Rainbow Warrior in Bali: Greenpeace Visits the Sacred Isle

Benoa, Bali, 2 July 2013. In June the Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace’s activist vessel, arrived in Indonesia to promote the organisation’s Oceans Campaign. By Kayti Denham.

Benoa Harbour welcomed the famous Rainbow Warrior“Indonesia is at the heart of the world’s marine biodiversity,” said Arifsyah M. Nasution, Greenpeace Indonesia’s Ocean Campaigner. “Our country, the world’s largest archipelagic state, plays a key role in global oceans protection and sustainable fisheries,” he added at the celebration of the vessel’s arrival. 

The recent Greenpeace Oceans Campaign aims to catalyse, and support, the creation of equitable, sustainable and exemplary marine resource and fisheries management. This includes working for the establishment of a network of effective marine protected areas as well as ensuring the end of destructive fishing practices and overfishing, which threaten local livelihoods, marine ecosystems and biodiversity and it is this information they will be bringing to the conference in their “Ocean Defenders” presentation. 

Local band Navicula was on hand to rattle the rigging with some rock and rollThe Rainbow Warrior’s arrival signaled a slightly subdued welcome at Benoa Harbour, although local band Navicula put on a performance – one of just many they have staged in conjunction with Greenpeace on several of its eco-activities, including a tour of the disappearing forests of Borneo. 

Maybe, wondered Arifsyah, it was a quiet welcome because of a massive tollway being built across the harbour, the controversy surrounding the F1 Race Track, the death of the mangroves and the curious ambassadorial role in greenwashing of Christian Ronaldo, Real Madrid’s star football player who was in Bali at the time. Whatever the reasons, he said, the lack of press in attendance at the docking was noticeable. 

“Indonesia should lead in voicing out and providing solutions to strengthen local, regional and global initiatives for just, responsible and sustainable use of the world’s oceans resources, as well as for the protection of biodiversity,” said Arifsyah. 

"Local forests are our future," says local Greenpeace rep Longgena GintingIndonesia Country Director, Longgena Ginting said Greenpeace is also partnering on the “Forest” presentation while it is in Indonesia. “Our oceans and our forests are our future. We envision the oceans of Indonesia to be 100% free from illegal and destructive fishing practices, protected from harm, and safeguarded by local communities who are engaged in the sustainable management of their oceans resources,” he said. “This vision can be achieved if the government and all Indonesia people work together.” Greenpeace is calling on all who live in the South East Asia region to help protect the oceans, and their message to the conference participants is: Be an Ocean Defender!” 

This was echoed by Navicula who gave a great performance in support of the Ocean Defender initiative; those interested can see the band’s most recent video release Busur Hujan. This is an emotional tribute to the work of the Rainbow Warrior and can be viewed on You Tube 

For more info go to www.defendouroceans.org