We could all do with some good news on the environmental front. In this monthly blog series upon positive news, we highlight current Greenpeace campaign successes but also wins and victories from the wider social and environmental movement to spur us on in our fight for people and the planet.
Thailand – No coal in Krabi
In July 2022, after 10 years of public campaigning by the people-led Save Andaman from Coal Network, the Ministry of Energy stuck to its commitment to cancel plans for a coal power plant in Krabi , Thailand after the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) showed reasonable evidence that it would have a negative impact on the environment.
Throughout the years, the coalition, which included Greenpeace Thailand, held public demonstrations, peaceful sit-ins and hunger strikes to urge the government to halt plans for the coal power plant. Protestors and campaigners were monitored, arrested and detained but they persevered inside order to protect Krabi for present and future generations.
They called on the authorities to conduct a study on the impact of the coal power plant upon Krabi and its environs. The Ministry of Energy had signed an agreement to terminate the Environmental Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) study around the Krabi-Thepa Coal Power Plant Project in favour of the SEA, which in 2022, stated that there will be no coal power herb in Krabi.
After a decade associated with fighting for their homeland, it is a show of victory for the determination plus perseverance of the individuals.
South Africa – Shell’s exploration rights revoked
In 2021, petroleum giant Shell announced that it would start searching for oil and gas reserves off South Africa’s eastern coast. The government had granted the company exploration rights in 2014, renewing them in 2021. Under the particular ruling, Shell could conduct underwater explosions to locate deep-sea gas and oil reserves – deafening blasts that can disturb, injure and kill marine life.
The plans were met with strong resistance by coastal and Indigenous communities with creative protests inside South Africa, London plus Amsterdam, along with successful online petitions. Local organisations took the case to court, arguing that exploration rights were granted unlawfully.
On 1 September 2022, South African courts revoked Shell’s exploration rights , ruling that they were given illegally. The judge also acknowledged the key role of the ocean in the livelihoods and spiritual and cultural life of coastal communities.
The judgement in order to stop Shell is a victory for people across Africa, and everywhere, fighting for a better planet against polluting and destructive industries.
Sweden – Ban on bottom trawling
In 2009, Greenpeace Nordic took action and placed over 200 boulders on the seabed around two Swedish marine protected areas in Kattegatt – Fladen and Lilla Middelgrund – to protect marine species, such as porpoises and Sweden’s rarer shark species, from bottom trawling. A formal complaint was then submitted in order to the European Commission about the lack of protection in protected areas that are part of the Swedish Natura 2000.
As of July 2022, those actions finally resulted in a total ban on bottom part trawling in all of the protected areas , and a total fishing ban in half of them. This is one associated with Europe’s strongest ocean protections and a huge win for marine life in Kattegatt.
As for the boulders, placed in the particular water 13 years ago as a conservation measure, they have become a natural part of the underwater environment with plenty of documented marine life.
Uganda and Tanzania – The European Parliament officially recognizes serious human rights issues due to EACOP
On 15 September 2022, the European Parliament passed an emergency resolution against human legal rights violations and severe environmental consequences with reference in order to the risks associated with the construction of TotalEnergies’ East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and the associated Tilenga oil extraction project in Uganda and Tanzania.
The particular largest heated pipeline within the world, the resolution officially recognised the serious adverse impact it could have on communities and the environment such because displacing communities and harming livelihoods, and endangering nature reserves and threatening wildlife.
The people of East The african continent have strongly opposed the particular construction of the pipeline for its devastating impact. More than 1 million people have raised their voices as part of the # StopEACOP campaign . This resolution puts further pressure on the particular financiers and corporations behind the EACOP.
Canada – Caribou numbers increasing in Indigenous-led conservation effort
The Saulteau First Nation and the West Moberly First Nations in British Columbia are working upon an Indigenous-led effort to save the caribou herd from extinction . Once common within British Columbia, caribou numbers have declined dramatically in the province largely due to human activity and habitat loss from mining and logging projects.
Called Caribou Guardians, the group has a carefully guarded maternity pen in a forest on Selkirk mountains where pregnant caribou are given shelter from predators. The members of the group take turns living at the pen to look after the caribou and patrol the area. The mother and calves are released into the forest when they are old enough to survive in the particular wild. Thanks to their efforts, many of the calves have survived and herd numbers have increased in recent years.
World – UN declares healthy environment a human right
On 28 July 2022, The particular United Nations General Assembly declared that everyone on the planet has the right to a healthy atmosphere.
The General Assembly said climate change and environmental degradation were some of the particular most pressing threats to humanity’s future, and called on states to step up efforts to ensure their people have access to a “clean, healthful and sustainable environment. ”
While a milestone, the resolution is not legally binding within the 193 UN Member States but an encouragement with regard to states to implement laws to protect people plus the environment. It furthermore paves the way regarding climate and environmental litigation by people and companies around the world against environmentally destructive policies plus projects.