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The UN just took a major step forward for marine protection

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 11:12:25 +0200

I’ve just returned from a meeting of governments at the United Nations in New York, and come bearing even more exciting things than Duty Free gifts. The UN just took another step closer to a new Treaty protecting marine life on the high seas. The “high seas” are waters which don’t belong to  any one nation, but are  everyone's responsibility to protect. That may sound wishy-washy if you haven’t been following this as closely as me, but the implications are huge.  Dolphins seen swimming in the Alboran Sea, 2017This is an important step towards protecting half the surface of our planet.With consensus that action needs to be taken, the next step is to develop this new Treaty that protects marine life in these waters; waters which cover two thirds of the world’s oceans. It’s a major agreement to aim for.“The truth is, the sea has a special relationship with all of us.  It keeps us alive. But that relationship is now under threat as never before.” Said UN Secretary General Guterres earlier in June introducing the UN Ocean Conference. The progress made at that conference helped build the necessary resolve for action last week in New York.It has been inspiring to see some of the poorer countries -- from the Pacific, to Africa, to Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean whose people’s ways of life, and in some cases, very existence is threatened by ocean degradation -- standing up to a handful of wealthy nations, which are profiting from the current lack of protection rules to pursue their short-term interests. Supported by European countries, Australia, New Zealand and even by previously skeptical nations such as Canada and Norway, the “Davids” of the ocean have been fighting till the very end against these few Goliaths, saying “enough is enough”. And they won. Activists hold a banner that reads: "UN Act Now!", 2017Being amongst the delegates at the meeting in New York, you could really feel the eyes of the world on proceedings, especially with young people on social media sending messages of hope and calling for urgent action for ocean protection and #OceanSanctuaries. We delivered many messages directly as a reminder of what this is all about: protecting our fragile blue planet for present and future generations. And they listened.Now we need to conclude this “Year of the Ocean” with the UN General Assembly launching the negotiations for a new Ocean Treaty in 2018.The science is clear, we have to act now. But after this week of seeing what people power can do,  with your continuing support I am confident that we’ll succeed.Veronica Frank is a Political Advisor at Greenpeace international[...]

Winning on the world’s largest tuna company and what it means for the oceans

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 07:28:00 +0200

It took two years of relentless campaigning and nearly 700,000 concerned people from around the world, but today we are sharing the good news that together we convinced the world’s largest tuna company to clean up its act!Tuna giant Thai Union, which owns brands such as John West, Chicken of the Sea, Petit Navire, Mareblu, and Sealect, has committed to a series of changes to its business that will help to protect seafood workers, reduce destructive fishing practices, and increase support for more sustainable fishing. This marks a major shift for the corporation, and sends a signal to the entire fishing industry to do better for the oceans and seafood industry workers.Greenpeace volunteers label John West tuna cans with "THIS IS NOT JUST TUNA" in a Tesco store to raise awareness of the #JustTuna campaign.How did this happen?As the world’s biggest tuna producer, one in five cans of tuna sold globally are canned by Thai Union. Greenpeace’s global campaign to transform the tuna industry has included targeting its brands for several years through tuna rankings, along with assessments of foodservice companies, supermarkets, and other brands supplied by the company.Almost two years ago, we launched a global campaign, calling on Thai Union to bring the tuna industry out of the shadows where a cycle of overexploitation, devastation and appalling labour practices flourish in the name of profit. Alongside our allies, unions, concerned members of the public and our supporters, we pushed the company toward a brighter future for our oceans, seafood workers and ocean-dependent communities.From our ships on the high seas, to supermarkets, industry conferences, and company headquarters, thousands of people including massive labour unions and human rights organizations joined our call for Thai Union to source more sustainably and responsibly. Together, we pushed companies supplied by Thai Union to sell better products and commit to policies that help workers and our oceans, including tackling practices like transshipment that fuel illegal activity and human rights abuses.Greenpeace activists delivered a global petition, representing over 680,000 individuals, calling on Thai Union for more sustainable tuna.So how has Thai Union changed?Thanks to the mounting pressure, starting immediately, the company will begin making the following changes across its global business.Reduce fish aggregating device (FAD) use by an average of 50%, and double supply of verifiable FAD-free caught fish globally by 2020. FADs are floating objects that create mini ecosystems and result in the catch and killing of many marine species, including sharks, turtles, and juvenile tuna.Shift significant portions of longline caught tuna to best practice pole and line or troll caught tuna by 2020 and implement strong requirements in place to help reduce bycatch. Longline vessels are known for catching and killing non-target species like seabirds, turtles, and sharks.Extend its current moratorium on at-sea transshipment across its entire global supply chain unless strict conditions are met by suppliers. Transshipment at sea enables vessels to continue fishing for months or years at a time and facilitates illegal activity.Ensure independent observers are present on all longline vessels transshipping at sea to inspect and report on potential labour abuse, and ensure human or electronic observer coverage across all tuna longline vessels it sources from. Much of the abuse that plagues fishing vessels takes place out of sight without authorities to report to.Develop a comprehensive code of conduct for all vessels in its supply chains to help ensure workers at sea are being treated humanely and fairly, beginning in January 2018. An audit will be conducted by an independent third party next year to measure progress, and in the meantime, we will all be watching and waiting for positive results.Greenpeace crew retrieve a FAD in the Indian OceanCalling on other major tuna buyersThai Union cannot and should not be taking this on alone. Not only w[...]

Historic day at the UN: Nuclear weapons are now banned under international law

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 17:46:00 +0200

Today at the UN Headquarters in New York, a global treaty banning nuclear weapons has been adopted. This is an historic moment: according to the treaty, to possess and develop nuclear weapons is now illegal under international law.Activists release peace doves during the Hiroshima atomic bombing 60th anniversary. (2005)The treaty will be open for signature by states on September 20th.Over the last three weeks, 140 countries have engaged in final negotiations of the new treaty.  The nine states with nuclear weapons (US, Russia, China, France, UK, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea) have been boycotting the meeting in an attempt to rob the process of its legitimacy. NATO members have also stayed outside of the negotiations, and on the wrong side of history. Their absence is sadly significant; unless a country ratifies the treaty, it is not bound by it. And yet, despite the efforts by nuclear armed states and those supporting them to derail negotiations, a significant milestone has been reached: the vast majority of UN member states have now declared that weapons intended to inflict catastrophic humanitarian harm are prohibited under international law. Up until today, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not yet prohibited in a comprehensive and universal manner. Biological weapons, chemical weapons, landmines and cluster munitions have all been previously banned and today, nuclear weapons joins this list of shame. Voting on the treaty to ban nuclear weapons, UN, July 7, 2017 © Xanthe Hall / ICANThe new treaty will make it harder for their proponents to describe nuclear weapons as a legitimate and useful means to provide security. It creates a global norm against nuclear weapons. This new norm will not only put pressure on nuclear-armed and non-nuclear weapon states to reject nuclear weapons permanently, it could also set the stage for future progress towards the elimination of weapons of mass destruction in nuclear armed states, should their domestic political situation change (read more about this here).The text of the new treaty is blatantly clear: it prohibits states from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, or acquiring nuclear weapons; It prohibits states from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons. It prohibits states from allowing any stationing, installation or deployment of any nuclear weapons in their territory. Read the full text here.Greenpeace salute our civil society allies, led by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) who have been relentless campaigning to make this treaty - which was thought of as wild fantasy when it was first proposed - into a legal reality. We join their call for all governments to ratify the new treaty and join hands in ridding the world of this evil, and now illegal, human invention.  When future generation look back on today’s decision, they will hopefully remember it as the moment when, finally, nuclear weapons were considered as a threat to security, not an avenue to it. From today onwards, the struggle will continue for the treaty to be ratified by all the world’s governments and for the thousands of nuclear weapons still in existence around the world, to be eliminated. It will be a long road but with a strong nuclear ban treaty in place confirming that nuclear weapons are illegal, today is a good day for peace.Lyle Thurston, ship doctor on the first Greenpeace voyage, departing Vancouver in 1971, to halt nuclear tests in Amchitka Island. Jen Maman is the Senior Peace Adviser at Greenpeace International[...]

Violence against Indigenous peoples destroys our common home

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 10:40:00 +0200

In May this year, two brothers, Vázquez and Agustín Torres, were murdered near Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico. They were Wixárika (Huichol) leaders, working to preserve their land from incursion by cattle ranchers and drug cartels. This tragedy of greed and corruption serves as an alarm bell for activists attempting to preserve our natural world.  Murdered Wixárika leader, Miguel Vázquez Torres (photo by Nelson Denman) The worldwide crisis on Indigenous land is as urgent as climate change or biodiversity loss. Approximately 400 million Indigenous peoples, with 5,000 distinct cultures, represent most of the world’s cultural diversity. Their land is threatened by mining and logging companies, ranchers and farmers, oil exploration, and now by the drug cartels too.In spite of the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, few nations actually recognise the land rights of Indigenous peoples. Their land is lost to resource extraction without legally mandated prior informed consent. Since Indigenous lands contain vast biological diversity, these communities are fighting not only to preserve their cultures but also to preserve what is left of Earth's wild ecosystems.Political capital in Mexico Miguel Vázquez Torres, commissioner of Wixárika public lands, and Agustín, an attorney in the land claim battle, were members of the Indigenous San Sebastian Teponahuaxtlán community. They led a campaign to recover 10,000 hectares, a meagre 4% of Wixárika ancestral lands. They had invited ranchers to engage in peaceful dialogue and had asked the Mexican government to provide security to avoid violence while resisting the cartels.Drug cartels now infiltrate Wixárika land, seeking remote regions to grow illegal crops. In 2001, drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán confiscated Wixárika land for cannabis plantations. After El Chapo was captured in 2014, the Sinaloa and Nueva Generación (New Generation) cartels took over, and poppy plantations replaced marijuana, serving the US heroin market. Since ranchers and drug dealers shared the desire to eliminate Wixárika resistance, some believe the two groups collaborated in the violence.During European colonisation, the 240,000-hectare Wixárika territory on the west coast of Mexico was confiscated, primarily by ranchers. Armed settlers, often assisted by police, have resisted Wixárika efforts to retrieve their land.Wixárika community during reoccupation of ancestral lands, Sept. 22, 2016 (photo by Abraham Pérez) After a 50-year struggle, Nayarit courts ruled to return 10,000 hectares of land to the Wixárika. Vázquez Torres set up a dialogue to ease the fear of ranchers and petitioned the government to create a transfer fund for ranchers, to avoid violence. When the government refused the fund and failed to provide security for the scheduled transfer, Wixárika leaders mobilized 1,000 community members to occupy a single abandoned farm.Angry ranchers established roadblocks, trapping court officials, journalists and the Wixárika. Public lands commissioner, Santos Hernandez revealed that officials were afraid to travel in the region due to the threat of violence. "They [ranchers and cartels] are watching all of us and our families,” he told the Center For World Indigenous Studies. In January 2017, Isidro Baldenegro, an environmental leader in the Tarahumara community, was gunned down in Chihuahua.  In the Mexican Congress, House Minority Speaker Clemente Castañeda's resolution for government security in the Nayarit/Jalisco region passed into law in February 2017, but to no avail. The government stalled. In May, Vázquez and Agustín Torres were shot and killed.“We solicited the governor of the state," said Fela Pelayo, head of Jalisco congressional commission for Indigenous Affairs. "We said that the situation was delicate, and ... now, after eight months of inaction, we have two Indigenous leaders dead.”“Indigenous [...]

BP’s next disaster? Not on Spongebob’s watch!

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 10:00:00 +0200

BP are at it again. 

The company that devastated the Gulf of Mexico with its Deepwater Horizon disaster wants to drill for oil near the pristine Amazon Reef. What could possibly go wrong?  🤔

Home to pink corals, sunset-coloured fish and over 60 species of sea sponge, the Reef has been described as an ‘underwater rainforest’ near the mouth of the Amazon River - and we’re only just discovering how special it is.

But if BP’s extreme drilling causes a spill, it could spell disaster for the Reef and the wider area. We can’t let this happen.

So starting today, we’re turning up the pressure on BP - working together to defend the Reef from risky, spill-prone oil drilling.

And now we’ve got some help from an unlikely source. The Amazon Reef has a new champion - a celebrity advocate who’ll stand up to BP and fight for justice.

His name? Spongebob Squarepants. 

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(Or watch on Youtube)

As a lifelong coral reef resident, Spongebob knows all about caring for our oceans - and he’s got plenty of campaigning experience too. And with over 60 species of sea sponge living on the Amazon Reef, for him this is personal.

So check out the video and share it far and wide - it’s a fun way to introduce new people to the campaign, and definitely not your run-of-the-mill Greenpeace message!

But the video is just the start. Over the next few weeks, we’ll work together to expose BP’s reckless drilling plan, and put pressure on them to leave the Amazon Reef in peace.

If you’re in, make sure you join the campaign at

 Mal Chadwick is a Digital Campaigner at Greenpeace UK


What’s happening in Poland’s last remaining ancient forest will make you furious

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 14:50:00 +0200

Would you put your body on the line to stop some of Europe’s oldest trees from being cut down? That’s what hundreds of activists are doing to protect the Białowieża Forest in Poland.Fifth blockade of the Białowieża Ancient Forest Photo Rafał Wojczal, 2017This forest is unique. It’s one of the last remaining parts of the immense ancient forest that once stretched across all of lowland Europe. It sits on the eastern border of Poland and stretches into Belarus.It’s one of only 4 European forests on the UNESCO World Heritage List. But only 35% is protected from logging.Last year, the Polish environment minister (and former forester), Jan Szyszko, allowed a threefold increase in logging in the Bialowieza Forest. Even worse, in 2017 he amended the country's law to effectively remove any any kind of control over cutting trees on private lands as well as forests governed by National Forest Holding. This resulted in massive logging all over the country. State-managed forests are no longer obligated to follow EU regulation on the legal protection of species.European bison in Bialowezia forest by Adam WajrakScientists estimate that Białowieża is home to between 11,000 and 25,000 species. It’s hard to get exact numbers; many remain undiscovered. It’s one of the last places you can find European bison, lynx and rare birds in their natural habitat.Increased logging not only violates European regulations, it violates our right to the common heritage of this ancient and precious forest. It is illegal in terms of EU law and ignores Poland’s commitments to UNESCO.Protestors march in Bialowezia forest photo by Rafal Wojczal, 2017Sometimes, you just have to chain yourself to some forestry machines to protect what’s important. Greenpeace Poland and Wild Poland activists have peacefully blockaded the logging areas five times in the last five weeks. They successfully stopped the machines from cutting down some of the most precious tree stands that have been growing for over 100 years.Last weekend, over 5,000 people marched through Warsaw in the biggest environmental demonstration Poland has ever seen. More and more people keep showing up to defend the forest, from across the region. Two weeks ago, over 800 people broke into the logging area to march through the forest as a sign of civil disobedience.We will not let this ancient and fragile ecosystem be cut down for profit. We won’t stop resisting until the entire forest is recognised as a National Park, like it is in neighbouring Belarus.Show the Polish government that the world is watching. Add your support here: ilovebialowieza.comMarianna Hoszowska is the Head of Communications for Greenpeace Poland[...]

Protecting the Earth knows no borders - not in Hungary, not anywhere

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:30:00 +0200

Three people, dressed in protective clothing, are standing on the bank of the Szamos River that separates Hungary from Romania. A Hungarian, a Romanian and a Slovak. It’s 30ºC. The air isn’t moving, sweat drips down their backs. But the chemical sampling must be carried out. Locals have signaled that there is something wrong with the river, yet the authorities are slow and reluctant to react. Greenpeace has been called in because we have the technology and scientific know-how to conduct water tests in a professional credible way.Pollution of the Szamos River is just one example of the kind of cross-border environmental disasters that an international organisation like Greenpeace is tackling every day. But as a new law comes into effect in Hungary, work like this may be at risk: Greenpeace Hungary and other groups that receive support from people outside the country, as well as inside, are being labelled as ‘foreign funded NGOs’. The need for solidarity is great.Protecting the Earth knows no bordersWaging struggles for a healthy environment together with 4,000 colleagues, 40,000 volunteers and 42 million supporters — across five continents and in 55 countries from Argentina to the Philippines — is an incredibly uplifting and empowering experience. I never lose sight of the fact that we are not alone but joined with millions of others working to achieve common goals: cleaner air, soil, water and food.This international strength is now being stigmatised in Hungary. A law on “the transparency of organisations funded from abroad” enters into force on 27 June. This law is unprecedented in the European Union and demands that a number of civil society groups, including Greenpeace, register as foreign-funded organisations.To enable the continuity of our work, Greenpeace Hungary will follow the special registration procedure set out in the law. But we will fight this law, using all legal means. This is an unnecessary and harmful piece of legislation that violates Hungary's treaty obligations under international law, and can threaten all who work for the well-being of the people and the planet.We are thankful to have the whole organisation behind us in the midst of all this turmoil. From the US to South-Korea, from Argentina to China, from India to Russia, Greenpeace offices are standing in solidarity. We feel the power of this unity, the same power that enables us to fight for clean air, clean soil and clean oceans that we and future generations depend on.   src="" width="600" height="338">Hungary cannot be left out of the global environmental movement that we have been building. We owe this to our 8,500 Hungarian donors, to our tens of thousands of Hungarian followers, to humanity and to the Earth. It is our responsibility to both enable Hungarians to take part in global action for a healthy planet and to invite international support against domestic pollution. Hungarians expect us to continue our struggle for a cleaner environment, both inside and outside Hungary’s borders.With the onslaught of the global climate crisis, this work is more relevant and urgent than ever. As part of a global organisation, Greenpeace Hungary will muster all its strength to help push the international community to take decisive action to honour the pledges enshrined in the Paris Climate Agreement. And we will push the Hungarian government to implement agricultural, energy and transport policies that are in line with Hungary’s pledges and obligations. We are proud to be able to rely on both Hungarian and foreign experts, volunteers and funds to be effective in our work. Because protecting the Earth knows no borders.Hajnalka Schmidt is the Director of Greenpeace Hungary[...]

5 ways tech companies are making your devices die too soon

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:00:00 +0200

Imagine a world where your electronic gadgets would last, or a place where your devices could be easily repaired. Imagine all the money saved!  ...But we know that world is purely imaginary, because unfortunately, the growing trend among major IT brands is to make our phones and other devices more difficult to repair and maintain.Greenpeace in partnership with US-based company iFixit, has just assessed over 40 of the most popular smartphones, tablets and laptops from the past two years, to see how easily companies are allowing consumers the access to repair or make spare parts and repair manuals available.This is what we found:1. Devices are purposefully made difficult to repair and maintainReplacing memory or upgrading the hard drive isn’t as easy as it used to be. Why? Because pieces are soldered onto the board, making repair even harder. Some of LG and Samsung´s latest smartphones alongside Apple's laptops are example of this type of design.2. Believe it or not, some phones are becoming more fragile than sturdyHands up if you’ve ever broken your phone. Annoying right? A major reason is that they are largely made of glass, and while electronic manufacturers have introduced stronger types of glass over the years, cracked screens are still endemic. In fact, most of the new generation phones are being built with expansive glass front, making them more prone to breaking. For example, Samsung’s latest S8, designed with edge to edge glass on the front and back, has been called “the most fragile’ phone ever made”.3. Batteries are harder to replaceRemember the infamous exploding Samsung Galaxy Note7? The company might have been able to avoid recalling millions of devices if the phone’s design had enabled easy battery removal. Unfortunately, nearly 70% of all devices we assessed had batteries that were impossible or difficult to replace, due to design decisions and the use of strong adhesives to affix the battery to the casing. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 smartphone and Apple’s Retina MacBook’s batteries are completely adhered to the device panels.4. Accessing the tools to self-repair are hard to obtainEven when repairing could be possible, it's very expensive and time consuming, and often special tools are required to work with proprietary screws and other parts. Apple’s iPhone, Oppo's R9m, and Huawei’s P9 are just some of the devices that require special tools to conduct repairs.5. Repair manuals or spare parts aren't easily available to the publicVery few electronic manufacturers provide users with information about how to fix their products. Out of the 17 brands represented in our assessment, only three - Dell, Fairphone and HP - provide all spare parts and repair manuals.Greenpeace volunteers group organises a smartphone repair event in Beijing, China where visitors can repair their smartphones.So what environmentally friendly products can you buy?A few best-in-class products we found, such as Fairphone, Dell and HP, show that designing with repairability in mind is possible.Making devices that last longer and can be repaired is the most significant step that electronic brands can take to reduce the various environmental impacts associated with electronics manufacturing - from the extraction of virgin raw materials, the use of hazardous chemicals and large amounts of energy in manufacturing through to generation of millions of tonnes of e-waste every year.After all, tech companies recruit some of the brightest minds on the planet, so why can’t they come up with something that takes into account our Earth’s limited resources?Elizabeth Jardim is Senior Corporate Campaigner at Greenpeace USATogether, we can change the system. Join hundreds of thousands around the world demanding that leading IT companies like Apple, Samsung and others rethink our tech, and design products that are longer-lasting, and that don’[...]

Why we leaked hundreds of pages of a secret trade deal that threatens our rights and our planet

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:00:00 +0200

Behind closed doors and countless documents, details of a proposed deal between two of the world’s largest economies are being kept from us. Until now.Chances are that the planned trade deal between the European Union and Japan has not been on top of your mind recently. And there is a reason for this. Governments have gone to great lengths to leave their citizens in the dark about a deal that can significantly impact our lives and the world we live in—with massive implications reaching from labour rights to environmental protection.This is unacceptable. Which is why today Greenpeace Netherlands is releasing large parts of the secret EU-Japan deal.Transparent public reading room for leaked TTIP documents, Berlin, 2 May, 2016 JEFTA, as it is commonly referred to, will ultimately affect the daily lives of more than 630 million European and Japanese citizens who until today’s leak have not been informed by their governments as to what exactly is being negotiated on their behalf.Global trade has significant ramifications for environmental protection and climate change. How many, and what kind of products are traded and often shipped over long distances impacts our planet, as do the health, safety and environmental standards for these products. Which is why the rules governing such trade matter a great deal.Uncovering what lies beneath JEFTAThe documents Greenpeace Netherlands released today show that JEFTA will mainly benefit large corporations at the expense of people and the planet. The agreement could make it harder for the EU and Japan to take the environmental measures necessary to reach their Paris Agreement obligations. For instance, the agreement will likely undermine efforts to reduce illegal logging around the world, including in Europe. With hardly any tangible or concrete commitments on environmental protection, JEFTA opens the door for corporate lobbyists to attack Europe’s environmental standards.Greenpeace volunteers in Romania call on the government to protect the forest. 15 Aug, 2016Over three million Europeans signed a petition calling for the end of special rights for foreign corporations, but prioritising investor protection is nevertheless part of JEFTA. Rather than having to make their case before domestic courts (like every one of us), the deal would grant foreign investors and corporations the possibility to use a separate court system. This would enable them to sue the state over environmental (or other) regulations that they don’t like. At the same time, the state or the public get no special rights to sue the corporations for labour and environmental violations. This undermines both democracy and the rule of law.Activists at the European conference centre in Luxembourg call on ministers to reject CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement). 18 Oct, 2016A threat to our rightsJEFTA is a threat to our democratic rights, our health and environment. It is also a missed opportunity. The exchange of goods and services — but also of ideas — can help open and connect the world in a way that achieves social and environmental objectives that keep us within our planetary boundaries. Environmental treaties, human rights agreements, and international labour standards — with principles of equality and intergenerational responsibility at their heart — must guide trade rules, not be threatened by them.If negotiators want to demonstrate that this agreement advances the public interest, they need to start by voluntarily publishing all the texts, enshrining social and environmental standards in the agreements. Above all they must not lose sight of the true end goal: trade as a means to achieve wellbeing for people and planet, not as an end in itself.For more on Greenpeace’s vision for trade, read our Ten Principles For Trade. For[...]

What happened when we demanded that publishers hear the voices of 500,000 of you

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 21:52:00 +0200

More than half a million people have stood up for free speech and for the Canadian boreal forest, raising their voices to call on the largest global publishers to pay attention and be our allies. We bound the signatures in a handmade book, along with dozens of photos of people in front of significant trees in their communities, showing how much the forest means to all of us. Thank you to each and every one of you that have joined this campaign so far and enabled us to represent people power in a physical object.Seeing what 500,000 names looks like on page after page of a beautiful book is humbling. But it does not even begin to honour what half a million people around the world calling for the same thing can do.Why we are speaking upThe largest global publishers, including Penguin Random House, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Hachette are buying paper for their books from Resolute Forest Products. This logging company is controversial to say the least. It logs in intact forests and threatened species’ habitat. It has lost environmental certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)on more than 6 million hectares of forestland. And it is suing environmental advocates like Greenpeace that believe the world has a right to know what it is doing.Given the true weight of these books and the seriousness of the topic, we had hopes that the publishers receiving them would also see the gravity of the situation and be compelled to do something.What the publishers had to sayLast Tuesday, Hachette Livre showed that they were ready to act. The third largest publisher in the world wrote an open letter to the CEO of Resolute Forest Products calling its legal attacks on free speech and environmental groups “excessive” asking whether there are not “other ways to deal with Greenpeace’s claims.” Hachette also recognised that it had made promises to its readers to only purchase sustainable paper and that Resolute needs to do better for the forest if it wants to continue to be Hachette’s supplier.Unfortunately Hachette Livre’s leadership in taking this first step is not yet indicative of the entire publishing industry. So last week I visited publisher after publisher, all headquartered in New York City, to deliver the book with its 500,000 signatures to represent the power of the people calling for action.First, we made a delivery to Macmillan in the historic Flatiron building. When we asked the CEO and other company representatives to plan for time to come accept the book, we were instructed to simply leave it with the security guard. They are trying to ignore the voices of 500,000, but for how long? Next we handed over the book to Penguin Random House and received a respectable reception with someone who seemed to appreciate the book and what it represented. I have my fingers crossed that we'll be hearing good things from them again soon. The largest publisher in the world cannot ignore all of us. They cannot ignore the best science, or the promises they have made to their readers and choose inaction which is effectively choosing the side of corporate bullies and a sad future for free speech.We then handed over the book to Simon & Schuster. Unfortunately in order to get the opportunity to hand over the book, I had to promise not to talk about it. So this is me not talking about it. But I can ensure you all that our continued voices are going to be vital with this one.Lastly we headed to the headquarters of the second largest publisher in the world, HarperCollins. Sadly, 500,000 people are not enough to warrant a single person from the company to talk to us. We personally called the Vice President of Corporate Communications and the security guard called up to the front desk. We were once again refused. So our book lies with an uncertain futur[...]