Greenpeace Southeast Asia


Push it! by Chuck Baclagon

How far can you push a big inflatable globe on a road in Hua Hin, Thailand?

Several kilometers maybe? Today, we tried it today and covered all of 200 meters.

Today just happens to be the second day of the 15th ASEAN Summit taking place in Hua Hin, one of Thailand’s more famous resort towns.

Ten Southeast Asian heads of state are meeting inside Dusit Thani Hotel talking about issues such as regional cooperation, human rights, global economy, disasters, and climate change.

Today, incidentally, is also the International Day of Climate Action.

อาเซียน: จงจริงจังต่อการยุติภัยคุกคามโลกร้อน ASEAN: Get serious about climate threat! by you.

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Behind that masked grey visage by Chuck Baclagon

On Sunday, September 20, Chang(e) Caravan joined the citizens of Chanchoengsao, in their local festivities that combined the Global Car-Free Day with the provincial river- protection day.

Strangely enough, this was our first day in a town, after walking for days skirting around the Khao Yai National Park, and none of us, including our great friends and fellow-travelers, the elephants were particularly happy about it.

But the enthusiastic welcome by hundreds of bikers from local bike club, students from the local schools and colleges, farmers and traders who are members of agri-nature foundation and soldiers of local military unit, made the short walk through town worthwhile.

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Dumbo Drop by Chuck Baclagon

September 15, 2009

No, I don’t mean what Um has to clean up, but the process of transporting elephants across provincial borders. An operation as complicated as the movie Operation Dumbo Drop.

As required by Thai law and provincial administration regulations, Elephants cannot walk across provincial borders, they can only be transported by trucks, with prior permissions of the livestock department.

So, early this morning after their usual enormous breakfast; with the help of the mahouts, our veterinarian and elephant transport experts, our great friends delicately clambered onto the back of a truck specially designed for them and were driven across the borders which an elephant can hardly tell, but let us not get into the irony of this bureaucratic joke.

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Washington, we have a problem. by Chuck Baclagon

Xiaowei, a Chinese rock-star, Tshepo, an African activist and Shane, an American-Indian student are part of the small Greenpeace team of Thai and Filipino staff and volunteers, that walked the entire distance of 12 kms with the Chang(e) caravan today.

Watching them through the view finder of my camera, I was reminded of Margaret Mead’s words, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

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Beautiful Moment by Chuck Baclagon

Elephants and their mahouts take Thai Buddhist monks to the venue for the send of blessing for the Greenpeace Chang(e) Caravan.

September 12, 2009

Yes, after the  successful launch yesterday- with full work integration across all departments and 3 countries, today we started our journey early in the morning with a Buddhism traditional blessing ceremony. We all, Greenpeace team, together with other guests and community people gathered in front of the research center (launching place) to offer food to the monks while they were sitting on the 5 elephants – who are now walking with the caravan. This will surely bring us good luck throughout the journey. Beautiful moment- indeed.

Then we started walking.  Besides the Thai team, we also have the campaign team from the Philippines and Indonesia walk together – led by Shai and Tara. Our super Shai and his son Shane were ones of the few persons who could walk non-stop throughout the whole 10 km route today, despite a sunny day – wow.  Along the way, we stopped at the energy efficiency resort- they happily welcomed us and presented their energy efficiency design buildings which are powered by wind turbine and solar cells, which exemplify a good practice for climate change mitigation. They also gave us some donations for the Chang(e) Caravan.  Walked a few more kilometres, then we reached the place where we would stay overnight.

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Walking with the elephants! by Chuck Baclagon

Day213 September 2009

I have walked for many causes in the past.

Inspired by the Narmada Bachao Andolan, I walked with people of the Narmada valley in India who were opposing the  hugely controversial Sardar Sarovar dam, that has wiped out the lives and livelihoods of thousands while delivering very little to those who were supposed to benefit from it.

Moved by the never-say-die attitude of the survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster, I have walked with them many times in their campaign to seek justice from the American multinational, Dow chemicals. This December 4th will be the 25th anniversary of the disaster and one of the longest running people’s struggle.

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