Archive | December 2013

Save the Sumatran tiger

Deforestation for palm oil is driving Sumatran tigers toward extinction. As few as 400 tigers are thought to remain in the rainforests of Sumatra, which are vanishing at a staggering rate – a quarter of a million hectares every year. Expansion of oil palm and pulpwood plantations was responsible for nearly two-thirds of the destruction of tiger habitat from 2009 to 2011, the most recent period for which official Indonesian government data are available. Such destruction fragments the extensive tracts of rainforest over which tigers need to range in order to hunt. Even Sumatran tiger habitat in protected areas such as the world-famous Tesso Nilo National Park has been virtually destroyed by encroachment or illegal palm oil production, and government officials acknowledge that protection for such areas exists only on paper.

Wilmar International

Greenpeace’s investigations have revealed that household names including Colgate Palmolive, Mondelez International (formerly Kraft), Neste Oil, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser and a host of other companies are linked to Singapore-based Wilmar International Ltd and its international trade in dirty palm oil. Wilmar is the world’s largest palm oil processor, accounting for over one-third of the global palm oil processing market and with a distribution network covering over 50 countries.

A win for Greenpeace

Greenpeace’s lobbying has recently cause Wilmar to make some changes – they are now committed to a No Deforestation policy.

‘Effective immediately, Wilmar will not engage in development of HCS, HCV, or peat, nor knowingly source from suppliers engaged in development of HCS, HCV, or peat.’

What does this mean for the Sumatran tigers?

To put this into perspective, palm oil is the single biggest cause of deforestation in Indonesia and a growing threat in places like Africa. Wilmar controls over a third of the global palm oil trade; but by banning its suppliers from destroying forests and peat lands, Wilmar’s policy could be an important step toward transforming the palm oil sector. Wilmar’s policy could be a landmark win for the world’s forests and the people and tigers that depend on them for their livelihoods.

Supporting Greenpeace

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Greenpeace as they encompass similar ideals.

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

How you can help

Donate now to help save the Sumatran tiger:

https://www.greenpeace.org.au/appeal/end-of-year-2013?src=RHC

Help stop the Monsanto frankenseed factory!

Avaaz’s new campaign is rallying us together to help stop the massive new frankenseed factory in Argentina.

The problem with frankenseed

Monsanto manufactures genetically modified seeds that, when combined with toxic pesticides, create the devastating ‘monocultures’ — where nothing grows but a single plant — that increasingly cover our planet.

Argentina has become one of the world’s biggest producers of genetically modified [GM] crops, along with Brazil and the US. More than 70 per cent of arable land is used for GM monoculture. This has turned Argentina’s land for food production into land used for the production of grains for biofuels and animal feed.

Doctors have raised concerns over the health effects of widespread GM agriculture. In Malvinas many locals are concerned that GM products and the pesticides they require are poisoning the land, leading to birth defects in their children and poor health amongst agricultural workers.

US corporation Monsanto, the global leader in GM agriculture, is pushing for the construction of this mega plant in Malvinas. It would be one of the biggest GM seed plants in the world. Monsanto enjoys close ties with President Kirchner, and GM deals like this one, have not been put to public consultation.

Supporting Avaaz

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Avaaz as they encompass similar ideals.

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

How you can help

In just 48 hours, more than half a million people from around the world joined the Avaaz campaign to back the community of Malvinas in their call on Argentine politicians to block construction of a giant genetically-modified seed plant that locals fear could devastate their health and environment.

Almost 70 per cent of the people of Cordoba are opposed to the plant, but locals fear that politicians at all levels of government are putting the multinational’s profits before the interests of the people. Those who have spoken out against the plant have been subject to brutal beatings and death threats from pro-Monsanto thugs.

Now the people of Argentina need our help. Sign the petition now, and let’s raise the profile of the issue in local media, feature the petition in an ad campaign, and push the unpopular Argentine President to shut down the plant and roll back the spread of Monsanto’s toxic agriculture.

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_monsanto_in_argentina_global_/?slideshow

Let’s join with Avaaz in honouring Nelson Mandela

As the world mourns Mandela, many are trying to whitewash his legacy, lauding his love, forgiveness and acceptance while ignoring the fiercely principled fight for justice of a man who was on the US government’s terrorism watch list for decades. As world leaders converge for his memorial this week, let’s remember and honour the real Mandela.

 Nelson Mandela was a truly extraordinary human being whose humanity and vision shone through everything he said and did. He was a dedicated warrior for freedom, truth, justice and human rights combined with humility and inspirational vision. As though that were not enough he showed us the power of forgiveness and reconciliation. We must do all we can to fulfill his legacy of hope, peace and public service. We mourn his passing but celebrate and give thanks for his life.

The whitewashed praise is coming thick and fast from leaders that opposed his struggle for freedom, branded him a “terrorist”, and were weak or even complicit in the apartheids of South Africa and of today. This dishonours Mandela’s true legacy and misses the chance for our leaders to face the stark challenge that his life poses to all of us.

 

Supporting Avaaz

 The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health. 

 The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person. 

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.

 The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Avaaz as they encompass similar ideals.

 The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:

 http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

What you can do

To protect Mandela’s legacy, and remind our leaders of it, Avaaz staff have created a huge memorial wall right outside of his house in front of the world’s media and we’re filling it up with hundreds of messages from Avaaz members right now. You can add a message to the global memorial — to express love and gratitude for Mandela’s life, and hope that our leaders will learn from his true legacy.

 We have lost a great inspiration, but Mandela’s message of hope and public service lives within all of us. The United Nations has already declared Mandela’s birthday to be an international day of public service.

 Add your message and pledge to honour his legacy:

 https://secure.avaaz.org/en/honour_mandela_5_2/

Help shut down puppy factories

Animals Australia estimates that about 95% of puppies sold in pet shops come from puppy factories.

Most people are aware that the majority of animals raised for the production of meat and eggs are kept in terrible conditions in factory farms. But few realise that similar facilities around Australia are keeping breeding dogs to churn out thousands of puppies every year that are sold to unwitting dog lovers.

What are puppy farms?

Puppy factories (or puppy ‘farms’) are commercial dog breeding facilities that produce the large numbers of puppies at the expense of the welfare of animals, particularly the parents. Breeding dogs are often confined in small, filthy cages for their entire productive life. Denied affection, exercise and a clean environment, dogs behavioural, social and/or physiological needs cannot be met. Dogs in these conditions frequently suffer from serious health problems, yet are left to languish without adequate veterinary treatment.

The puppies bred in these horrific conditions are supplied to pet shops and sold on internet sites. Often they have health conditions such as hip dysplasia, chronic skin conditions, overshot jaws and heart murmurs. They are also likely to have developed behavioural problems.

What are the conditions like?

No sky. No walks. No kindness. No bed. This was life for the dogs at Pyramid Hill puppy factory. Conditions in the huge windowless sheds — filled with rows of cages — reached near freezing temperatures in winter. Many rescued dogs required urgent veterinary assistance; their fur matted and stinking.

The combined efforts of Animals Australia, RSPCA Victoria and Loddon Shire Council have freed 150 dogs from this cruel facility in which they were treated like breeding machines.

Without laws to prohibit puppy factories, and with state governments failing to actively monitor and enforce basic regulations, other puppy factories just like this one continue to operate unabated throughout Australia. Their appalling conditions remain hidden from the public behind the veil of pet stores and online ads.

Our laws are failing “man’s best friend”. But you can help change that.

Don’t allow state governments to turn a blind eye to puppy factory cruelty any longer. You can use your voice to call on your MP to ensure that your state enacts laws to properly protect dogs, and that these laws are monitored and enforced.

Supporting Animals Australia

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Animals Australia as they encompass similar ideals.

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

How you can help

You can play an important role in stopping the senseless killing of healthy companion animals. If you’re planning to welcome a new pet into your home, find your new best friend at your local shelter or on Pet Rescue.

Support Animals Australia and tell the government to stamp out puppy factories:
http://www.animalsaustralia.org/take_action/puppy-factory-rescue

Help ban shark finning in New Zealand

What is shark finning?

Shark finning refers to the removal and retention of shark fins while the remainder of the living shark is discarded in the ocean. Sharks returned to the ocean without their fins are often still alive; unable to move effectively, they sink to the bottom of the ocean and die of suffocation or are eaten by other predators.

Shark finning increased since 1997 largely due to the increasing demand for shark fins for shark fin soup and traditional cures, particularly in China and its territories, and as a result of improved fishing technology and market economics. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Shark Specialist Group say that shark finning is widespread, and that “the rapidly expanding and largely unregulated shark fin trade represents one of the most serious threats to shark populations worldwide”.

Some countries have banned this practice and require the whole shark to be brought back to port before removing the fins.

Shark finning in New Zealand

Shocking and cruel shark finning at sea is still legal where you’d least expect it: New Zealand. Thankfully, key ministers have finally announced plans to overhaul these laws and potentially put a total ban in place. International public pressure is crucial to making it happen.

 In New Zealand it is still legal to kill a shark just for its fins and dump its body back into the ocean. This is a wasteful and destructive practice, the very opposite of sustainable fishing.

Beyond New Zealand waters shark finning is banned throughout much of the Pacific and many small Pacific Island countries have gone so far as to designate their entire waters as shark sanctuaries. New Zealand is letting down regional and international conservation efforts to protect sharks by allowing shark finning to continue in our waters, and by refusing to sign up to the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species agreement on sharks.

Supporting Greenpeace

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Greenpeace as they encompass similar ideals.

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

How you can help

You can join the movement to help ban shark finning in New Zealand by signing the petition which will be brought to the attention of the Fisheries Management, Ministry for Primary Industries.

https://www.greenpeace.org.au/action/?cid=49&src=GP5

Make trade fair!

What’s wrong with world trade?

Trade can be a powerful engine for reducing poverty. But rich countries dominate the World Trade Organization (WTO), which is where global trade rules are negotiated. And they set rules under which poor countries continually lose out.

Wealthy nations have double standards too – forcing poorer countries to keep to rules they don’t obey themselves. The result? Trade robs poor people of a proper living and keeps them trapped in poverty.

Labour rights matter

Globalisation and trade have drawn millions of people in developing countries into paid work. Their labour is contributing to rising global prosperity and to the profits of some of the world’s most powerful companies. But many of these workers are still living in poverty even though they have paid jobs.

For example, workers producing for companies like Nike, adidas, Puma, Asics, FILA, Mizuno, New Balance and Umbro, often endure low wages and long hours in sweatshop conditions.

Oxfam are part of a global campaign to persuade companies and governments to respect workers’ rights.

Oxfam is campaigning to:

  • Stop the United States and European Union dumping subsidised farm products in the developing world that ruin the livelihoods of local farmers
  • Stop rich countries from forcing developing countries to prematurely open their economies to agricultural imports
  • Improve the price paid to small farmers for their coffee as part of our Fairtrade coffee campaign
  • Make sure that trade agreements between rich countries such as ours and poorer countries do not undermine the lives and livelihoods of poor people
  • Make sure that companies and governments respect workers’ rights in the developing world

Supporting Oxfam

 

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Amnesty International as they encompass similar ideals.

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:

 

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

How you can help

 

You can join with Oxfam and help make trade fair

Oxfam are demanding new trade rules and justice for the developing world, now. Join in the fight and download the Fairtrade coffee action kit (PDF, 189KB) and run your own campaign in your workplace, office or community group.

Become a Campaign Partner and they will make sure your call to make trade fair is heard in the centres of power – the United Nations, corporate boardrooms, governments, the World Bank and beyond.

Closer to home, you can shape world trade by becoming a Fairtrade shopper.