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Greenpeace ship to lay anchor at Sunderbans

Staff Reporter

KOLKATA: Activists aboard the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, have readied themselves for their upcoming engagement with climate change in the Sunderbans.

The ship, which sailed into Kolkata port on Friday, will anchor off the Sagar Island at Sunderbans on Monday, where activists plan to engage with local communities to increase awareness about climate change.

They will also participate in a mangrove replenishing drive, together with Jadavpur University’s School of Oceanographic Studies (SOS) and the Sunderban Development Board, planting about 100,000 saplings of Sundari trees over five hectares of degraded land.

“The idea is to test whether mangrove can offset the damage caused to the islands by global warming, rise in sea level and coastal erosion,” said Sugato Hazra, Director, SOS.The Rainbow Warrior, which takes its name from an ancient North American prophecy about a mythical band of warriors emerging from a rainbow to protect the earth’s environment, has tackled numerous environmental problems in more than fifty years of its existence.

Coal-fired plants

Greenpeace has also been protesting against the threat to climate from coal-fired plants, with six of its activists arrested for scaling a smokestack to paint a warning message at the Kolaghat thermal power station in West Bengal’s Purbo Medinipur district on Thursday.

At an informal panel discussion aboard the Warrior, Jayanta Bandhpodhyay, an environmentalist and professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, however, felt that the United States had a far important role in tackling carbon dioxide emissions from thermal plants than India or China.

The Warrior will travel to Bali, Indonesia in December where governments will gather to strengthen the Kyoto protocol to combat climate change.

Final act

It might well turn out to be its final act, as the ship, an old fishing vessel, is due to be replaced by a new Warrior that is expected to be ready by 2009.

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