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Greenpeace turns 46 today. Here are five reasons to celebrate

From Greenpeace International: We’ve come a long way since 1971, when on this day, a small group of courageous people set off to stop nuclear testing in a small fishing boat. Today, we operate in more than 40 countries and are part of a global movement of millions, striving for a greener, more peaceful planet.

 Jesse Firempong, Greenpeace

That’s right. It’s Greenpeace’s 46th birthday!  We may be another year older, but we’re also stronger and wiser.

We’ve come a long way since 1971, when on this day, a small group of courageous people set off to stop nuclear testing in only a small fishing boat. Today, we operate in more than 40 countries and are part of a global movement of millions, striving for a greener, more peaceful planet.

Together, we’ve fought hard, learned a lot, and are growing into even better Rainbow Warriors with age.

Here is a quick countdown of our most recent wins over the past 12 months. Please join us in celebrating our allies and communities who made them possible!

5. World’s Largest Marine Protected Area Established off Antarctica

Victory! In October 2016, the largest marine protected area in the world was created in the Ross Sea, off the coast of Antarctica. The area covers 1,550,000 km2 (which is roughly the size of three Texases, two Spains, or one Mongolia), almost three-quarters of which will be fully-protected. The world’s leaders finally agreed: it’s time to make the Ross Sea a protected sanctuary!

Back then: We’ve been campaigning for protected areas in and around Antarctica for decades, we even had a camp there in the 1980s. Every year, Greenpeace, the Antarctic Ocean Alliance, and millions of people around the world would call on governments to protect the Ross Sea — known as the “Last Ocean”: the most pristine, shallow ocean left on Earth. We began to wonder if it would ever be protected.

4. Samsung commits to environmentally-friendly recall of Galaxy Note 7

Victory! In March 2017, Samsung committed to an environmentally-friendly product recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. The company decided that these millions of phones would be either refurbished and sold, used as rental phones, or have their salvageable components reused or sold. Samsung also promised to use environmentally-friendly methods to extract raw materials from the phones. This is great news for the hundreds of thousands of people who took action against tech waste!

Not long ago: When it had to recall the Galaxy Note 7 after nearly 100 cases of exploding phones around the world, Samsung was considering simply dumping 4.3 million brand new phones. That was the equivalent to almost 730,000 kilograms of tech waste!

3. Thai Union Commits to More Sustainable, Socially-responsible Seafood

Victory! Almost 700,000 people from around the world stood up together, took action, and spoke out to convince the world’s largest tuna company to clean up its act! In July 2017, Thai Union promised to tackle illegal fishing, overfishing, and improving the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers along its supply chain. It’s commitments include: reducing the number of harmful fish aggregating devices by 50% by 2020 (these “FADS” are floating objects that accidentally catch a number of marine species, including sharks and turtles). Among other things, it also promised to ensure independent observers are present on key fishing vessels to inspect and report on potential labour abuses. Now it’s time to keep them accountable!

Not long ago: Two years of tenacious, relentless campaigning went into this victory. Not long ago, journalists exposed that the supply chain of Thailand’s Thai Union was connected to slavery at sea. The story followed fishermen, many from Cambodia, who were held captive and forced to work on a Thai fishing boat. Compelled to act, Greenpeace and our supporters campaigned to end such harmful practices alongside unsustainable fishing practices.

2. Clyde River wins Arctic protection at Canada’s Supreme Court

Victory! After three years of tireless legal action, Clyde River Inuit stopped seismic blasting – a dangerous oil exploration project that threatened the Canadian Arctic. In July 2017, after being forced to go to Canada’s highest court of law, the community won their case against Arctic oil. This means that marine mammals like beluga, bowhead and narwhals will be protected from deafening seismic blasts — and the community of Clyde River has the long-term assurance they need that their culture and way of life can continue.

Not long ago: In 2014, under an impossibly short deadline, the community of Clyde River reached out to Greenpeace. Seismic blasting had been approved by Canada’s national energy regulator. The sound cannons involved in this process shoot unimaginably loud sound waves into the ocean – disrupting and harming whales like the beluga, narwhal and bowhead that call these waters home. Many Inuit in Clyde River depend on country food for their survival. So, the community set out to do the impossible and save their Arctic Home and we were along for the ride.

1. BP and Total suffer massive setbacks in plans to drill in unique Amazon Reef

Big Win! Last month, oil companies’ plans to drill in the incredible, newly-discovered Amazon Reef in Brazil hit a major setback. The joint application for a drilling permit logged by BP and Total is in crisis after the Brazilian government rejected their environmental impact study. In a strongly-worded statement, Brazil’s environmental agency criticised the companies for their substandard oil spill-modeling and has threatened to shelve their entire application if they can’t sort it out. The companies have one last chance to fix their application, so let’s keep the pressure up to lock this win in. Join the campaign to save the Amazon Reef!

Not long ago: Last January, we saw the first images of the recently-discovered Amazon Reef, a 600-mile long coral reef near the mouth of the Amazon River — a site already marked for oil exploration.  From what we know so far, the reef is home to more than 60 species of sponges, 73 fish species, spiny lobsters, stars and more. The unique ecosystem of the Amazon Reef has a 30% chance of being affected in the event of an oil spill. The oil companies’ dangerous plan has already been rejected by scientists, local communities, and 1.3 million people around the world – and now the Brazilian government is on the verge of rejecting it too. Add your name and let’s make this the next big win!

VIEW: Original article with photographs on Greenpeace’ website

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