  

    But the truth is, while other countries are starting to kill coal completely – just yesterday the Prime Minister of Vietnam announced the country would drop all further coal-fired power plant projects – here at home we’re trying to revive it.

    On Monday, it was revealed that several of New Zealand’s electricity industry leaders have been conducting backdoor meetings with Huntly Power Station owner Genesis Energy in an attempt to subvert an earl... Read more >

  • Hong Kong’s ivory ban just a sliver of its wildlife crime

    Blogpost by Shuk-Wah Chung - January 27, 2016 at 14:02

    It’s worth more than cocaine, diamonds, gold, or heroin. So what’s stopping the Hong Kong government from stamping out all illegal wildlife products?

    Along Hollywood Road in Hong Kong’s touristy arts district sit rows of large window shop fronts filled with exquisite handicrafts. Amongst oriental antiques and wares, are boutique stores proudly and boldly selling ivory carvings. Big-bellied Buddhas, smooth elegant horses, towering gods and goddesses – you name it and it’s likely to be in ivory form. Read more >

    Hong Kong ivory shop PHOTO CREDIT: ALEX HOFFORDPhoto: Alex Hofford (@alexhofford on Twitter)

    Hong Kong is the world’s largest market for elephant ivory. But an announcement last week by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, the head of Hong Kong’s administration, to ban the domestic ivory trade will change all that. Leung said they "will kick...

  • Hazardous chemicals found in outdoor gear

    Blogpost by Mirjam Kopp - January 26, 2016 at 7:19

    Remember in September when we asked major outdoor brands if they use PFCs to make their products?

    Product testing voting results - graphic

    Most brands had to admit that they do use PFCs. But they didn’t tell us which products they were in.  So we asked you which products you wanted tested. We got more than 30,000 votes on the Detox Outdoor website from outdoor lovers around the world, and sent the 40 most voted for to an independent lab for testing.

    The results are in. PFCs were found in all but four of the products we tested.

    In 18 items we found high concentrations of the more hazardous long-chain PFCs, even though most of the brands tested claim publicly that they are no longer using them.  We also found PFOA – a long-chain PFC that is linked to a number of health effects, including cancer – in some products by The North F...

    Read more >
  • Could 2016 be the year we break free from coal?

    Blogpost by Kelly Mitchell - January 18, 2016 at 9:22

    We’ve barely entered 2016, but China and the US  the world’s largest coal producers  have already embarked on sweeping changes to cut out coal. Could 2016 be the year we break free from this dirty fossil fuel?

    2016 isn't going well for this dirty fossil fuel

    It’s the centuries old “addiction” the world can’t kick. Coal-burning power plants remain the single largest source of human-made CO2 emissions worldwide, and burning coal is a serious health hazard  as those suffering from Beijing’s smog know all too well.

    But 2016 is already shaping up to be the year where we start to leave our fossil fuelled world behind, and move towards a renewable future.

    Last year, the coal industry experienced a dramatic drop. Global coal consumption fell between 90 and 180 million tonnes in the first half of the year  the largest decrease on record...

    Read more >
  • Chile has 24,133 glaciers, and we’re losing them piece by piece

    Blogpost by Estefanía Gonzalez - January 14, 2016 at 13:14

    Scientists arrive at the Amalia glacier, in the Magallanes region of Chile, to study the impact of climate change. 19 Dec, 2015 © Cristobal Olivares

    There are 24,133 glaciers in Chile – 82% of the glaciers in South America. These vast and intricate cascades of white, blue and brown not only form one of the largest freshwater reserves in the world, they are also vital to the preservation of vulnerable local ecosystems.

    But human activity threatens their very existence, despite their importance to people and the environment. Whether due to mining in northern and central Chile or climate change in southern Chile, these unprotected glaciers are under serious strain.

    The Esperanza arrives at the retreating Pio XI glacier in Patagonia. 19 Dec, 2015 © Cristobal Olivares / Greenpeace

    The Esperanza’s mission

    The plight facing the glaciers is well known, but their remote location makes them difficult to study in depth. That’s why the Esperanza just spent several days in Patagonia in southern Chile documenting some of these vanishing fields of ice. We...

    Read more >
  • We did it! Victory for China's giant pandas

    Blogpost by Yi Lan - January 13, 2016 at 10:34

    2016 has kicked off with great news for pandas.

    Back in October, Greenpeace East Asia revealed that China’s iconic giant pandas were under threat from rampant illegal logging in the world’s largest panda habitat.

    Following a two-year-long investigation, we uncovered that a shocking 3,200 acres of pristine natural forest in the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries had been clear cut to make way for plantations of profitable timber, under the guise of ‘forest reconstruction’.

    Aerial image of clearcut logging in the natural forest of Fengtongzhai nature reserve, in the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries - a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Aerial image of clearcut logging in the natural forest of Fengtongzhai nature reserve, in the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries – ... Read more >

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