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

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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 >

  • Why we support the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary

    Blogpost by Russel Norman - September 19, 2016 at 12:33

    Controversy now surrounds the proposal for a giant ocean sanctuary around the Kermadecs, with the fishing industry taking the government to court to try to stop it.

    The Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary would be massive - 620,000 square kilometres - and provide protection to millions of seabirds, three species of endangered turtles, dozens of marine mammals and a third of all the fish species in New Zealand waters. It is a tremendously important sustainability measure by this government and is to be applauded, which we did when it was announced.

    While the vast majority of New Zealanders support the proposed Sanctuary, the fishing industry (unsurprisingly) opposes it.

    This is all pretty standard and to be expected. But here’s the wrinkle - one of the groups opposing it, Te Ohu Kaimoana (TOKM), w...

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  • If you're left without reindeer, there is nothing else

    Blogpost by Tatiana Vasilieva - September 17, 2016 at 12:54

    “You feed a reindeer and step away - and it suddenly drops dead. Within a day it swells up like a ball ready to burst. We thought the heat was to blame, as they were still in their thick winter coats. A neighbour lost 50 of them.”

    Indigenous Nenets man in Yamal Peninsula, Russia, 22 Aug, 2016. © Greenpeace / Tatiana VasilievaIndigenous Nenets man in Yamal Peninsula, Russia.

    Alexey Nenyanga is an Indigenous Nenets man from the Yamal Peninsula in Northern Russia. He lost most of his reindeer during the sudden outbreak of anthrax in the region this summer.

    “People were evacuated, dogs put to sleep, chums (traditional Nenets tents) and sledges and everything were set on fire. Nothing was left. Then, calm ensued: they built new chums for us and we hoped that there might be some form of compensation. The state is lending a hand at the moment, but what the future holds, I don't know.” Read more >

    ...
  • Forty-five years of people power

    Blogpost by Jennifer Morgan and Bunny McDiarmid - September 17, 2016 at 12:35

    After forty-five years, countless campaigns and stories - one thing remains central to the Greenpeace identity, and that is people. People are at the heart of who we are and what is needed to create the green and peaceful world we need.

    Greenpeace began with a handful of men and women in the port city of Vancouver on Canada’s Pacific coast who volunteered their time, energy and creative skills and courageously took on something greater than themselves. This small group worked together to protest a planned nuclear test on Amchitka Island off the Alaskan coast.

    Bob Hunter with Ben Metcalfe at the helm of the Phyllis Cormack en route to Amchitka, 1 Sep 1971 © Greenpeace / Robert KeziereBob Hunter and Ben Metcalfe at the helm of the Phyllis Cormack en route to Amchitka, September 1971.

    After raising funds and securing a boat, known as the Phyllis Cormack, which was renamed the Greenpeace, the small group of activ... Read more >

  • Emma Thompson speaking truth to power at the UN

    Blogpost by Sofia Tsenikli - September 15, 2016 at 15:17

    Words are powerful, especially when they speak the truth and come straight from the heart. That’s why Oscar-winning actor and writer Emma Thompson’s plea to UN delegates to do what is right for the oceans moved so many of us. She reminded international representatives meeting in New York that, while some are sitting in important negotiations, the oceans and the people that depend on them most are under severe threat.

    Emma spoke from the Arctic, where she joined the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise and the Inuit community of Clyde River in their efforts against oil and gas prospecting in the region. She spoke of the crisis facing our planet and she spoke for all of us when she called upon governments to please, act now!

    At the UN, Emma’s video message was met by loud applause, with many... Read more >

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