BUENOS AIRES – Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior III, a crowd-funded sailing yacht equipped with technology that reduces its ecological footprint, arrived on Wednesday in Buenos Aires to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the environmental group’s office in Argentina.
The ship, which weighs more than 800 metric tons (882 tons), is 58 meters (190 feet) in length and has a maximum speed of some 30 kilometers per hour (around 15 knots), is Greenpeace’s first custom-built vessel.
It was awarded a so-called “green passport” from London-based Lloyd’s Register, guaranteeing that all of its components can be recycled after it is scrapped.
Its technological innovations include specially designed sails that enable it to reduce fossil-fuel use by 80 percent.
“It’s a very efficient sailing vessel. We’d never had a sailing yacht because the previous Warrior was an adapted fishing boat,” said Emili Trasmonte, first officer of the campaign ship.
Trasmonte and the rest of the crew arrived from Chile’s Patagonia region, where Greenpeace Argentina’s communications director, Hernan Nadal, said a group of salmon companies was endangering the environment and people’s health.
Before departing for Brazil on a mission to protect a recently discovered coral reef off the Amazon River’s mouth from potential oil exploration, the Rainbow Warrior III made a stopover in Buenos Aires to commemorate Greenpeace’s 30 years in Argentina, where the environmental watchdog has a strong presence with some 140,000 members.
The South American country has some pending debts with the environment, according to Nadal, who said Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold was in violation of a glacier-protection law and was responsible for three spills of contaminating material.
Nevertheless, he also said significant environmental strides had been made in Argentina, pointing to the passage of a law to protect the country’s native forests.