Rainbow Warrior arrives in Manila to mark 10 years of Greenpeace in Southeast Asia

Feature story - November 27, 2010
The Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior arrived today in Manila for the final stop of her "Turn the Tide" tour of Southeast Asia. The ship's arrival marks the 10th anniversary of Greenpeace official presence in the region. Greenpeace is calling on citizens of Southeast Asia to ‘Turn the Tide’ in favor of green and peaceful future.

To welcome the Rainbow Warrior’s arrival, more than 500 Greenpeace volunteers conducted a "March for Renewable Energy" in the CCP complex in Pasay City.  In the Philippines the group is calling on President Benigno Simeon Aquino to commit to 50% renewable energy by 2020.  The group has also set up a two-day public fair, “Barangay Greenpeace 10,” with booths, exhibits and a concert with supporters, artists and volunteers to celebrate “ten years of protecting the environment together.”

Greenpeace established a regional office in Southeast Asia in 2000 and has been campaigning to protect forests, promote renewable energy, advocate sustainable agriculture and to stop water pollution.  The office was opened shortly after the first tour of the Rainbow Warrior in the region, the “Toxics-free Asia Tour 2000.”(1)

“Southeast Asia is one of the key battlegrounds where the fight to save the planet will ultimately be won or lost.  The furious pursuit of economic growth at all costs by Southeast Asian countries over the last ten years has resulted in some of the worst cases of environmental abuse and destruction we have ever seen. This Greenpeace’s mission to protect the region from further ecological ruin and to be a rallying point for awareness and action even more crucial,” said Von Hernandez, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.


“Greenpeace owes its success to our independence and our commitment to safeguard our environment and our future. It is thanks our supporters, volunteers and allies in the non-governmental organizations and people’s movements that we have won battles against existing and proposed polluting industrial facilities such as dioxin-producing waste incinerators, dirty coal and dangerous nuclear power plants.” said Mark Dia, Country Representative of Greenpeace Southeast Asia in the Philippines.

“We have championed and secured landmark policy changes and creative solutions in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, ecological waste management, sustainable agriculture and forest protection, while increasing transparency in the way public decisions are made about the environment,” added Dia.

To mark the 10th anniversary regionally, Greenpeace held a 72 hour ‘radiothon’ with Green Radio in Jakarta, Indonesia and a day-long public celebration in Thailand.

The Rainbow Warrior arrived in Manila after a four day transit from General Santos City, her first port of call in the country, last November 19.  In Maasim, Saranggani, Greenpeace conducted solidarity activities with local communities who are opposing a coal-fired power plant.(2)

Notes

(1) http://archive.greenpeace.org/toxics/toxfreeasia/index.html
(2) http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/ph/News/news-stories/sarangani-communites-all-set-to-knock-out-coal/