Staff photo

At our staff end of the year party, our Finance Director, Gert, summarized our 2016 as “the year of many changes.” Yes, I remember, I had to pack my desk within 3 week’s notice, and get ready to leave our cozy home in Melville where our office had been since 2008. We found ourselves a new office in Randburg, and we are all very excited that it will be run on 100% renewable energy in 2017. Greenpeace Africa welcomed the new Executive Director Njeri Kabeberi in September. Njeri immediately brought inspirations and experiences in her long years of human rights work on the continent in elaborating the next 3 year’s strategy.

As the Greenpeace Africa team grew, we embraced the changes and renewed our commitments to building people-power for environmental and social justice in Africa. Greenpeace Africa continued to hold fast the vision to see people and the environment live in harmony throughout the year.

Here are some of our campaign highlights from the year 2016.

Greenpeace Africa launched a new initiative called , “Farmers for the Future”, in October as part of the Food for Life campaign, which addresses the most urgent threats to the environment and food security facing the world today This new initiative features stories of the farmers who practice ecological farming as a more sustainable alternative to the industrial agriculture. These farmers worked with GP Africa to draft a letter asking donors and governments to invest more in ecological farming. The letter was delivered to the Dutch embassies among others, and we will follow up on their commitments in 2017.

 Our Solar lovers also took to the street for the Climate and Energy campaign, to spread the word that supermarkets have the power to pave the way for renewable energy in South Africa. Woolworths, one of South Africa's leading retailers, agreed to work with Greenpeace Africa in making renewable energy a reality in the country.  In July, Greenpeace Africa’s volunteers delivered a 3 meter high engagement ring to Pick n Pay, the second largest retailer in the country, shortly after the peaceful protest, Pick n Pay issued a statement in which the retailer agreed that “renewable energy is a priority”, a move which Greenpeace welcomes, as a great first step.

This year, one of the key moments for the Oceans Campaign was the publication of a report which exposed the gross tonnage fraud. Following this scandal coming into spotlight, the Senegalese authorities decided to recalculate the gross tonnage of all industrial fishing vessels flying the Senegalese flag. Though it is still too early to celebrate this as a complete victory, it is a major step towards achieving transparency in the fisheries sector in Senegal and it could have a positive effect on other countries in West Africa.

Greenpeace Africa published a brief report revealing that the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo was in violation of its own moratorium on logging concessions effective since 2002. The government had granted 3 concessions to 2 Chinese companies.  Following this expose and Greenpeace Africa demanding accountability, the DRC government cancelled these concessions in September.  A total of 650.000 hectares of the Congo Basin forests were saved from destructive logging activities. This was a critical victory - the one we can build upon in the 2017 to come.

As the old saying goes “without your support none of this would have happened.”

Thank you from the team. We look forward to continuing the journey with you in 2017 and work towards a more sustainable environment for you and the generations to come.

Goodbye for now.