As Greenpeace said, it allowed the Rongdhonu, formerly the Rainbow Warrior (II), to be scrapped on a beaching yard in Bangladesh. However, this was also done in a way that does not meet the organization's standards.
Greenpeace had transferred ownership of the ship to a Bangladeshi non-governmental organisation called Friendship, in 2011, as it was no longer fit to sail the high seas. Nevertheless, the ship could be used as a hospital ship sailing coastal waters and rivers.
The ship was renamed Rongdhonu and had brought health care to some of the world’s most remote and vulnerable communities. The vessel reached 61 years old and subsequently was at the end of its life.
When Greenpeace transferred the ship to Friendship, it could still veto over any final disposal plan. When the ship became Bangladeshi, Friendship proposed that it should be decommissioned in the best way possible in Bangladesh.
In order to correct its mistake, the organization talked with its two partners, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform and the Basel Action Network, which believe that breaking ships on beaches is unsafe, it exploits workers and damages the marine environment. However, despite the attempts to find an alternative way for the ship to be decommissioned, this was not possible.
We should have examined all options to have the ship decommissioned ‘off the beach’ and in a way that provides guarantees that all wastes generated will be managed in the most environmentally safe way possible
Now, Greenpeace is trying to find ways so as to make sure that specific wastes that cannot be treated safely, ‘downstream’, in Bangladesh can be sent out of the country for management.
Finishing its statement, Greenpeace said that it commits to urgently adopt an end-of-life ship policy, drafted with the help of the Shipbreaking Platform, to help ensure that such errors do not happen in the future.