Greenpeace Southeast Asia


New Zealand’s biggest protest march in living memory by Chuck Baclagon
May 1, 2010, 7:33 am
Filed under: Greenpeace, Volunteers | Tags: , , , ,

Biggest protest march in living memory - March Against Mining

We expected 20,000. We HOPED for 30,000. We got nearly double that. In the biggest protest march in living memory in New Zealand, 50,000 turned out in Auckland to march against Government plans to mine coal and other minerals in national reserves.

When the New Zealand Government announced its intention to open coal mines in the country’s prime conservation land, including some of its matchless National Parks, Greenpeace New Zealand set about mobilizing supporters, celebrities, and opposing politicians to say “no.”

Lucy Lawless, best known for her role as Xena the Warrior Princess, teamed up with Robyn Malcolm, a popular television and theatre actress, to call the decision “19th century thinking in a carbon-constrained world” and created a video of tourist reactions to the proposal in one of New Zealand’s parks.

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Two rivers, two activists by Chuck Baclagon

Two rivers, two activists

The theme for this year’s World Water Day, celebrated last week, is “Clean water for a healthy world.” It’s a theme that nicely slots into one of Greenpeace’s most important campaigns in the region: protecting our water.

Here in Thailand our water campaign is focused on the Chao Phraya River which runs through the country’s central plains, through Bangkok, and several other towns before it reaches the gulf of Thailand. But as much beloved as the Chao Phraya is to Thais is the Mekong which runs through five countries and defines the border north and northeast Thailand. Greenpeace visited the Mekong recently to look at drought-affected areas in the vicinity.

The Chao Phraya and the Mekong are perhaps Thailand’s two most iconic rivers. This blog is about two people, both activists, who are working to protect these two rivers.
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Greenpeace’s Von Hernandez among the top 20 most trusted Filipinos by Chuck Baclagon
March 3, 2010, 10:08 am
Filed under: Greenpeace | Tags: , , , ,

“It’s an honour to receive the recognition and trust of the people in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change. The work to protect and conserve our fragile environment never stops. We cannot afford to give up fighting for our future” - Von Hernandez

Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Von Hernandez is among the top 20 most trusted Filipinos, according to poll results recently presented by the magazine Reader’s Digest this week.  The nationwide survey is the first Asian Reader’s Digest Trust Poll which asked respondents to rate 80 influential Filipino personalities on their trustworthiness. The list included celebrities, artists, scientists, philantrophists, journalists and politicians.

The ranking, which placed Von on the 18th spot, is the latest recognition given to one of Asia’s leading environmental activists. Von was hailed as one of Time Magazine’s Heroes of the Environment in 2007. In 2003 he received the Goldman Environmental—the Nobel Prize equivalent for grass-roots environmentalists—for his work against
waste and incineration.

Von started working with Greenpeace International in 1995 as coordinator for the environmental group’s toxics campaign in Asia.  As an environmental activist of more than fifteen years he has initiated a number of environmental campaigns and projects in the Philippines such as the campaign for the rehabilitation of  the Pasig River, and the crusade to clean-up toxic contaminated sites in the former US military bases in Clark and Subic. He is also a founder and key driver of various environmental initiatives and coalitions both at the national and international levels including the Global Anti-Incineration Alliance (GAIA), Waste Not Asia,  Lakbay Kalikasan, the Ecowaste Coalition, the Sagip Pasig Movement, and the People’s Task Force for Bases Clean-up.

Since 2008, Von has been at the helm of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, steering the environment group in its work to campaign for solutions to climate change, protect the region’s ancient forests, eliminate water pollution, and promote sustainable agriculture.

Lea Guerrero


Step Juan: Stepping up for children with cancer by Chuck Baclagon


When longtime Greenpeace volunteer Tomas Leonor told us about Step Juan, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Step Juan, which was co-organized with the Cancer Warriors Foundation, was meant to raise awareness and funds for children with cancer by walking the island of Luzon from North to South.

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Stepping up to the challenge of our time by Chuck Baclagon

The 7x9 feet three panel mural painted by the University of the Philippines Artists’ Circle Fraternity to commemorate the 20th anniversary of SV Rainbow Warrior’s bombing.

To the dismay of my colleagues here in the Philippine office I am licensed to surf the web and even log on to this pesky website called Facebook –and come to think of it is indeed really interesting what you can find over there, as a few minutes ago I was able to come across Greenpeace International’s profile picture on their page and seeing it again (although technically I see it everyday as it is one of the first things that will always greet me as I enter the office) reminded me of the my first assignments when I started to become a part of Greenpeace, fulltime, not to mention one of the first people that I’ve been glad to call a comrade in the cause who is none other than —Tomas Leonor.
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A brush with People’s Greatness: recalling Howard Zinn by Chuck Baclagon

From Making Waves

Yes, I did feel a bit silly asking Howard Zinn to pose for this souvenir picture, but if it bothered him he was kind enough to pretend it didn’t. Zinn is of course the handsome white-haired man on the left, I am the woman in purple on the right and my friend Philippe the man in the middle.

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TODAY: Conditions “harsh and disproportionate” for red-carpet activists and Sea Shepherd bat-mobile sunk by whalers by Chuck Baclagon

Coverage in Spain and European free dailies continued yesterday on the campaign to release the four red-carpet activists in Copenhagen. Spanish news documented the condition of Juan Lopez de Uralde in prison as “thinner than usual”, with a quote from Kumi Naidoo referring to conditions as “harsh and disproportionate”. Reports described a cell with only a mattress and security camera.

GP’s Mario Rodriguez is quoted saying “surprisingly our colleagues are being treated as common criminals. We see disproportionate measures being carried out with them and believe they are a punishment to the civil society striving for a better world. We know that the government is acting, but we ask for higher intensity. And we are asking citizens to continue to mobilize for all the activists to be released immediately.”

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