On Monday, Greenpeace’s campaign sail vessel, Rainbow Warrior III, made its maiden voyage to India and finally anchored off the Aguada Bay. Interestingly the ship’s captain, first officer, and the second officer were all women.
Captain Hettie Geenen from the Netherlands and her 16 member crew from 14 countries, were very happy to invite on board local Goan organizations who were fighting environmental destruction in Goa.
Some of the issues discussed were, the displacement of the shepherd community on the Mopa Plateau, carbon pollution in San Jose de Areal, unregulated tourism-especially the increasing numbers of boats filled with tourists who go chasing humpback dolphins every day, coal pollution, wastage of drinking water, nationalization of Goa’s rivers and… organic farming.
On the issue of the problems faced by the upcoming Mopa Airport, Sandeep Kambli from Mopa shared how the land had been forcibly taken away from the poor tribal shepherd community that lives there. Additionally, that land has 35 freshwater springs whose fate hangs in a balance and may vanish after the airport is built.
Activist Cyril Fernandes highlighted the issue of coal handling expansion. He claimed that Vasco city (with its large population) is a disaster waiting to happen. He also pointed out that people in Australia were also facing problems due to some coal mining projects and he extended his support to them.
At the end of the discussions, Captain Hettie Green shared that the problems faced in Goa are similar to those faced in other parts of the world. She said, “We must take up the issues of unsustainable tourism.”
It’s important to remember that this kind of discussion and support comes at a time when the Chief Minister of Goa says, its too expensive to set up a bench of the National Green Tribunal, in Goa. Fortunately, there are enough Goans passionate about keeping Goa green. There are also enough supreme court judges who believe a Green Goa is worth fighting for.
Information source: TOI – Goa