It was an exciting and busy year for us.
- Hannah volunteered for the department of conservation, New Zealand in December 2013, on Codfish Island helping in the recovery of the iconic kakapo. For two weeks over the Christmas holidays she hiked across the island cleaning and supplying the kakapo with supplementary feed out to increase the optimal mass for the up and coming breeding season. This season just happened to be a good year with several chicks surviving and adding to the overall population. Thailand was another experience Hannah had the fortune to take part in. This was in elephant conservation, involving the cutting of banana trees which enabled to sustain local farmers with a steady income. The elephants are huge part of Thai culture and it was import to work with citizens to put emphasis on their conservation. This experience widen her eyes and showed how much impact people can have on the preservation of a species, especially something as well known as the Asian elephant in a developing country.
- On July 18th we took part in fundraising for the Greenpeace ship, The Arctic Sunrise. This was a street collection which involved interacting with the public in order to ask them for a donation towards refurbishing our ship after its long and unlawful detention in Russia. All in all we raised a sizeable amount and plan to do more to raise funds in the future!
- I, Reece, the president, also took part in a protest that involved travelling abroad. This was to an event called the ‘Human Chain’ which was a protest against proposed coal mines in the eastern parts of Germany and the bordering areas in Poland. 8 new open pit mines had been proposed in all and all to destroy the land for Lignite coal…the worst of all fossil fuels. I endured a 20 hour coach ride to Germany where on the 24th of august 7500 activists from all over the world joined hands in a 5km long human chain that stretched right across the German/Polish border. We wanted to send a strong message to the coal companies- we won’t let you destroy the area or our future without a fight! You can read more about it by following this link- http://reecethonley.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-human-chain-long-anecdote.html – but as it’s a personal blog there is some colourful language and jokes!