Greenpeace to operate by

Greenpeace’s closure of its Pacific Office in Fiji last month has ignited fears that the global environmental group no longer considers the region a priority. Greenpeace campaigner Duncan Williams has confirmed that the Fiji office has been closed and all Fiji-based employees have been made redundant. He referred all other information to the relocated Greenpeace Pacific Office in Sydney. He also declined to disclose the reasons for the Fiji office closure. However it is understood that the signs were on the wall particularly with Greenpeace having a number of leadership changes in the last four years.

Forum Fisheries Agency Director General James Movick said his concern was that the reduction of Pacific Islanders in the environmental organisation may remove much of the contextual sensitivity and empathy that has made Greenpeace quite an influential player and partner with the Pacific Island Countries. “Let us hope that distance will not result in them becoming just another international NGO with uniform prescriptions for every fisheries issue regardless of the views and interests of the people who are the key players and focus of fisheries management in this region,” Movick said. 

Worldwide Fund for Nature Western Central Pacific Tuna Programme Manager Alfred “Bubba” Cook said it was disappointing that Greenpeace would no longer have a presence in Fiji. “I hope that Greenpeace will continue to be able to engage effectively in the region and at the WCPFC meetings regardless of the approach or model that they use because they have been a strong and important voice in the region supporting the sustainability of the resources on which so many Pacific Islands’ people depend,” he said.

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