Replica of Noah's Ark built as symbol of hope

Feature story - June 1, 2007
Judeo, Christian and Muslim religions all include the story of a great flood and Noah's Ark. It's said that as the flood subsided Noah released a dove, and the dove returned with an olive branch to show land had been found. To this day the Ark and the dove are symbols of hope.

Greenpeace builds Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat, the biblical mountain, to warn of impending climate disaster. Work has already begun on constructing a new Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat at an elevation of 2,500 meters. Measuring ten by four meters, the ship being built by Greenpeace, to remind leaders of all nations, shortly before the G8 summit, that there's not much time left to mitigate a climate disaster with devastating consequences for all.

And today on Mount Ararat, where some say Noah's Ark came to rest, 208 doves (one for each country) were released to dedicate the replica ark.  These doves and replica come with a message called the 'Ararat Declaration'.  The declaration demands that world leaders act to protect the basic human rights of life and health, both of which will be at risk for millions of people from the effects of climate change.

The declaration reads in part:

'We remind you, that your mandate is to protect our lives, homes, our communities and our natural resources from both man-made and natural threats. You shall not, either in policy or deed, do anything which imperils the well-being of those whom you represent.'

"If world leaders are unwilling or unable to protect their citizens against the massive floods, droughts, food crises and mass displacements which scientists predict, their leadership becomes meaningless" said Hilal Atici, Greenpeace Mediterranean energy campaigner, while highlighting that the only real answer to climate change is reducing our global warming emissions.

Construction

The re-creation of the famous Noah's Ark took Greenpeace four weeks to assemble. 20 German and Turkish carpenters used twelve cubic meters of wood to build the 10 to 4 to 4 meter (108x43x43 foot) ship at 2,500 meters (26,910 feet) above sea level. The sturdy, solid ship will stay on the mountain and serve as a hut and safe place for mountaineers.

Climbing the summit

Earlier this week, 14 activists also climbed to the Ararat summit, 5,137 metres (55,294 feet) above sea level, where they unfurled a banner reading, "G8: this is the point of no return. Save the climate now". Beate Steffens, one of the summit team, said, "If these leaders don't act now, we will very soon reach a point where climate change gets out of control".

Although the emphasis of this project is on urging world leaders to act, there's a role for everyone in tackling climate change.  Sign up to be part of the energy [r]evolution.

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Ararat Declaration

Read the Ararat Declaration.

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