Want to see the garbage flowing from Lebanon’s waterways? Greenpeace Lebanon goes undercover to reveal shocking videos of 14 polluters (see them below).
They are young, passionate about the environment, and not afraid to engage with technology to get their voices heard. Greenpeace Lebanon continues to demonstrate the power of the “Net Generation” in raising awareness and introducing change to the environmental destruction of the country through a new social media campaign focusing on Lebanon’s fragile coastal waters.
According to Leen Hashem, Communications and New Media Officer, the new Secret Blue Shieid campaign is part of a marine reserves initiative launched last year. The objective of this latest drive is to raise awareness and mobilize people in order to face politically powerful polluters of Lebanon’s fragile coastal waters. Greenpeace Lebanon was able to take samples of the water from twenty coastal points and send them to labs in London for further analysis. Results, expected in a few weeks, will help identify who is responsible for the pollution, a first step to stopping the daily contamination that is taking place across the coast.
To create excitement and target the growing socially connected online community, the initiative is being led by a creative online campaign. Eight four-minute videos, each from different locations, are being sent out initially to people who register as “secret agents”. With over three thousand already registered in the first few weeks, the videos are starting to go viral. Blog sites, Twitter and Facebook are helping to spread the word and get more people involved in understanding the extent of the problem.
Here is the message they were spreading:
Greenpeace Secret Mission has set sail on Wednesday December 21, at 6:00 am. In our first stop, we covered two areas along the Lebanese Northern coast: Area 1 and Area 2.
In this mission, you will see the reality live from the field. You will witness the damage that is being caused to our environment, to our coast and to our sea, but most importantly, to our health. You will watch and listen to people, your people, telling their daily life stories with this damage and brutal situation. Fathers, mothers, kids and fisherman are being affected every minute by marine pollution. You are affected as well.
In the Secret Mission:Blue Shield 011, The Secret Mission Team will take water samples from 14 spots along the Lebanese coast, test them, analyze them, identify sources of pollution, and thus identify polluters.
This Secret Mission aims at saving the Lebanese coast, marine life, and thousands of families. Your people are counting on you, so become now our Secret Agent, and get ready to save lives!
In the videos (see them below) people living in undisclosed Northern coastal city talk about the foul smell coming from the water, the sewage being dumped by factories and hotels, plastic and glass being thrown in the sea, while seeing their livelihood disappear. In an emotional testimonial, one fisherman describes how in less then ten years he has witnessed the destruction of reefs that have been full of life for millions of years.
Video Part 1
Video Part 2
According to Leen, these testimonials were not easy to film as a lot of people are afraid to talk about the problem because the people responsible for the pollution are powerful. In the past, the young activists from Greenpeace Lebanon have been able to block pipes used by powerful companies such as Sanita (Unipack) to discharge their untreated waste into the sea.
Whether by ignorance or greed, the industrial and non-industrial waste has become a clear danger for public health and the environment.
Online social media is becoming a key communication channel to promote the environmental agenda of GreenPeace Lebanon. New popular features include a tab on their Facebook page, allowing people to report anonymously about polluters. The coastal waters of Lebanon may never go back to what they were, but the efforts of the young team of activists from Greenpeace Lebanon (average age of 24/25) offers an encouraging picture of a new digitally connected generation not afraid to expose Lebanon’s environmental injustices.
Interested in joining the mission to learn more? Register via www.gpsecretmission.com