Information has major environmental impact, says Australian founder
Berlin, 24 January, 2011 – One of the first in a wave of second-generation organisations devoted to publishing secret information in their specific fields, GreenLeaks was launched today in Berlin, Germany.
GreenLeaks is a news media organisation that will publish information of environmental significance, with the purpose of holding corporations, governments, and public bodies to account for their impact upon public health and the environment.
A group of international journalists, lawyers and environmental activists has established the greenleaks.com site, with the Australian documentary filmmaker Scott Millwood as its editor and public face.
“Wikileaks has shown the world how the free disclosure of information can have a direct and immediate impact on public debate” said Millwood. “With the launch of GreenLeaks we hope to adapt the philosophy of open disclosure to the environmental cause. It’s now possible for the internet to play a direct role in protecting public health and our environment.”
The Australian-born, Berlin-based filmmaker and lawyer, is well known for his environmental advocacy. His AFI-award winning film “Wildness” (2003) told the story of two Tasmanian wilderness photographers whose work marked the emergence of conservation in Australia.
Millwood’s book and feature documentary “Whatever Happened to Brenda Hean?” (2008), exploring the disappearance and possible murder of the founder of the world’s first green political party, is also based upon secret government files that were leaked to the filmmaker.
GreenLeaks will not only act as a conduit for environmental stories finding an audience, but will facilitate stakeholders using information to protect the environment in their local communities.
The sooner information of environmental significance enters the public realm, the sooner stakeholders can argue their case for the best possible environmental outcomes, the organisation says at greenleaks.com. It cites several prominent international events, from the destruction of Tasmania’s Lake Pedder to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the recent German dioxin animal-feed scandal, as cases in which early disclosure of sensitive information might have averted environmental disaster.
Millwood emphasised the legality and legitimacy of GreenLeaks’ publishing ethic.
“We consider that all original information that is provided to us, that reveals the impact of an organisation’s decisions on public health and the environment, is in the public interest and should be in the public domain. When the actions of corporations and governments have an impact upon our communities, our water, our air, our landscape, our food-chain, our atmosphere and the world that we will bequeath to our children, we believe you have a “right-to-know”.”
Further details of submissions and publishing policy are available at
http://www.greenleaks.com (permanently in TT links under Campaigns)