Why do Europe’s taxpayers fund overfishing overseas?

Posted by Willie — 10 July 2012 at 3:13pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace
Dutch super trawler in West Africa

Q: What do you do when you run out of fish?

A: go catch someone else’s!

Cheeky perhaps, but that is the gist of what is referred to in European fishy politics circles as ‘The External Dimension’. Although it sounds like something from sci-fi, this is quite simply European fishing boats catching fish in non-European waters. Earlier this year I joined a Greenpeace ship in West Africa to see the scale of this first hand. It’s a pretty big deal, in every sense.

Conflicts and logging in Congo’s rainforests: the case of Danzer

Posted by Laura Kenyon — 8 November 2011 at 1:40pm - Comments
Cut logs in Democratic Republic of Congo
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace/Kate Davison
Logging in the Congo rainforest is often accompanied by violence and intimidation

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), violence associated with logging companies is not uncommon, but evidence and testimonies collected by Greenpeace show that the Yalisika community of Bosanga has been punished with exceptional violence.

UN confirmed that Shell's oil spills could take 30 years to clean up

Deforestation and violence in the Congo

Posted by rene.ngongo — 28 July 2011 at 1:17pm - Comments
Logging in Ituri Forest of the Congo, DRC
All rights reserved. Credit: Jan-Joseph Stok/Greenpeace
Logging in the Democratic Republic of Congo

I’m writing from Kinshasa, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These days I am torn between outrage and bitterness when I hear about the unbelievable violence that has once again been unleashed on the heart of the Congo’s forest.

Fish is a security issue: what's on your plate?

Posted by Alicia C — 2 June 2011 at 5:10pm - Comments

Your fish costs more than you think.  A billion people worldwide depend on fish as their main source of protein, many living in the world’s poorest nations - including Africa.

Catch on Senegalese Bottom Trawler

African fishermen tell EU fleets: Stop stealing our fish!

Posted by Alicia C — 5 May 2011 at 12:03pm - Comments
Catch on Senegalese Bottom Trawler
All rights reserved. Credit: © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace
Catch on Senegalese Bottom Trawler

The disastrous effects of overfishing by European fleets aren’t confined to our continent's waters: destructive EU vessels are now exploiting the waters of the world’s poorest nations - threatening ecosystems, depriving local fishermen of their livelihoods and the food security of their communities. So Greenpeace have brought them and their stories to Europe.

Video: Marion Cottilard meets Congo loggers

Posted by jamie — 18 August 2010 at 5:03pm - Comments

The third and fourth films documenting Inception star Marion Cottilard's journey to the Congo see her head out into the rainforest.

After meeting her hosts in Oshwe and the local forestry administration, she follows Greenpeace campaigners to see timber the loggers have left behind. Despite including sizeable tree trunks, they've been abandoned because they won't fetch enough money to make it worth the effort.

Actress Marion Cottilard discovers the problems of the Congo rainforest

Posted by jamie — 6 August 2010 at 11:12am - Comments

In June, Oscar-winning French superstar Marion Cottilard - currently playing in Inception at all good multiplexes - took a trip to the Congo rainforest with Greenpeace campaigners to see for herself the effect that the logging industry is having on the forest and the people who live there.

Activist murder shows perilous side of campaigning in DRC

Posted by jamie — 9 June 2010 at 4:29pm - Comments

It's easy to forget that, even though we moan about discredited political systems and infringement of civil liberties, in the UK we don't actually have it that bad. It's rare that anyone in the UK would feel in danger for speaking out against the government but of course that's not the case in other parts of the world. A shocking reminder of this came with the news last week that a prominent human rights activist was murdered in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Floribert Chebeya Bahizire was the executive director of La Voix des Sans Voix (Voice of the Voiceless), an organisation he set up in 1983 to expose human rights abuses and injustice in the DRC. But last Wednesday in Kinshasa he was found dead in his car, and his driver is still missing. According to the news wires, there'll be an investigation into Bahizire's death but there are questions over how revealing it will be. So much so that an open letter has been sent to the president Joseph Kabila from over 50 human rights groups, advocating an open, impartial inquiry.

Of course, Greenpeace has a team in Kinshasa and the challenges of campaigning there are markedly different than from a comfortable office in London. Intimidation and murder against those working to improve the lives of those who are disenfranchised and disregarded is unacceptable wherever it happens, and with the 50th anniversary of independence for the DRC approaching at the end of the month, Bahizire's murder will cast a long shadow over the celebrations.

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