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Green Winter Olympics In Vancouver

The organizers of the Winter Olympics that kicked off this weekend in Vancouver are hoping to stage some of the greenest Games ever, thanks to a partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

For the past three years the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) and UNEP have worked together to improve the environmental footprint of these Games and to use the high-profile sports gathering to increase public awareness about green issues.

Low-flow toilets that use rainwater for flushing, separate bins for compostable waste and energy-efficient grass-clad roofs are some of the environmentally-friendly features on display at Olympic sites in and around Vancouver.

VANOC has also tried to reduce the carbon impact of the Games by expanding the public transport system and introducing various forms of clean technology, according to a press release issued by UNEP yesterday.

The agency said it will publish an environmental assessment report later this year that will examine the greening of the venues, sustainable transport and waste management.

Today UNEP and VANOC will also announce the winner of a video contest in which Canadian youth were invited to produce a short video or animation clip to show how young people can help create a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle during and after the Games.

Wilfried Lemke, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, will attend today’’s award ceremony.

UNEP is also working with the organizers of the next Winter Olympics, to be staged in Sochi, Russia, in 2014, as part of its campaign to help lower the carbon footprint of major sporting events.

In addition, the UN agency is partnering with the organizers of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa later this year, the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October and the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket competition.

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Captain Detained Onboard Japanese Whaling Vessel

At 0630 Hours, Sea Shepherd Captain Peter Bethune of the vessel Ady Gil, which was sunk by the Japanese security ship Shonan Maru 2, boarded the whaling ship to conduct a citizen’s arrest of the skipper of the Shonan Maru 2.

Captain Bethune boarded the whaling ship under cover of darkness from a Jet Ski as the Shonan Maru 2 was travelling at 14 knots in the Southern Ocean. His first attempt failed when he fell into the frigid waters, but despite this the crew of the Shonan Maru 2 failed to see him and he successfully boarded the whaler without detection.

Captain Bethune’s breaching the security of the whaling fleet security vessel remained undetected for one and a half hours.

At 0800 Hours, once the sun had risen, Captain Bethune calmly knocked on the bridge wing door, entered the wheelhouse, and presented himself to the Captain of Shonan Maru 2 where he informed the skipper that he was under arrest for the sinking of the Sea Shepherd ship Ady Gil on January 6th, 2010.

All radio communications with Peter Bethune ceased at 0805. The Shonan Maru 2 did acknowledge that Bethune was onboard.

The Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin and Bob Barker continue to pursue the Japanese whaling ship Nisshin Maru eastward across the Southern Ocean. The ships are presently south of Australia’s Heard Island.

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Battle At The Ocean Whale Sanctuary

The Sea Shepherd organization continues to try stopping Japanese whalers from killing whales. Over the last month, Sea Shepherd boats have been attacked with water cannons and rammed by the larger Japanese whaling ships.

A battle erupted between the Sea Shepherd ships Bob Barker and Steve Irwin and the Japanese whaling fleet when the whalers ignored a warning from Sea Shepherd to not reenter the Southern Ocean Sanctuary.

The Japanese fleet was escorted out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary at 1530 Hours on Tuesday, February 9th. They left the Sanctuary at 60 Degrees South and 76 Degrees and 36 Minutes East.

The fleet fled north on a course of 310 Degrees to the position of 57 Degrees 14 Minutes South and 69 Degrees 6 minutes East and then turned back one hundred and eighty degrees and headed back towards the Sanctuary on a course of 230 at 1700 Hours on February 10th.

At 1650 on Thursday, February 11th the Japanese fleet reentered the Whale Sanctuary at 60 Degrees South and 62 Degrees East.

As the Japanese fleet reentered the Whale Sanctuary, the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin pulled up alongside the Nisshin Maru to deliver a message by loudspeaker in Japanese warning them not to enter the Whale Sanctuary. The Nisshin Maru responded with water cannon and LRAD fire. The Steve Irwin returned water cannon fire.

The Steve Irwin then attempted to launch a helicopter when the three harpoon vessels moved in with water cannons and LRADs blazing in an attempt to destroy the helicopter on the deck. The Bob Barker moved into position to block the harpoon vessels and the Steve Irwin was forced to fire warning flares in front of the harpoon vessels to force them to back off.

The six ships, four whaler and two conservation vessels, engaged for over five hours. There were many near misses but no collisions. There were no injuries.

A Sea Shepherd Delta launched from the Steve Irwin annoyed the harpoon vessels with rotten butter bomb attacks.

All ships have backed off and the convoy of whalers and anti-whalers continues in a Southwestern direction into the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

“Tomorrow marks a full week that not a whale has been killed,” said Captain Paul Watson. “Our goal now is to make it two weeks and then three weeks. We will not tolerate the death of a single whale. If they attempt to kill and transfer a whale to the Nisshin Maru there will be inevitable collisions, because we will neither move out of harms way nor cease blocking the slipway. That I can promise.”

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