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

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  • 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 >

  • 4 Ways to stop Indonesia's forest fires

    Blogpost by Bustar Maitar - November 5, 2015 at 13:29

    A brief spell of rainfall in Indonesia has minimised the number of fire hotspots that have been broadcasting toxic smoke across the country…for now. Here are four ways to solve the stop the Indonesian forest fires once and for all.

    13-year old sister holds her 7-month old brother who is suffering from a respiratory tract infection

    13-yr old sister holds her 7-mth old brother who is suffering a respiratory tract infection

    It’s been labelled a “crime against humanity”. The “biggest environmental crime of the 21st century”, and most certainly the “worst climate crisis in the world right now.”

    Since August, forests have been set alight to make way for plantations – a practice that has been happening for decades. But this year’s El Nino means that conditions are extra dry, leaving toxic smoke to lay and linger. To make matters worse, about half of these fires are taking place on peatlands,... Read more >

  • Supply Chained: Human rights abuse in the global tuna industry

    Blogpost by Tara Buakamsri - November 5, 2015 at 12:56

    21-year-old worker forced to work on a fishing boat with no way to return to his homeland.26 Sep, 2015 © Ardiles Rante / Greenpeace

    If you are a tuna lover, chances are good that someone who was forced to work for meagre pay — perhaps even under threat of violence — is behind your tuna curry or teriyaki.

    Human rights abuses in the tuna industry are serious and require urgent attention. But the world’s largest producer of canned tuna — Thai Union Group — is failing to address them.

    Thai Union Group supplies tuna to brands and retailers worldwide: Sealect in Thailand, Chicken of the Sea in the US, John West in the UK, Petite Navire in France and Mareblu in Italy are just a few. But the company has been linked to the most horrific parts of the seafood industry — emptying the oceans of fishkilling of endangered species and even human rights abuse.

    Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s new report Supply Chained: Human Rights Ab...

    Read more >
  • Indonesia fires: "I'm tired of being made sick by this smoke"

    Blogpost by Rahmi Carolina - November 4, 2015 at 15:34

    All rights reserved. Credit: Ardiles Rante / Greenpeace

    When I was young my friends and I would visit our local river, just a short walk from our small town in Pangkalan Kerinci, upstream of Riau's peatland coast in Sumatra. On days when we needed to cool down from the heat, we would spend hours swimming and getting lost in the shade of the trees, chasing birds and sleeping.

    My parents instilled in me the importance of the environment. Growing up, forests fascinated me – how trees nurture and protect us, the beauty of bark, the way in which roots weave like tangled hair knots. But deep down, I've always had a foreboding feeling about forest fires. For the past 18 years during the dry season, ever since the palm oil plantations began, the haze has always been lurk... Read more >

  • How we're going to stop ExxonMobil's lies

    Blogpost by Annie Leonard - November 4, 2015 at 14:05

    Action at Exxon Mobil HQ in the US. 27 May, 2003 © Robert Visser / Greenpeace

    I'm still trying to process recent revelations in the LA Times and the Pulitzer winning Inside Climate News about the extent to which ExxonMobil has worked to deny climate change. It knew about the threat of a planet warmed by burning fossil fuels as far back as the 70's, and while publicly denying these risks, built them into its business plans. Wait, what?!

    To make matters worse, ExxonMobil's climate denialism isn't just a thing of the past–it's ongoing. While deeply shocking, it's sadly not surprising: Greenpeace has been exposing ExxonMobil's climate denialism for over a decade. Yes, it's outrageous, but now we need to turn that outrage into action to get governments and citizens to hold ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies legally accountable for the damage their activities ha... Read more >

  • Saving the last Japanese dugongs

    Blogpost by Karli Thomas - November 2, 2015 at 11:12

    The home of the last few Japanese dugongs is about to be landfilled to make way for two airstrips - part of the expansion of a US military base on the island of Okinawa. But a movement nearly 18 years old is standing up to say NO. That’s why our ship the Rainbow Warrior is en route to join them...

    The first thing that drew me to Greenpeace as a young New Zealander was actually the “peace” side of things. Nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific had drawn strong opposition from local people and from Greenpeace. Ultimately, that opposition cost Greenpeace its ship, the Rainbow Warrior – bombed and sunk by the French government in an act of state sponsored terrorism – and the life of photographer Fernando Pereira. But it also helped win a nuclear free New Zealand.

    I was at school, an...

    Read more >
  • Climate change in the eyes of El Nino?

    Blogpost by Aaron Gray-Block - November 2, 2015 at 11:05

    This year's El Niño can already lay claim to spawning Mexico's record-breaking Hurricane Patricia or contributing to one of the worst ever outbreaks of peatland and forest fires in Indonesia, but it might only be just getting started.

    Hurricane Patricia Bears Down on Mexico's Pacific CoastHurricane Patricia Bears Down on Mexico's Pacific Coast [October 2015]

    After playing hide and seek with climate scientists for a year, the current El Niño is shaping up as the strongest since 1998 – when millions of people suffered hunger across Africa, Asia and central America – and might even eclipse it. 

    Climate experts predicted a monster El Niño in 2014, but the phenomenon did not set in as expected, even though that year was recorded as the hottest on record and sea surface temperatures remained unusually warm in the Central Pacific.

    Conditions sta... Read more >

  • Tell Auckland Transport to shove it up their berms

    Blogpost by Kamal Sunker - October 28, 2015 at 13:42

    I can relate to Dan. Like most of the inner-city dwelling 20-somethings, I had no idea what a berm was. That was until I found out that Auckland Transport was taking away the rights of ratepayers to cultivate roadside gardens. To me that makes absolutely no sense, and it seems a few people agree with me - in a few days, a petition to allow fruit and vegetable gardens on Auckland’s berms gained over 3000 signatures and is continuing to grow (no pun intended).

    In 2014, Auckland Transport took away berm mowing services and are now proposing a $150 fee for the right to garden on berms, with regulations that effectively prohibit the growing of fruit and vegetables. On the Auckland Transport website, under their section on footpaths and berm maintenance it states that, “People are asked to ple... Read more >

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