Green Peace


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Green Peace

  1. 1. Amsterdam, Netherlands — We hope you like the new look and feel for our "Mothership" website at Greenpeace International. We call it Greenpeace Planet. Thanks to everyone who participated in our online opinion polls and discussions about the redesign, and who've sent suggestions for improvements. We designed the site to help us with this mission: To communicate clearly our warnings about planetary threats. To prompt value-based debates about how to stop environmental abuse and how to create solutions. To inspire our visitors to join us and take action, and to provide them with the tools to rapidly affect change. Some of the site's new features include: • Easier navigation to your own language and country, and support for worldwide character sets like Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic, and Thai. • Consistent, easier-to-use navigation within the site • The ability to discuss stories via our Cybercentre and sign up as a Greenpeace Cyberactivist • Databased content for fast, precise information • Click on any picture in the site for a big, glorious, but fast-loading version • The ability to send any picture on the site as an e-card, or email or print any page • Action links on every page: Action, not words! • Quick loading, any-browser, no-frames content • XML support so you can receive Greenpeace news feeds on your Palm Pilot, Cell phone, and other gadgets. This is only the beginning. We've developed Greenpeace Planet's backend software as an in- house, open-source project. What you see today are the core features of a Lego-like project, and we'll be adding new snap-on capabilities as we go. The Story Behind Greenpeace Planet Greenpeace, like many activist organisations, faces unique challenges in getting our message out via the web. Perpetually understaffed and under-resourced, we needed a tool that would allow any of our campaigners or information officers to get their research, insights and warning messages to specific audiences, and get those audiences active in making a change. We needed a tool to allow our web editors based around the globe to publish in any language, any alphabet, at any time. It had to permit them to get information out under tough conditions -- from the middle of the Amazon or the middle of an ocean, or chained to a smokestack with a laptop and a satellite phone. The way it was designed had to be done with an eye to the purer principles of database design, information management and worldwide engineering standards.
  2. 2. It had to be designed so that we could grow the whole site as the times changed and the world accelerated. And most of all, it had to build in tools for discussion and community-building. Why communities? Why build space for discussion? Because Greenpeace doesn't win environmental victories. Public opinion does. Public opinion is what stopped nuclear testing and protected Antarctica from oil and minerals exploration and created the moratiorium on commercial whaling; not Greenpeace. Public opinion is what keeps the worst abuses of governments, chemical giants and petroleum conglomerates in check. What Greenpeace provides is the lightning rod: the highly visible attractor to the power of public opinion. Sometimes that's information -- like the warnings about Global Warming that we were making decades ago. Sometimes that's drama to call the public's attention to an abuse -- like our highly televised confrontations with Russian and Japanese whaling fleets in the early 80s. Sometimes it's drama backing quiet implementation work in the conferences halls of an international treaty -- like our successful efforts to ban ocean dumping of radioactive materials and to stop international trade in toxic waste. We exist to create fair, fully informed debates in society about our planet's future. Because when the debate is fair and informed, we win -- and that means the planet wins. The Internet has the potential to become the place where fully informed debates about our planet's future take place. It has the potential to become not just the collective mind of civilisation, but the collective conscience as well, and a core resource for global democracy. It certainly has the potential to be more than a global shopping mall. Today, we're witnessing the globalisation of our world's economy and information infrastructure, the rise of peer to peer journalism and peer to peer activism. And with the rise of global consumer markets comes the rise of global consumer campaigns. We wanted Greenpeace Planet to provide one place where all those forces can gather. Open Source Software Our technical staff here at Greenpeace have links not only to the environmental movement, but also to that hotbed of technical radicalism, the Open Source movement. In the world of Open Source software, the workings of a software system are not jealously guarded as a commercial secret, but shared openly among a worldwide community of programmers who work collectively to improve the functionality, stability and the security of the software for the benefit of all.
  3. 3. The best-known and most successful Open Source project is the Linux operating system. Greenpeace's first internet server in 1994 was a Compaq 286 desktop computer running Linux, and our intranet and Internet systems have been proud, subversive champions of the Penguin Flag ever since we served up our first pages via Gopher, and our first website exposing the secret route of a plutonium shipment. (If you don't know what a "286 desktop" or "Gopher" were, just do what computer technology does: move on.) In our view, the most important thing about Free Software is not the economics; it's the politics. Not "free" as in "free beer," but freedom as in "free speech". OpenSource projects can empower non-commercial activities, like online activism, in ways that corporate and built-for-profit software projects simply cannot. Look today at the number of e-commerce tools available. You can pick any one of hundreds of software tools to help you sell running shoes on line, for example. But how many tools are out there to create a global demand that those running shoes be made in an environmentally sound and humanly compassionate way? That's the gap we believe needs to be addressed. And that's why we're building Greenpeace Planet as an Open Source project, with the aim to share the software with other environmental and human rights groups. When it came to choosing the software we would build this in, the choice was (eventually!) obvious: the Open Source version of ArsDigita Community Systems (OpenACS). ACS was the software that built Scorecard, the gold standard for environmental information and community building software. Scorecard was created by the American environmental group, Environmental Defense. Scorecard serves up vastly detailed information about toxic pollution at a national, state, and local level for the entire US. It provides links to government officials, to activist groups working on particular problems, to discussion threads and online petitions and to legislative routes for demanding information and promoting action. It bridges the gap between serving up passive information and creating a collaborative environment for action. (You can read the Scorecard story here.) Public engagement At the same time that we began discussing the concept of Greenpeace Planet, Greenpeace was in the midst of discussions about the nature of our campaigns and the concept of "Public Engagement." We saw some interesting trends. Back in the 70s, Greenpeace's messages were catalytic warnings about environmental threats that needed attention. Nuclear bombs were still going off in the
  4. 4. atmosphere and spreading "perfectly safe" radioactive fallout around the world. The great whales were being hunted to near extinction. Toxic chemicals filled the air and water. To get our message out about these threats, Greenpeace created what Robert Hunter, a Greenpeace founder, called "Media Mind Bombs" -- visually compelling dramatisations of David-like opposition to these Goliath-like forces. We spoke to the public via the only means we had to reach a mass audience: television, newspaper, and magazine stories. With the rise of the Internet, we suddenly had the capability to speak in an unmediated voice, to open a two-way communication channel between our supporters and our opponents, and to open the organisation to the creativity and energy of direct input. In the late 90s, we created our first web-based community of supporters on the Internet: the independent, virtual nation-state called "Waveland." Waveland brought together people from all over the world bonded by a roughly common set of values to chat with one another, bounce ideas around, swap pointers to environmental actions and solutions, moan about politics or just yack. Many people became regular and popular commentators. Some folks spent hours on the site every day. It was a self-policing, self-promoting, and self contained little world, to the point that the community actually continued to grow and extend well beyond the end of the campaign it was built for -- and so past the point that Greenpeace was officially paying attention. Then the Internet service provider that hosted Waveland for us went bankrupt. The server where Waveland citizens had been living in daily contact with one another was seized. Entire personalities, relationships, and discussion threads that had made up thousands of people's Internet homestead were gone in an instant. The organisation that hadn't been paying attention was suddenly inundated with messages of protest. One Waveland citizen who wrote said she'd met her husband on a Waveland discussion board. Another said he felt like he'd lost his home and all his best friends. Meanwhile, back in Australia, a converging trend was happening. Greenpeace and Adbusters had launched a campaign to demand Coca-Cola live up to the promise of a "Green Olympics" in Sydney. Coke still used climate-killing chemicals in their refrigerators, despite the ready availability of alternatives. An Internet campaign was launched to pressure the CEO of Coke to convert to climate-friendly technology.
  5. 5. We planned for a long drawn out conflict. Instead, the attack on Coke's brand quickly became widespread. The company went into a panic about its global image. Within months, Coke capitulated. One of the reasons the effort had succeeded was the swift peer-to-peer promotion of the campaign's website via aligned communities on the Internet. It was out of these lessons that the Greenpeace Cyberactivist Community was born. We recreated the threaded discussion features of Waveland, added the ability to have your own home page, to sign up for a regular campaign alert newsletter, and made the site our primary organisational discussion board and the centre of our online activism campaigns. In its first year, the Cyberactivist Centre attracted over 65,000 registered users and hundreds of thousands of visitors who joined us in dozens of effective online actions. Community members also named a Greenpeace ship (the "Esperanza"), helped design their own site, gave advice and feedback to a new Executive Director in an house" discussion, sent a volunteer to the Amazon, and helped translate articles into hundreds of languages. Q2 • Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation. We do not accept money from governments or corporations. That's why our financial supporters are our lifeblood. You can offer a monthly, annual or one-off gift. • Print • Send to a friend Search Search this site Search Go to your national site World websites Select other Greenpeace websites worldwide GREENPEACE EMAIL
  6. 6. Email address: Country: Related news releases • Greenpeace hands out warning: French nuclear industry at work 22 May 2008 • Nuclear-dominated Forum aims to weaken Europe’s nuclear safety standards 22 May 2008 Related campaigns • Stop climate change • End the nuclear age • Safety Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation which uses nonviolent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force the solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace's goal is to ensure the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity. Q3 Vancouver, Canada — Greenpeace is celebrating an enormous success—the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest. The government of British Columbia has announced the implementation of the most comprehensive rainforest conservation plan in North American history for the Great Bear Rainforest.
  7. 7. This celebration is a direct result of a decade-long campaign — one of the longest in Greenpeace history. The conservation plan protects the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest on the planet. Around the world, it is being hailed as a model for conservation; a “greenprint” for other nations to learn from. A rainforest protected In 2006, British Columbia’s Premier Gordon Campbell promised the world he would protect the Great Bear Rainforest for future generations and to improve the well-being of local communities living in the rainforest. Those promises have now been realized. Since 2006, Greenpeace and its partners Sierra Club BC and ForestEthics have been working with logging companies, the B.C. government and First Nations to make the agreement a reality by March 31, 2009, a deadline set by Premier Campbell to make good on his 2006 promise. Now that the promise is a reality: * 2.1 million hectares is now legally protected from logging; * New ‘lighter touch’ logging regulations, based on Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM), is now a legal requirement. This system maintains 50 per cent of the natural level of old growth forest of the region or an additional 700,000 hectares of forest set aside from logging. What this all means is that an area of the forest almost the size of Belgium is now completely off limits to logging. A huge victory by any measure! Thanks to Greenpeace supporters Greenpeace supporters from across Canada and around the world have been instrumental in this victory.
  8. 8. Thousands of letters were sent to the Premier of British Columbia over the past four months and over 4,000 people are members of the Great Bear Rainforest Facebook page. Greenpeace published full-page ads encouraging B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell to keep his promise in several newspapers including the Vancouver Sun. Letters and phone calls from major purchasers of pulp, paper and lumber also poured in to ensure logging companies and the B.C. government kept the promise. Support for First Nations First Nation communities now have $120 million CDN available to them to help kick start a new conservation economy as an alternative to logging. The Great Bear Rainforest is the traditional territory of 25 First Nations that have lived in the region for millennia. This announcement will support the creation of new sustainable economic opportunities for First Nations. The long journey The historic announcement is built on a decade-long struggle to secure the future of Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest. British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest has been a site of global controversy, environmental protest and widespread international media interest since 1995. Greenpeace and its partners demanded an end to destructive logging in the Great Bear Rainforest. Our efforts culminated in critical pressure on forest product customers. Over 80 companies, including Ikea, Home Depot, Staples and IBM, committed to stop selling wood and paper products made from ancient forests. This marketplace pressure drove logging companies to sit down and negotiate with environmentalists. Meanwhile, key valleys in the rainforest were protected from logging while discussions took place. The main goals of our campaign were to protect the most important areas of the Great Bear Rainforest, change logging practices and support a sustainable future for local communities. Sophisticated campaign To make these goals a reality, Greenpeace, along with ForestEthics and Sierra Club BC, employed a sophisticated campaign that involved protests, market engagement, government lobbying and civic action, participation in government-sponsored land-use forums, and negotiations with the coastal logging industry. More to do Everyone involved in achieving this major milestone agrees that there is more work to do before achieving the overall goals of ecosystem integrity and human well-being.
  9. 9. Greenpeace, other environmental groups, the B.C. government, forest industry and First Nations have endorsed a five-year plan that will achieve the long-term goals of low ecological risk and high quality of life in communities by 2014. Global model This is arguably one of the most comprehensive and complex land management regimes ever worked on and as such, there has been no existing road map to follow. But through the many twists and turns this process has taken we can now see a destination — one where the Great Bear Rainforest will continue to provide a home and sustenance to all manner of life. The Great Bear Rainforest agreements are truly unique: they work to ensure the ongoing health of not just the forest, but also the climate and the economy. Now more than ever, a global model such as this one provides a beacon of hope that meaningful collaboration and resolution can be found through conflict. For more on the Great Bear Rainforest victory, read personal accounts by Scott Paul, forest campaign director at Greenpeace USA and by Tamara Stark, communication director at Greenpeace UK and former forest campaigner in Canada. The Great Bear Rainforest protection agreement comes into force in Canada, capping one of Greenpeace's longest running campaigns by protecting an area half the size of Switzerland from logging. The campaign was won with direct non-violent action on the ground, consumer pressure, stockholder actions, and thousands of online activists worldwide. Following a six-month long Quit Coal campaign by Greenpeace, the Greek Minister of Development states that the government is not considering coal or nuclear power as part of Greece's energy future. Instead the Greek government will be rewriting its Long-Term Energy Plan to exclude coal and promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Electronics giant Philips bows to pressure from Greenpeace and consumers and becomes a leader in environmentally friendly take-back policies for electronic waste. An amibitous policy of global take-back exceeds legal requirements in many countries Greenpeace lit up central Prague for the past two evenings with giant projected slogans reminding the public, media and energy decision makers about the risks of nuclear power versus the benefits of clean
  10. 10. energy. Prague Castle formed the first backdrop for “Nuclear underlines climate protection” and “Energy Revolution NOW!”, shone from an industrial-size beamer. The images featured a shattered radiation motif symbolising the chronic flaws in nuclear technology.