End the Leather Industry’s Destructive Pollution of Drinking Water

Target: Abdul Hamid, President of Bangladesh

Goal: Bring an end to pollution in the leather industry.

The leather industry is spilling unknown amounts of toxic chemicals into valuable sources of drinking water, threatening the lives of families in Bangladesh. Sign the petition to demand that the government take immediate steps to end this pollution.

More than 150 tanneries once stood along the banks of the Buriganga River. However, the government shut them down when it was discovered that 180,000 citizens had poisoned water because of them. Despite these actions, tanneries have once again opened up alongside another river less than one year later. Another hundred thousand citizens will be poisoned.

Like it did before, the government of Bangladesh must protect the lives and health of its citizens. Demand the government act now to shut down the tanneries and end the pollution of its nation’s water.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Hamid,

Less than a year after you shut down over one hundred tanneries for polluting the water of the Buriganga River, new tanneries have arisen in their place. Now, another hundred thousand of your citizens are facing poisoned water.

As you did before, you must shut down these tanneries before they cause more destruction and even death. Your citizens deserve clean water and a safe home. Do everything in your power to give them that.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Patrick Morin

Demand Poland Protect Its Threatened Species From Extinction

Target: Henryk Kowalczyk, Polish Minister of Environment

Goal: Do not allow hunters to target threatened species, including bison and elk.

Poland’s Minister of Environment, Henryk Kowalczyk, has come under fire for his recent remarks calling for the country to remove certain vulnerable species from the nation’s list of protected animals. In his own words, he feels that something must be done to address the “excessive sensitivity to animal protection” in his country, and would like to grant permits to hunters interested in killing beavers, bison, elk and more within Polish borders. We must oppose this action that would violate European Union (EU) laws and could threaten these creatures with extinction.

The minister’s words have angered environmentalists across Europe and worldwide, many of whom have drawn comparisons between Kowalcyzk’s rhetoric and Poland’s decision last year to log a pristine forest despite existing EU laws forbidding it. Many fear that Kowalczyk’s words will carry weight, and that he will go forward with his plans to weaken wildlife protection, especially on large herbivores like bison and elk that are known to cause occasional damage to crops.

Poland is home to a number of unique species found in few other places in Europe, including European bison and wild mink. A lack of consideration for their well-being could have dire effects on these creatures and all wildlife living in this Eastern European nation. Please sign the petition below to call on the Polish Minister of Environment to maintain current legal protection for all threatened species.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Kowalczyk,

I am writing to urge you not to weaken legal protection for threatened wildlife in your country, including bison and elk. While these large herbivorous creatures can cause damage to crops, these animals have disappeared from virtually all other parts of Europe and must be protected against hunters. If permits are issued for targeting these creatures, it is very likely they could be wiped out entirely.

Your government must comply with EU laws that restrict hunting these species, even when they can be “burdensome,” as another councilor you spoke with stated. I ask you to uphold these laws so that these remarkable and iconic creatures can continue to survive.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pelnik

Help Lead the Fight Against Deforestation

Target: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

Goal: Unite against deforestation and invest in clean energy.

In the fight against deforestation, one nation seems to be fighting alone. Norway has donated 366 million dollars each year to ending deforestation in South America’s rainforests. However, data shows that little progress has been made. Progress is stagnant because Norway fights deforestation alone.

Other wealthy European nations have vowed to fight against deforestation, but no other countries have joined Norway’s side, or donated as much as Norway has. Norway’s monetary contributions make up roughly 40 percent of the funds against deforestation. The United Kingdom and Germany both promised to help Norway, but little visible progress has been seen.

Sign the petition to demand that Germany, a leading country in the European Union, take its place alongside Norway and fight deforestation. As we have so often seen in the European Union, when Germany takes a step toward progress, other countries follow.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chancellor Merkel,

In the last ten years, Norway has given 40 percent of the funds in the fight against deforestation. However, despite the billions of dollars spent, little progress has been made. Norway can’t win this fight alone. Other countries must take its side.

Several years ago, Germany promised to help Norway in the fight against deforestation. I ask that you hold true to that promise. Fight deforestation. Other countries will undoubtedly follow your lead.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Anand Osuri

Boost Bicycle Transport as a Promising Clean Air Conduit

Target: Councillor Colin Cook, Lord Mayor of Oxford, Oxford City Council

Goal: Invest in bicycling as an environmentally beneficial mode of transportation.

A sizable percentage (close to 50 percent, by some estimates) of the air pollution choking our planet’s skies arises from our modes of transportation. Motor vehicles in particular emit large quantities of destructive pollutants like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons, and toxic particulates. Over time, these pollutants help erode the earth’s ozone layer and boost temperatures planetwide, wreaking havoc on habitats and ecosystems of all varieties. Many of these pollutants also have links to cancer and other devastating health conditions. Growing cities in particular have become a large part of the problem as the demands for fast and efficient transportation flourish. Some of these regions, however, have the potential to become part of the solution through investments in a cost-friendly and, more importantly, an environmentally-friendly method of transportation: bicycling.

The city of Oxford, England stands as a prime candidate for a promising, cleaner approach to travel. The “city of dreaming spires” is renowned for its rich historical legacy and its youthful populace who already utilize cycling as a main form of transportation. This method is in many ways ideally suited for the city and other burgeoning English towns such as Cambridge. Distances traveled are relatively small, the historic landmarks of the city make intrusive roadways undesirable for many citizens, and employment opportunities in sectors ranging from tech and science to publishing populate the entire landscape.

Yet rather than focusing on a popular method that studies indicate accounts for over a quarter of current travel within the city, leaders instead are focusing on other means of transportation development such as railways and buses. In fact, the city often makes it harder for cyclists by not opening key roads to bicycle transportation and failing to appoint officials dedicated to overseeing this mode of transportation.

Sign the petition below to encourage the incorporation of bicycling as a centerpiece of future infrastructure and transportation initiatives.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Councillor Cook,

Your city is growing, but it is growing into an uncertain future. Citizens, especially your youth, continue to worry about the state of our planet and its wellness. Green solutions are no longer just a pleasantry or an aspiration but a necessity.

As one of the major centers for bicycle transportation in the world, you have the opportunity to set a literally world-changing precedent. While you ponder ways to meet Oxford’s growing travel needs, the ideal answer may be ever-present in the communities that comprise your town. The National Infrastructure Commission recently released findings detailing the rise of bicycling within Oxford. Estimates say 25 percent of your populace even utilizes this environmentally safe option as a primary form of transportation.

Build upon this promise, and in the process protect your city’s rich legacy from unnecessary, detrimental road projects that carry a significantly higher price tag. Open the roadways you do have to more modes of travel, and appoint officials who oversee and help improve this promising mode of transportation.

Invest in bicycling because in many respects, bicycle paths may indeed prove to be a pathway to a better tomorrow.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here}

Photo Credit: Foothill Expy

Stop Hunters From Killing Off Yellowstone’s Mountain Lions

Target: Mark Anselmi, Wyoming Fish and Game Commissioner

Goal: Protect mountain lions living in the Greater Yellowstone region by enforcing stricter hunting restrictions.

Yellowstone’s mountain lions are in danger. A new study shows that while wolves have made a significant rebound in numbers in Yellowstone National Park since the 1990s, the same cannot be said for the mountain lions who also reside in the area. The report shows that as the wolves’ numbers have grown, increased competition for prey combined with pressure from hunters have made it difficult for the wild cats to survive.

Researchers have concluded that mountain lions are dying off in the Greater Yellowstone region, largely due to hunters who target them directly or who take down hundreds of elk and other herbivores that the cats rely on for food. In fact, hunting was shown to be the single leading cause of death for adult cats in the years since 2002, when the study began.

Wyoming Fish and Game must intervene to ensure that wolves and mountain lions can coexist side by side as they have for thousands of years. Sign this petition to urge officials to do more to protect mountain lions within the park and statewide.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Commissioner Anselmi,

Wyoming Fish and Game has made enormous strides to help ensure the successful reintroduction of wolves in the Greater Yellowstone region. While these measures have resulted in increasing numbers of wolf packs throughout the state, mountain lions have struggled as hunters continue to target them in large numbers, along with the prey animals they depend upon. The Jackson Elk Herd in particular has been shown to be an important source of food for these cats, and must be more carefully managed so that both wolves and mountain lions have enough to eat year-round.

For the good of all wildlife living in Yellowstone National Park and throughout Wyoming, we urge you to enforce stricter hunting limits on both elk and mountain lions. Please do not allow hunters to greedily take more than can support these predators or target this declining cat population. Mountain lions need our help, and we are counting on you to do what you can to help support their long-term survival.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: National Park Service

Stop Export of Wildlife From Congo to China

Target: Xi Jinping, President of China

Goal: Stop Chinese zoos from importing animals from the Congo.

China’s request to import many species of wildlife from the Republic of the Congo has sparked outrage among animal rights groups and conservationists. Among these species are many varieties of primates, as well as forest giraffes and manatees; all of these species are nearing extinction. Additionally, wildlife charity Born Free fears that these imports will allow China to exploit the creatures and provide for illegal black market trades.

It is unethical to transplant vulnerable, nearly-extinct animals from their natural habitat into a place that may not be able to properly see to their needs or ensure their well-being. In the case of the great apes and other primates, separating even one from the others will cause a disturbance in their group dynamic, leading to a ripple effect of physical and emotional distress that will endanger the health and possibly the lives of other apes. Furthermore, China has had a history of animal exploitation overall, including the sale and trade of animal parts. The fears held by Born Free could easily become a reality.

We cannot allow this export to take place. These animals need to remain in their native habitat to thrive and to survive, and we cannot risk China enabling black market trades for their parts. Sign this petition to ensure that these creatures remain where they belong.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Xi,

Your intentions to import wildlife from the Republic of the Congo to place in your zoos is unethical and dangerous. All of the species you have requested are near extinction, and the stress of being ripped from their home and forced to travel so far could possibly kill them. Additionally, the great ape species’ society is akin to a family, in which forcibly transplanting even one will disrupt their society and dynamic.

You must rescind your request immediately. Not only would this import put the lives of many animals in danger, but animal rights groups fear that placing them in China’s care will enable illegal black market trading of their parts should they die. These animals must remain in their native habitat so that they may thrive. Do not risk their health by removing them.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Cai Tjeenk Willink

Support Genetic Research to Save Koalas

Target: The Right Honourable Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia

Goal: Support the use of genetic map studies and vaccine development to save dying koala population.

The discovery of a new genetic map could save the critically endangered koala bear population of Australia. For years, koalas have been falling victim to chlamydia as it weakens their immune system and leads to blindness and infertility. Those who do not die of the disease are rendered unable to reproduce and rebuild their numbers.

This genetic map delves into the species’ diet and how it ties into the chlamydia crisis. Koalas subsist on toxic eucalyptus leaves, thus needing a strong immune system to balance out the toxins. Such research could lead to much-needed vaccinations of koalas everywhere. A better understanding of a species’ genetics means better medicine tailored to protect against health risks and to treat existing problems, and koalas are no exception. The population has dropped alarmingly in the past few years due to the chlamydia outbreak alone.

We must throw all of our support into this research to ensure that it progresses to the point where the ideal vaccination can be created. Sign this petition to demand the government of Australia fund this endeavor to save its iconic marsupial.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,

Scientists have discovered a genetic blueprint that could save the remaining koala population from extinction. For years, the species has fallen victim to chlamydia, which weakens their immune system. This is extremely dangerous as the species subsists on toxic eucalyptus leaves. Any survivors are left blind and infertile for the rest of their shortened lives. This new research could put an end to these dangers, as it would allow scientists to create the ideal vaccine.

This endeavor needs all the support and funding possible. Koalas are an iconic species that the world cannot afford to lose, and they deserve to life a life free of painful disease and lasting health complications. Support the scientists’ and conservationists’ efforts to create vaccines for koalas, and put an end to the chlamydia epidemic.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Erik Veland

Protect Rare Predator from Extinction

Target: Michael Finley, Chair of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission

Goal: Protect rare predator from extinction at the hands of habitat destruction.

A rare predator in Oregon may soon face extinction. Less than 200 Humboldt martens exist in the state of Oregon. Join conservationists in demanding the state add the species to its endangered species list.

The rare Humboldt marten is a small, cat-like mammal. It resides in the state’s coastal forests. However, its numbers have declined, faced with logging, habitat destruction, and trapping by hunters.

Only one death of this species per year could lead to under-population and extinction within the next generation or two. Something must be done now to protect this rare animal before the predator becomes the prey.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Finley,

The Humboldt marten may be a predator, but it’s been given less than a fighting chance in your state. Less than 200 of the tiny mammals survive, most killed  by habitat destruction and trapping.

The Humboldt marten is facing rapid extinction. Just one death per year can wipe out the population completely within a generation or two. I ask that you add the species to your state’s endangered species list immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Cody Connor

Stop Plastic Pollution From Killing Seabirds

Target: The Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

Goal: Stop plastic pollution from harming New Zealand’s seabirds.

New Zealand’s seabird population is at risk of severe endangerment, possibly even some extinctions, due to plastic pollution. More seabirds live in New Zealand than in any other country; unfortunately, this is the main reason why they are at such risk. It is not the amount of plastic pollution that is the problem, but the number of seabirds and the fact that several species are already endangered.

The birds’ habit of scooping up and swallowing whatever they spot during their hunt for food is how they end up ingesting plastic bags or other waste, as they act too quickly to realize their mistake. Chicks and adults alike face starvation as the plastic fills their stomachs. Since plastic does not dissolve or digest easily, it takes up space and attaches itself to their insides. Additionally, the toxins found in plastic enter their bloodstream, causing various health risks.

We cannot risk the disappearance of New Zealand’s immense seabird population. The country’s environmentalists are working to achieve a ban of single-use plastic bags, but this is only one step. Pollution laws must be tightened, and protection of the birds must be strengthened. Sign this petition to save New Zealand’s seabirds from potential disaster.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Ardern,

Plastic pollution could wipe out New Zealand’s seabird population due to the birds’ continued accidental ingestion of the substance. The birds swoop down and devour plastic bags too quickly to realize their mistake, and the plastic takes up space in their stomachs while blocking the absorption of much needed-nutrients into their systems. The number of seabirds means more are at risk of extinction, as many of them are already endangered.

Environmentalists are currently working to get single-use plastic bags banned, but this is only the first step. You must not only support this ban, but strengthen the country’s anti-pollution laws and enact stronger protections for the birds to ensure that they do not ingest more plastic while feeding. You must not let these birds disappear from our planet.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: David Patte

End the Destruction of the Rainforests for Palm Oil

Target:  Kuok Khoon Hong, CEO of Wilmar International

Goal: Cut ties with companies that rely on deforestation to turn a profit.

One of the largest palm oil producers in the world has allegedly broken its commitment to sustainability and has instead engaged in practices and trade agreements that are contributing to deforestation.

Wilmar International has a “No Deforestation. No Peat. No Exploitation” commitment. However, Greenpeace alleges that Wilmar is breaking this promise by trading palm oil with Gama, a palm oil business reportedly leading deforestation efforts in Indonesia.

Wilmar must hold true to its commitment. It must protect the rare and endangered rainforests of Indonesia. Sign the petition to demand that Wilmar cut ties with Gama and protect the world’s rainforests now and in the future.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Hong,

Your company made a promise: “No Deforestation. No Peat. No Exploitation.” You vowed to protect the rainforests. Instead, you have reportedly been destroying them.

Your partnership with Gama stands in direct conflict with your vow. Gama reportedly engages in deforestation, stripping Indonesia of its rare forests and resources. I demand you hold true to your promise and cut ties with Gama to protect the rainforests of Indonesia for posterity.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: WidodoMargotomo