“We have made a mistake, to correct, the we have tried.” A message from Greenpeace International, published on 15. November 2018 on the Website of the environmental organization. The message is not easily to find – and no wonder. Finally, it is not a small error, but a serious violation of the self-imposed lofty goals: “We have allowed the Rongdhonu, formerly known as Rainbow Warrior (II), is scrapped on a beach in Bangladesh, in a way that does not meet the Standards we have set for ourselves and we try to establish in the world.”

It is more than a Fauxpax of the environmentalists. Perhaps the explanation is not to be found also, for example, on the German Website.

What says Greenpeace, with the self-imposed Standards, Together with the non-governmental organisation, Shipbreaking Platform, the organization has been fighting for years against the dismantling of ships on the beaches of developing countries such as India, Bangladesh or Pakistan.

workers on the beach of Chittagong (Bangladesh)

For decades, are set to container ships, tankers and other large vessels at high water on the beach and of workers under catastrophic conditions scrapped, largely by Hand. The numerous toxins in the vessels, such as, for example, asbestos or PCB, unhindered in the environment, work protection, as well as not.

And now the Greenpeace ship “Rainbow Warrior (II) is there”.

Ironically, the successor ship, the Rainbow Warrior (rainbow warrior), who co-founded the myth of Greenpeace. On several occasions, the “Rainbow Warrior” at the center of controversy: she was rammed in use, the team beaten, and, in 1985, and finally by the French foreign intelligence service sunk. It should be used to prevent Greenpeace protesting with the ship before the Mururoa Atoll in French Polynesia against the French nuclear tests – a photographer of the Organisation died in the attack.

The Rainbow Warrior after the bombing in July 1985

Four years later, the successor, a converted Trawler from the delivery, under the same name for the maiden voyage.

22 years of the three-master, the “Rainbow Warrior (II)” under the Dutch flag in the service of Greenpeace and supported the public in the fight against Overfishing and whaling, against wars, global warming, in short, against any environmental crime, the ship cruised through all the seas of the world. In 2011, the ship was getting too old for the battle on the high seas. Greenpeace donated to the “Rainbow Warrior (II)” to the friends organization Friendship in Bangladesh.

Last use as a hospital ship

The NGO christened the ship Rongdhonu, rainbow, has built it into a hospital ship and cared for so that the population along the rivers and the coast. According to information from doctors for Friendship performed more than 5000 operations on Board and treated a total of more than 160,000 people, had no access to Doctors or hospitals.

Under the name of “Rongdhonu” was the “Rainbow Warrior (II)” until 2018 in use

in 2018, the 61-year-old ship after all so dilapidated, that it was sufficient for the requirements of the authorities in Bangladesh. It had to be scrapped. For this case, Greenpeace had specifically a Veto, to ensure the Ex-Rainbow Warrior II landing on the beach of Chittagong, one of the largest ship graveyards in the world, in the East of Bangladesh. Greenpeace is not a put, but the Veto, and, therefore, the ship is now there, with the PHP yard. The Name is an acronym for Peace, Hapiness, Prosperity, peace, joy, prosperity.

How could this happen?

Maybe Greenpeace PHP looked at as the smallest Evil, after all, she is the only shipyard in Chittagong, which is certified according to the Hong Kong Convention for the environmentally friendly Recycling of ships. However, in 2009, adopted the Convention lays down the rules for the dismantling of ships will come, but the effect is questionable. The certificates of private enterprises are issued, which are controlled neither by state nor by other international institutions. And the agreement is not in place, only six States have ratified it at all. And the Greenpeace-sponsored Shipbreaking Platform, has warned in regards to PHP a year ago explicitly in front of “Greenwashing”.

Futile attempt of damage limitation

The press-Secretary of Greenpeace International, Mike Townsley, called the process in an interview with the MIRROR, “very embarrassing” and repeated what the organization is already at 15. November had released in a statement. It says: “We have to consult our Partner for the Shipbreaking Platform, we have not done that. No Excuse. We were supposed to do.” The Dismantling of ships on beaches such as Chittagong to accept in any case, said Townsley, in any case, the environment.

The Belgian site MO, which is reported as the first about the case, citing Greenpeace Norway with the statement that the decision “was the result of a major internal error”.

Instead of making your own mistakes, but a maximum transparent to the public, tries to Greenpeace to keep up the damage for as long as possible small. The organization negotiates according to its own data with PHP, to bring the particularly toxic materials from the Rongdhonu, even in a country where this is properly disposed of. A buy-back of the ship failed due to the asking Price of PHP: Tens of millions of dollars have required the shipyard, said Townsley of the MIRROR.

Häme from the industry

For the limitation of the reputational damage it is likely to be too late. The company’s GMS is one of the largest in the industry, you have to buy the shipping companies, their vessels for cash and sold to scrapping companies like the one in Chittagong. And they are using the Ex-Rainbow Warrior II, skillfully made for the self-marketing: a day before Greenpeace published the statement in their own case, sent GMS a press release out: “Greenpeace has finally recognised that, in particular, Bangladesh can be a target for environment-friendly Recycling. Green peaces former ship, the MV Rongdhonu Ex-Rainbow Warrior II, has been recently spent, for Recycling to the PHP shipyard in Chittagong.” And further: “GMS congratulates both Greenpeace as well as Friendship to the active participation in the green Transformation of the ship recycling industry in Bangladesh.”

It is likely to be for Greenpeace’s difficult to disagree. And even more unpleasant: The operator of the Shipbreaking Platform, to show deep disappointment. Greenpeace must now prove that it is the organization with the support of the “off-the-beach”campaign seriously.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.