2004 Champion Assassin of Life on Earth - the Winners

Feature story - February 21, 2004
Greenpeace today announced the winners of the 2004 Champion Assassin of Life on Earth Award. This disreputable honour is given to a country who has done the most to weaken the outcome of the UN Summit for Life on Earth and bring an end to biodiversity on our planet. The inauspicious trophy features a lifelike model of planet earth with a large axe buried in it, symbolizing the impact the award winner is making to the future of life on earth. After a 3 AM end of discussions and dialogue, two countries have surfaced as most deserving of the award: Australia and Malaysia.

"Malaysia and Australia did so much to undermine the effectiveness of the CBD, that Greenpeace could only give the award to both," said Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace.

Malaysia was nominated for providing a draft Ministerial Statement with no substance, and failing to provide leadership at the meeting despite their 'green' rhetoric and their role as hosts. Most importantly, their refusal to put Protected Areas on the official ministerial agenda, even though it was the one of the priority themes for the Conference of parties of the Convention. Malaysia was also noted for its consistent weakening agreements about indigenous peoples rights.

Australia received the nomination for their insistence on introducing trade issues into the CBD, undermining the precautionary principle of the convention, and questioning agreed targets.

"The final agreement of this meeting must be the start to avoiding the loss of plants and animals around the world, but urgent national implementation is needed to save life on earth. We hope that this award encourages Malaysia and Australia to perform to a higher standard in their implementation of this agreement," concluded Kaiser.

Greenpeace has been highlighting the plight of the world's forests and oceans. Currently two ships, the Rainbow Warrior and the Arctic Sunrise, are touring some of the most pristine forest regions that are facing the threat of species extinction in Indonesia and Chile.