PORT KLANG, Malaysia – After a colorful 5-month journey across Southeast Asia, the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior finally made its way to Port Klang in Selangor to raise greater awareness on environmental protection and to engage with local partners and supporters for a meaningful action on plastic pollution.
The most iconic of all the Greenpeace fleet, the Rainbow Warrior is in the region campaigning on various environmental issues affecting communities and vital ecosystems in Southeast Asia. She visited and had public events in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and, most recently, Singapore.
This is the first time that the Greenpeace ship is sailing to Malaysia, a year after the international environmental NGO opened a local office in Kuala Lumpur.
“We are hoping to work with the government and the people of Malaysia in raising awareness and educating the public on matters related to climate change, plastic pollution, deforestation, energy systems and systemic problems that reinforce these environmental issues, like corruption and short-sighted industry mindsets,” said Naderev “Yeb” Saño, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director.
According to Greenpeace, the decision to establish a physical presence in Malaysia was due to the country’s strong stance and support of several international environmental treaties. Malaysia is a party to more than 10 multi-lateral agreements, which complement and reinforce its commitment to sustainable development and environmental protection.
“There is much work to be done especially with regard to plastic pollution,” Saño stressed. In a recent study by Science Magazine, Malaysia was named “the 8th worst country in the world for plastic waste producing almost 1 million tonnes of mismanaged plastic waste in 2010, but other Southeast Asian nations are no better, with Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam in the top five of the same list.
“While we are encouraged by the recent plastic ban in Malaysian Federal territories like Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur, we need to take more proactive steps toward curbing plastic waste. It is time to put an end to the issue of plastic pollution – one of the Malaysia’s most pressing environmental problems,” Saño added.
Peter Willcox, Captain of the Rainbow Warrior supports the statement for change when he commented, “People need to take collective action through long-term solutions. Problems like plastic pollution, deforestation, or climate change are not confined to national borders. It affects everyone and anyone on this planet. This is why the tour is happening and this is why we are in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia. The Rainbow Warrior is a symbol of hope and solidarity for a better world, and it is our wish that in Malaysia we can help spread this message.”
With an array of activities on schedule, Greenpeace aims to introduce itself to the wider Malaysian audience by showcasing both global and local work on plastic waste. The organisation hopes to achieve sustainable and impactful change by partnering with government, corporations, NGOs and civil society at large.
“Greenpeace hopes to work collectively with all sectors of society, and we look forward to what all countries – including Malaysia – can do towards a green and peaceful future,” Saño concluded.
The ship is anchored-at-sea in Port Klang from June 2- 5, and will welcome prominent public figures, NGOs, and supporters from across the country.
For more information, please contact:
Hikmat Soeriatanuwijaya, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia