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

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  • Matt Stoios is a man who has seen the world from many different perspectives, but mostly from above.

    A good natured Aussie bloke from Melbourne, you can find the Rainbow Warrior helicopter pilot in the skies over the Pacific Ocean, as he scours the seas for evidence of destructive tuna fishing.

    But, as Matt explains, becoming part of a campaign to fight out-of-control tuna fishing has seen him do a full circle in his life.

    We sit in the lounge area of the Warrior during a small break in a heavy work-day so that I can grill him about his experiences. It’s been particularly topsy-turvy weather and we’re all feeling a bit green around the gills, but the show must go on.

    He starts from the beginning. Soon after finishing high school, Matt set his heart on training as a helicopter pilot. Read more >

  • Ka'apor Indians setting up trap cameras in areas used by illegal loggers to invade the indigenous territory.

    For the Ka’apor people of Brazil, protecting the Amazon rainforest isn’t just about climate change or wildlife. It is about survival.

    As one community leader explains, “It's in the forest that lies our life. Without the forest, we are not the Ka'apor. 'Ka'apor' means 'forest dwellers' and this is why we must defend it.” 

    Lately, their land has needed a lot of defence. The Ka’apor live in a fragment of the Amazon rainforest—the Alto Turiaçu Indigenous Land—that is surrounded by deforestation. And that fragment has been shrinking as the global appetite for Amazon timber grows.

    Alto Turiaçu Indigenous Land

    click to enlarge

    Loggers are sneaking into Alto Turiaçu illegally—gouging roads into the forest floor and removing valuable tree species. In less than three decades, the Ka’apor have lost eight percent of thei... Read more >

  • Every 10 seconds...

    Blogpost by Elizabeth Monaghan - September 11, 2015 at 15:36

    24 hours per day. 7 days per week. For weeks on end. The Arctic Ocean is being blasted by deafening 259 decibel explosions. Why? To map oil deposits under the ocean floor so that Shell and other big oil companies know where to set their greedy gaze for future oil exploration.

    Until now, all this was happening in near-secret, at the top of the world, far from the public eye. But 7 million people and counting have registered their concerns for the Arctic region. And the Arctic Sunrise ship is in north-east Greenland to expose how seismic blasting is disrupting and harming ocean life.

    We invite you to share in this epic journey set against a breathtaking Arctic backdrop:

    Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, in summer. 14 Aug, 2015 © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace

    The tour gets off to a great start in picturesque Nuuk, Greenland’s capital...

    Arctic Sunrise Open Boat in Nuuk. 17 Aug, 2015 © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace

    ...where over 100 people are welcom... Read more >

  • Choked in smoke - living in the thick of Indonesia’s haze

    Blogpost by Zamzami - September 11, 2015 at 14:22

    Smoke caused by forest fires and peatland destruction, is covering about 80% of Sumatra, Indonesia. And it seems like no matter how far you try to escape, the smoke follows.

    A Greenpeace investigator documents fires on recently cleared peatland in the PT Rokan Adiraya Plantation oil palm plantation near Sontang village in Rokan Hulu, Riau, Sumatra. 23 Jun, 2013

    My wife and daughter should be at our home in Pekanbaru, Riau on the east of Sumatra right now. It’s been more than a month since we moved, or rather escaped to my parent’s house in West Sumatra. But like a dark cloud over my head I’ve since discovered that wherever I go, smoke follows.

    For the past fortnight, most of Sumatra has been blanketed by smoke, triggered by forest fires in South Sumatra and the central east and eastern provinces of Riau and Jambi. It’s currently the dry season and major companies are accused of intentionally and illegally burning to clear land for palm oil plantation; and individual far...

    Read more >
  • Russel Norman to Lead Greenpeace New Zealand

    Blogpost by Bunny McDiarmid - September 11, 2015 at 9:51

    This morning we emailed over a quarter of a million Greenpeace supporters to tell them that Russel Norman has been appointed to replace me as executive director of Greenpeace New Zealand when I step down later this year.

    Some will be surprised to hear that a guy more accustomed to sitting inside Parliament is joining an organisation that’s more used to climbing it - but I firmly believe Russel is the right man for the job.

    Russel has the leadership skills, optimism, energy, vision and commitment to the environment that we need. And he shares our belief that people power is the key to bringing about positive change, and that civil disobedience and nonviolent direct action are vital to a healthy, robust democracy.

    Here’s what Russel had to say this morning:
    "I’m very excited to be j... Read more >

  • Busted: Big ocean, bad boat

    Blogpost by Sophie Schroder - September 10, 2015 at 17:15

    We knew that the Taiwanese longline vessel could be fishing illegally almost as soon as its details popped up on the Rainbow Warrior's radar system.

    We were in the high seas of the Pacific, at least two days away, but when our checks came back from the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency confirming nothing matching the ship's name or radio call sign was on their list of vessels authorised to fish in these water, we made a beeline for it.

    By the time we got close, it had already deployed 50 miles of line weighed down by 2,000 hooks, and was ready to start hauling in tuna and any other sea creature caught up in the process. The boat Shuen De Ching No.888 is a brand new 24-metre longline vessel on its maiden voyage in the Pa... Read more >

  • Hazardous chemicals in pristine nature: why don't we get rid of them?

    Blogpost by Gabriele Salari - September 9, 2015 at 11:43

    Expedition to Pilato Lake, Sibillini Mountains, Italy

    Who hasn't dreamt of being in the untouched wilderness of the Himalayas, the Andes or the Altai Mountains, hiking or climbing in these incredible natural landscapes? Nowhere in the world is the snow purer or the water cleaner than in a clear mountain lake far from civilisation. Very few nature lovers would expect persistent and hazardous chemicals to be found in such places.

    In May and June 2015, eight Greenpeace teams led expeditions on three continents to the most beautiful and seemingly unspoilt regions of the world. We collected water and snow samples to test them for per- and poly-fluorinated chemicals (PFCs). Sadly, we found these persistent and hazardous chemicals in snow samples from all the remote areas that Greenpeace teams visited as Footprints in the snow – Hazardous PFCs i... Read more >

  • How I came to believe we need to Change Tuna

    Blogpost by Lauren Reid - September 9, 2015 at 11:31

    The moment we heard we were boarding our first fishing boat, I was so overwhelmed with excitement and nervousness that I nearly jumped straight off the Rainbow Warrior and into the sea – almost missing the inflatable altogether. I still have a welt on my hip to prove it. We zipped off, holding tight to the straps, white knuckled and quietly praying none of us would fall off before making it to our target, a rusty fishing boat puffing dark plumes of smoke. Our inflatable rocked high and low, riding the sea swell to the waiting group of fisherman. We were two ships in a distant ocean. We could have just disappeared, with nobody the wiser, but when the crew pulled us aboard with generous smiles and handshakes, I stopped worrying. On the ship’s deck, there was much to take in. The fisherman had... Read more >

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