Stop the Decline of Australia’s Large Fish Species

Target: The Honourable David Littleproud, Australia’s Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

Goal: Protect Australia’s large fish species from further decline.

Excessive fishing has caused a decline of 30 percent in several of Australia’s large fish species. While climate and habitat change also play a role in this decline, it has recently been shown that overfishing is the lead cause. And while 30 percent in the past decade may seem like a small decline, it is a slippery slope when it comes to wildlife vulnerability and endangerment.

Every wildlife species is important to the ecosystem, but large fish are especially vital as they control the krill and plankton populations as well as any potential overgrowth of seaweed or algae. Marine ecologists are pushing for a review of the current fisheries and their impact on the environment; unfortunately, assistant minister for agriculture and water resources Anne Ruston claims there is no need for such a review, calling the fisheries “world class.”

We cannot allow overfishing to cause a further decline in large fish species. The loss of even a single one could do irreparable damage to the oceans and overall environment. Sign this petition to demand the ministry allow the review and aid in the protection of large fish species.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Littleproud,

Australia’s seas have seen a slow but steady decline of several large fish populations due to excessive fishing, in addition to climate and habitat change. This is a slippery slope, as 30 percent can easily become more, and lead to extinction within years. Every species of fish is vital to the ecosystem, and larger fish control the population of smaller ones as well as any overgrowth of seaweed or algae.

You must allow for a review of Australia’s fisheries as soon as possible. Excessive fishing has been a problem for years, causing a decline in many other fish species as well as endangering other marine wildlife. Fisheries need to be evaluated and possibly changed in order to protect these fish species from further decline.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sea Dave

Ban Commercial Fishing in Australian Marine Park

Target: Josh Frydenberg, Environment Minister of Australia

Goal: Protect endangered hawksbill turtles by keeping marine park closed to fishing.

The critically endangered hawksbill turtle has been spotted migrating towards the Coral Sea marine park in Australia. Unfortunately, the Australian government plans to open the park to commercial fishing very soon, which could easily mean the end of the species. Worse, environment minister Josh Frydenberg is defending this decision.

Commercial fishing is one of the leading causes of endangerment and extinction among aquatic wildlife, due to the animals getting snagged on fishing lines or caught in drift nets. It is also very disruptive and destructive to their habitat and feeding habits; krill and other small fish are caught with lines or in nets, and even seaweed and other plants can be disturbed or uprooted this way. The Coral Sea currently serves as a highway between the hawksbill’s nesting beaches and feeding grounds, but if commercial fishing is legally permitted, both the species’ nesting and feeding will be heavily compromised.

The hawskbill turtle has already been hunted to near extinction for its shell. If commercial fishing is allowed to disrupt their habitat and lifestyle, the species could disappear forever. Sign this petition to demand the Coral Sea marine park be kept free of fishing.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Frydenberg,

Your support of the Australian government’s decision to allow commercial fishing in the Coral Sea marine park is a dangerous one. The Coral Sea currently serves as the highway between the nearly-extinct hawksbill turtles’ nesting beaches and feeding grounds, and the legal allowance of commercial fishing will badly disrupt their habits and daily lives. They will either become snagged on fishing lines or caught in nets.

The hawksbill turtle has already been hunted to near-extinction for their shells, and if their habitat is infringed upon, they will disappear forever. Do not allow commercial fishing in any part of the Coral Sea marine park. You must allow this park to remain a safe space for the hawksbill, along with any other vulnerable aquatic wildlife.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Aquaimages

Save King Island Birds from Extinction

Target: The Honourable Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia

Goal: Save King Island’s brown thornbill and scrubtit from extinction.

Two of King Island’s rare and treasured birds are dangerously close to extinction due to habitat loss, fire, and acid runoff on soil. The brown thornbill and King Island scrubtit’s numbers have fallen dangerously low within the past few years, with the latter’s being at less than 50. Both species could disappear forever within 20 years or less, much like the bramble cay melomys.

King Island has been pleading with Australia’s federal government for years to fund their conservation efforts, to no avail. According to the Wings on King Bird monitoring group, “neither the state nor the federal government has ever put up their hand to help these birds,” which is unacceptable. Birds in general are vital to the ecosystem, as they help control insect populations and carry pollen to flowers, among other methods of keeping nature thriving. Should one or both of these species disappear, King Island’s environment will suffer harsh consequences that could harm other living beings.

We must ensure the survival of the thornbill and scrubtit. Sign this petition to demand Australia’s federal government fund conservation and protection efforts to keep these little birds alive.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,

King Island’s scrubtit and brown thornbill are dangerously close to disappearing, with the scrubtit’s numbers being at less than 50. The birds are falling victim to habitat loss and other environmental dangers such as fire and acid runoff, and could disappear completely within 20 years or less. Unfortunately, the government has yet to respond to King Island’s plea for funding to save these birds.

All birds are vital to the ecosystem, as they control the bug population and help pollinate flowers, among other things. The loss of any bird species is dangerous, and King Island will suffer the consequences if the thornbill or scrubtit disappear. You must help fund the conservation effort for these birds, including but not limited to improving environmental conditions. These birds deserve a chance to thrive once again.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Glen Fergus

Permanently Ban Logging in Australian Forest

Target: The Honourable Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia

Goal: Protect greater glider species by permanently banning logging in Australian forest.

Australian territory VicForests has been prohibited from logging in the habitat of the greater glider possum, but only until a certain date next year. At that point, a three-week trial will be held to discuss the validity of the central highlands regional forests agreement that creates exemptions from anti-logging laws.

There should be no debate as to the invalidity of the RFA, however. There should be no exemptions from anti-logging laws, especially in the case of forests where endangered species reside. Wildlife protection is an ongoing cause, as many species are hunted or chased from their homes by human needs. By February, 2019, it will once again be legal to rob this endangered species of their habitat; this is not nearly enough time for the glider to repopulate and relocate. Additionally, deforestation is already a problem in and of itself across the globe, robbing many other animals of their homes.

Wildlife protection laws should not be a temporary thing, and the RFA should not even exist when deforestation is causing so many problems worldwide. Sign this petition to demand the logging ban remain in place permanently.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,

VicForests has been temporarily banned from logging in the habitat of the greater glider posssum, a heavily endangered species. Following this will be a trial to discuss the validity of the regional forests agreement and the exemptions to anti-logging laws. However, there should be no rule to grant exceptions, period. Deforestation is already causing many problems across the globe, and wildlife protection laws should be permanent during a time when so many species are threatened with extinction.

Do not allow the logging ban to be lifted in February 2019. The greater glider’s existence depends on it, as they must have enough trees to provide them shelter as they attempt to repopulate. The needs of wildlife should be considered on par with those of humans rather than as an afterthought.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Benjamint444

Stop the Barbaric Slaughter of Thousands of Kangaroos

Target: Mick Gentleman, Minister for Planning and Land Management of the Australia Capital Territory

Goal: Stop the Australian government from needlessly killing thousands of native kangaroos.

Australian officials have approved the culling of kangaroos in the Australian Capital Territory for yet another year. For the next three months, thousands of the native marsupials will be massacred in an attempt to control their population. Kangaroos are an essential part of Australia’s natural ecosystem and help reduce the risk of damaging brush fires, and therefore must be protected against this needless form of cruelty.

As part of the annual cull, unlicensed hunters are allowed to participate and kill virtually any animals that they find in a variety of inhumane ways, including the clubbing of young kangaroos and their mothers. Additionally, those opposing the cull have faced prosecution, making it difficult for animal rights groups to rally against the ongoing cruelty.

The Australian government must listen to the voices of those who stand against this cull that lacks any scientific basis and results in the suffering and death of thousands of animals. Sign below to demand that officials seek non lethal alternatives to controlling the kangaroo population.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Gentleman,

Each year since 2009, thousands of kangaroos have been ruthlessly killed each year in the Australian Capital Territory as part of a misguided attempt to control their population. While kangaroos are prolific by nature, they are an integral part of the ecosystem and help maintain Australia’s biodiversity while reducing the risk of damaging fires by clearing away excessive brush.

Unless government officials intervene, thousands of kangaroos will be killed in a host of inhumane and cruel ways, including the brutal clubbing of young joeys and their mothers. These native creatures should be allowed to thrive as they have for millennia, not killed in mass numbers to make way for livestock or other human endeavors. If population control is indeed necessary, we urge you to find humane, non lethal alternatives that do not cause harm to one of Australia’s most iconic species.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bilby Summerhill

Success: Australia to Invest Millions in Great Barrier Reef Protection

Target: Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia

Goal: Commend the Australian government on their strides to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The Australian government has stepped up to protect and restore the Great Barrier Reef, encouraged by the ForceChange community and this petition, which called for funding restoration efforts to replace damaged or lost coral. Since that time, Prime Minister Turnbull announced the investment of $500 million (AU) in the protection and restoration of the reef through the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. This investment is “the single largest funding commitment ever for reef conservation and management in Australia’s history,” according to Josh Frydenberg, the Minister of the Environment and Energy, and it represents a step in the right direction for continued protection of this important and sensitive ecosystem.

The Great Barrier Reef is an incredibly biodiverse coral reef supporting a myriad of marine life and representing a boon to Australian jobs and the economy. The reef is also incredibly sensitive to small changes in temperature and has experienced two major bleaching events in the last two years due to climate change. Australia’s investment will help to improve water quality, reduce the threat from the harmful crown-of-thorns starfish, monitor the reef’s health, and restore damaged coral through techniques such as coral spawning and breeding adaptive, more resilient coral. The government’s acknowledgment of the importance of this issue may encourage additional private funding in support of this important cause.

The decline of the Great Barrier Reef is a serious issue, but this funding encouraged by the ForceChange community is a sign that positive change is coming, Sign the petition to thank the Australian government for stepping up funding for protection and restoration of the Great Barrier Reef and to encourage continued investment in this underwater wonder.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,

Your funding of millions of dollars for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef is an important step in reducing the reef’s decline due to climate change and other environmental threats. I commend you for your efforts to reduce the pollution and crown-of-thorns starfish population that damage the reef, as well as your efforts to restore the lost and damaged coral.

The Great Barrier Reef is an important resource, both for Australia’s economy and the surrounding ecosystem, that is constantly under siege by climate change, pollution, and other threats. Australia’s significant contribution to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation will have a profound positive impact on the hundreds of miles of reef that need attention as well as the global attitude towards reef restoration.

Thank you for your leadership in funding this significant undertaking. I urge you to continue funding the protection of this unique ecosystem, not only for its economic importance but also its incredible biodiversity.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Wise Hok Wai Lum

Protect the Water Supply of Millions of Australian Families

Target: Josh Frydenberg, Minister for the Environment and Energy, Australia

Goal: Protect a valuable source of water by ending the destruction of a vital mountain forest.

Experts say that Melbourne’s water supply could be at risk due to over-logging and highly destructive brush fires that have all but destroyed the remaining mountain ash forests in Victoria’s central highlands. These forests allow rainwater to accumulate in vast quantities, which provides most of the water that the city and its over four million residents depend on for everything from drinking to showering.

While corporate greed has fueled the over-logging for decades, ecologists say that the water the forests hold has far more economic value. “The value of the water that flows into the water catchments is about 25.5 times higher than the value of the timber cut from those same catchments,” says professor David Lindenmayer from Australia National University. The forests are also home to a number of endangered species like the Leadbeater’s possum and are a critical habitat for greater gliders.

The Australian government has been placing more value on ensuring that the logging industry can make a profit while endangering wildlife and putting an entire metropolitan region at risk of collapse. Sign this petition to urge the nation’s environmental minister to protect the remaining mountain ash forests.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Frydenberg,

The water supply for over 4.5 million Melburnians is at risk due to years of ongoing deforestation in Victoria’s central highlands. The rapid collapse of the mountain ash forest ecosystem has pushed a number of animal species to the brink of extinction, such as the Leadbeater’s possum, and could now jeopardize the future of one of Australia’s fastest growing urban areas.

The Australian government has prioritized the logging industry’s profit margins at the expense of both wildlife and people, yet the water catchment provided by these remaining mountain ash forests far exceeds the value of the timber that is being removed. No corporation’s bottom line should come before the needs of people and the other species we share this planet with. We demand that you end all logging permits in this ecologically sensitive area before it is too late.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Fir002

Protect Endangered Koalas from Deadly Land Clearing

Target: Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier of Queensland, Australia

Goal: Protect rare and beloved koalas from rapid extinction caused by persistent land clearing.

Endangered koalas are facing immense danger. The record number of deaths of the species in Queensland, Australia is due to ever-persistent land clearing in the state.

Scientists have found that 5,000 koalas died between 2012 and 2016. An estimated 94 percent of these deaths were caused by tree clearing, not urban development. No government restrictions on such clearing appear anywhere in sight. Previous attempts at regulation were tabled.

Something must be done now to protect the endangered koalas of Australia. Their homes are being bulldozed, pushing the species closer to extinction. Sign the petition to demand that the government enact regulations now. Demand the government un-table the land clearing restrictions and protect koalas and their habitat.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Premier Palaszczuk,

Recent studies by scientists and conservationists indicate that koalas are facing rapid decline in your state. More than 5,000 died over the course of four years. The cause? Bulldozed habitats.

Land clearing is robbing koalas of their livelihoods. These rare and beloved animals are being pushed closer and closer to extinction. I demand that you and your fellow government members take action now to protect koalas by regulating land clearing and the destruction of their habitats.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Diliff

Don’t Abandon Recycling Programs

Target: Andrew Antoniolli, Mayor of Ipswich, Australia

Goal: Preserve recycling programs in the community and focus on building out local recycling facilities.

The Australian city of Ipswich has decided to scrap its waste recycling program, and instead will be sending all recyclable materials to local landfills, where they could pose significant environmental hazards. The move comes as the cost to recycle cans, bottles, and plastic goods has risen following China’s decision to block the import of recyclable materials, and it is feared more communities in Australia will soon follow suit. Human-generated waste is a huge problem worldwide, and measures must be taken to encourage recycling wherever possible.

While sending all garbage to area landfills may seem like an effective cost-cutting measure, it may cause more harm in the long run, especially to the environment. Government officials have complained that the rising costs have been worsened by the fact that many people do not sort their recyclables correctly, or that many recyclable materials arrive contaminated with other trash. A program that helps to educate the community and relies on local recycling facilities could create jobs, while also reducing the amount of contaminated or incorrectly sorted waste.

Landfills are an unsustainable solution to the serious problem of handling the tons of garbage communities like Ipswich and others generate each year. Sign the petition below to urge this Australian community to reverse its decision immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mayor Antoniolli,

Recyclable waste, such as cans, bottles, and paper goods, should not be allowed to clutter landfill space simply because the cost of recycling has risen in recent years. These nonbiodegradable materials will sit in heaps for centuries, or perhaps for even thousands of years, when they could be put to much better use. This waste can be harmful to the health of the environment, or even pose a human health risk.

Your community can make a positive environmental impact by opening local recycling facilities that do not rely on the expensive export of recyclable goods. This could create jobs, and you could also educate the community in how to recycle properly to reduce the number of items that are incorrectly sorted or discarded. I hope that you will implement these changes and help protect the health of the environment and all Australians.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Rupert Ganzer

Don’t Reopen Environmentally Damaging Coal Plant for Mining Bitcoin

Target: Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia

Goal: Don’t allow an environmentally damaging coal power station to be reopened to power cryptocurrency mining operations.

A dangerous and damaging coal plant will soon restart operations at an alarming rate. An abandoned coal-powered energy plant on Australia’s eastern coast will soon be reopened to help bitcoin miners earn more of the digital currency faster in what has become a troubling global trend. So-called blockchain operations like this one are consuming massive amounts of power worldwide, and the fact that environmentally destructive coal plants are being reopened to fuel the craze is a further step in the wrong direction.

While most cryptocurrency mining is done in countries where the climate is cold and energy is cheap, such as Russia or in parts of China, this deal appears to be one Australian tech company’s attempt to make the country globally competitive in this emerging industry. As part of their deal with locally based Hunter Energy, the disused coal plant could become operational in as little as 12 months, when it will begin producing up to 150 megawatts per hour in one of the least-efficient and most environmentally damaging ways possible.

Worldwide, it is estimated that cryptocurrency mining will exceed 120 billion kilowatts per hour this year alone. For the sake of this planet we all share, this wasteful consumption of energy must be curbed. Sign this petition to demand that the government of Australia intervene and block this disastrous deal.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,

A recent deal made between Hunter Energy and IOT Group, an Australian-based tech company, will result in the reopening of a once-abandoned coal power station as part of a wasteful and unnecessary bid to compete with Chinese and Russian cryptocurrency miners. Once the plant is brought back online, it will generate up to 150 megawatts per hour using coal, which produces greenhouse gas emissions and is a major contributor to global climate change.

Australia must join with other nations around the world to help ensure that future generations have a habitable world. To allow an environmentally damaging coal plant to be reopened simply for one company’s profit is shameful. I ask that you intervene in this senseless and potentially damaging deal and demand that this power station remain closed.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Arnold Paul