Stop Fishing from Destroying National Park

Target: Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia

Goal: Stop illegal overfishing from destroying the natural beauty of Komodo National Park in Indonesia.

Indonesia’s Komodo National Park is at the tipping point of destruction. Its natural beauty is being ravaged and its wildlife endangered by excessive tourist fishing, which while illegal is still happening every day. Through both line fishing from boats and net fishing from dive sites, aquatic wildlife is being stolen from the seas or becoming entangled and left to die in nets or lines.

Komodo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, many of which are in danger due to the thoughtless and selfish actions of humans. Fishing is illegal in such places, yet people continue to do so anyway, robbing the oceans of valuable aquatic wildlife and doing damage to the ocean’s fragile ecosystem. Komodo Park is losing much of its wildlife, most notably sharks who are fished and killed for their fins. The park’s namesake, the Komodo dragon, is also listed as vulnerable; this status could change for the worse at any time.

We must protect this beautiful heritage site from thoughtless, law-violating fishermen, not only to preserve a national treasure, but for the sake of the ocean’s delicate ecosystem. Sign this petition to demand tightened laws against fishing at Komodo Park.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Widodo,

Komodo National Park’s natural beauty is being ravaged by overfishing of various vulnerable species. Despite fishing being illegal at this World Heritage site, tourists continue to bring their lines and nets, robbing the sea of at least a thousand creatures every day, especially sharks who are killed for their fins and the park’s namesake, the Komodo dragon, which is listed as vulnerable.

This park is at the tipping point of destruction. Thoughtless fishermen continue to violate the no-fishing laws, threatening the ocean’s delicate ecosystem in addition to the park itself. You must enforce stricter laws against fishing and stronger protection for the park’s wildlife before this beautiful site disappears forever. We cannot let the actions of selfish humans rob us of Komodo National Park’s natural beauty.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Adhi Rachdian

Don’t Give Endangered Lands to Harmful Corporations

Target: Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia

Goal: Don’t give endangered lands to companies with rich histories of environmental degradation.

Endangered land in Indonesia, and all of the habitats and species that come with it, may soon be destroyed. The government of Indonesia is planning to complete a “land swap” with peat companies. This swap will take untouched, yet severely endangered, natural lands and throw them into the hands of companies that have a proven history of environmental degradation.

This proposed swap comes after severe fires destroyed much of the nation’s peatlands. These fires released extremely dangerous amounts of carbon into the air. Since then, Indonesia has attempted to regulate peatlands. This latest swap is part of these efforts. However, this land swap will still result in environmental damage, just in new areas.

The land affected is estimated to be the size of Lebanon. Sign the petition to demand that this land be protected. Ask Indonesia’s government to scrap plans for the proposed land swap.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Bakar,

Land the size of Lebanon, untouched by deforestation and industrialization, may soon be destroyed in your government’s proposed “land swap” with corporations. Though this land swap is part of your government’s efforts to regulate the exploitation of peatlands, this move will still inflict damage on your environment. The companies you are proposed to swap with have a history of unsustainable practices.

The shrinking, untouched land of your nation must be protected. I demand that you and your government throw out the proposed plans to swap Indonesia’s endangered lands and natural habitats.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Alasdair MacDonald

Praise Indonesia for Protecting Endangered Species

Target: Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia

Goal: Praise efforts to stop wildlife crimes and help protect endangered species.

A council court in Indonesia sentenced two slow loris traders to three and a half years in prison and fined them $7,620, a historical ruling which will help deter wildlife crimes. In the past, illegal slow loris traders were sentenced to only 3-12 months even if they were caught with dozens of slow lorises, an endangered species, in their possession. This severe punishment will help send a message to the media and the public about the seriousness of wildlife crimes and will, ideally, help deter them in the future.

The two defendants were arrested in September, 2017 by the West Sumatra Quick Reaction Forest Police Unit of the Law Enforcement Department of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Sumatra Region. In their possession were nine caged Sumatran slow lorises, to be sold off on the streets or in illegal animal markets. Their teeth are usually clipped to make them easier to handle, making them susceptible to death from infection or blood loss before they reach the market. They are sold as pets, which is a craze fueled by YouTube videos portraying them as cute and cuddly.

Slow lorises are in danger of becoming extinct, and they belong in the wild, not in the hands of animal poachers or in homes. The collaboration between the Indonesian Department of Environment and the public courts to uphold severe punishments for wildlife crimes is helping deter future crimes. Sending a message that illegal trading is punishable up to the maximum penalty is the first step in protecting and conserving wildlife in Indonesia. Sign the petition below to thank the Ministry of Environment and Forestry for their efforts.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Bakar,

An Indonesian council court and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry worked together to sentence two slow loris traders to the maximum penalty of three and half years in prison and a fine of $7,260. This harsh sentence sends out a message that wildlife crimes are punishable by maximum penalties. For the endangered slow loris, this is a momentous ruling, as these animals are caught and sold in illegal animal markets to be kept as pets. Prior to being sold, their teeth are clipped, making them vulnerable to infection and blood loss.

While the average sentence for illegal slow loris traders used to be 3-12 months, even with substantial evidence against them, this recent trial shows that the government is serious about wildlife crimes. If a trader is found guilty of intentionally saving, collecting, pet-keeping, and trading live protected wildlife, they are subject to maximum penalties. I want to thank you for leading the Ministry in helping ensure that protected animals in Indonesia are kept safe. I hope that you continue to enforce the rules and regulations to increase public awareness about protecting and conserving wildlife.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Michael Whitehead