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ENVIRONMENT

Greenpeace blocks Russian oil delivery off Denmark

A dozen Greenpeace activists in kayaks and swimming in the water blocked the transfer of Russian oil between two tankers off Denmark's coast on Thursday, the environmental organisation said.  

Greenpeace blocks Russian oil delivery off Denmark
This Handout photo made available by Greenpeace shows one of their activists holding an anti-war placard as they float in the water in front of the supertanker Pertamina Prime off the coast of Denmark on March 31st, 2022. Photo: Kristian Buus/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix

Greenpeace organised the action to call for a ban on the import of fossil fuels from Russia, following its invasion of Ukraine.

“At 11am, activists began the blockade of the supertanker Pertamina Prime, preventing the other ship Seaoath from approaching it and blocking the transfer of oil,” Greenpeace spokeswoman Emma Oehlenschlager told AFP.

Both ships are Russian.

Eleven activists rode kayaks or swam in the icy waters off of Frederikshavn, some of them carrying signs calling on governments to “stop fuelling the war”.

The activists painted “Oil fuels war” on the hull of the Pertamina Prime.

Some 100,000 tonnes of crude oil were to be transferred between the two ships.

In the past two weeks, the Danish branch of Greenpeace has carried out several actions against Russian vessels conducting oil transfers, though this was the first successful blockade.

“This is the only time we’ve managed to stop the delivery. In the other instances, the tankers either diverted or accelerated”, Oehlenschlager said.

“They will now maintain the blockade as long as possible to make sure the ships can’t get close to each other to carry out the transfer”, she said, urging Denmark to ban the transfer of Russian oil in its waters.

Greenpeace Denmark tweeted on Friday morning that activists were now being removed from the area by North Jutland Police.

READ ALSO: IN NUMBERS: How much trade does Denmark do with Russia?

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ENVIRONMENT

Why Denmark’s bees are becoming a rarer sight

Several species of insect are declining in Denmark, with bees notably reduced in number compared to years past.

Why Denmark’s bees are becoming a rarer sight

As many as 56 species of bee – one in five of the insects in the wild – is in danger of disappearing from Denmark’s nature, according to the World Wildlife Fund, WWF.

35 of the bee species are categorised as endangered or critically endangered, while 21 are “vulnerable”. 19 can already no longer be found in Denmark.

“One thing is that wild bees live their lives, reproduce and are prey for animals like birds and thereby form part of the food chain. Another thing is that they pollinate our wild flowers and in part our crops, along with many other insects,” Thor Hjarsen, senior biologist with WWF, told news wire Ritzau.

Denmark has around 300 different species of bee altogether.

Part of the cause of their decline is the removal of many of their natural habitats from urban and agricultural areas. Some fertilizers are meanwhile poisonous to the insects.

Bees and butterflies, both important pollinators, are among the most endangered species in Denmark, an expert said.

“The bees represent a loss of diversity. There are some bees and butterflies we simply don’t see anymore in our nature,” Rasmus Ernjæs, a biodiversity researcher at Aarhus University, told Ritzau.

Hjarsen said the loss of bees represented a potential problem for food security.

“The important role played by bees in the ecosystem and our food production is at the core of this problem,” he said.

The senior biologist called for more wild habitats to be created to help bees make a comeback.

“But if you make a habitat in your garden or local park they will actually come back there too,” he said.

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