Greenpeace East Asia
|Founded||1997, Hong Kong|
|Key people||Mario Damato (Executive Director)|
|Area served||People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea|
|Method(s)||campaigning, lobbying, research, consultancy|
Greenpeace East Asia's first China office was opened in Hong Kong in 1997. Early actions included a blockade of a shipment of electronic waste from Australia and a campaign highlighting the dangers of PVC in children's toys.
Before offices were formally opened in Guangzhou and Beijing in 2002, activists from the Hong Kong office ran several campaigns on the Chinese Mainland. These included investigations into electronic waste dumping in Guangdong province and a campaign to stop US-headquartered biotechnology firm Monsanto Company from patenting a Chinese indigenous soy bean variety.
Early mainland-based campaigns focused on food and agriculture and electronic waste. Since then Greenpeace East Asia has broadened its mandate into efforts to urge China's wood products industry to import environmentally sound timber, clean up its polluted rivers and lakes, and highlight the urgency of stopping climate change.
Greenpeace East Asia runs five main campaigns: climate and energy, food and agriculture, toxics (water pollution), forests and a campaign on air pollution (Hong Kong only). The organisation uses non-violent direct action to draw attention to what it considers significant threats to the environment and also lobbies for solutions. It emphasizes that while "surging economic development in East Asia has brought widespread prosperity, [it] has also taken a severe environmental toll, both regionally and worldwide."
The website also lists several achievements including:
- In 1998, following a Greenpeace campaign, Hong Kong banned the import and re-export of hazardous waste.
- In 2006, Greenpeace East Asia was the only NGO to be consulted on an early draft of a renewable energy law by China's National People's Congress.
- Two Greenpeace expeditions to China's Himalayan region in 2006 and 2007 produced evidence of dramatic glacial retreat.
- On July 6, 2010 Greenpeace China took action against Asia Pulp & Paper and French supermarket chain Auchan, which carries APP paper products such as Breeze (清风 Qingfeng) tissue paper. Activists, dressed as the Sumatran Tiger buried themselves under packages of Breeze toilet paper rolls while forest campaigner Ma Lichao spoke to the media about the issues.
Apart from specific campaigns, they also work with local organisations from time to time for general advocacy, including with the Geography Society of PLK Vicwood KT Chong Sixth Form College between 2008 and 2009.
According to the Greenpeace East Asia website, the mission of Greenpeace can be summed up as follows:
- Greenpeace stands for positive change through action to defend the natural world and promote peace.
- Greenpeace is a non-profit organisation, with a presence in 40 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. To maintain its independence, Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments or corporations but relies on contributions from individual supporters and foundation grants.
- As a global organisation, Greenpeace focuses on the most crucial worldwide threats to our planet's biodiversity and environment. Greenpeace speaks for 2.8 million supporters worldwide, and encourages many millions more to take action every day.
- Environmental issues in China
- Agriculture in China
- Geography of China
- Energy in China
- Renewable energy in China
- Coal power in China
- Recycling in China