Protect Chimp Sanctuary From Dam Flooding

Target: Alpha Condé, President of Guinea

Goal: Stop construction of dam on chimp sanctuary in Guinea.

Guinea’s government is planning the construction of a dam in the same area as a chimp sanctuary the same company supported less than a year ago. The Moyen-Bafing National Park is home to 4,000 chimps, almost half of which will be wiped out by the flooding caused by the dam or driven into the surrounding areas, causing deadly territorial conflicts.

It is cruel for construction projects to force their way into a sanctuary, especially a sanctuary for a genus of primates whose numbers have dropped drastically within the past few years. Flooding and territorial conflicts aside, the construction of this dam will interrupt the lifestyle of the chimps residing in the sanctuary, robbing them of food, habitat, and the peace needed to breed and raise their families.

Western chimpanzees are critically endangered, especially in Guinea, where the healthiest population is 16,500. If this sanctuary is threatened, chimpanzees will go extinct in a matter of years. Sign this petition to protect this sanctuary and the chimps within.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Condé,

Your government’s plans to build a dam in Moyen-Bafing National Park will endanger over 1,000 chimps who call the sanctuary their home, either flooding them to death or forcing them into the surrounding areas and causing deadly territorial conflicts. This sanctuary is meant to be a safe haven for many species of chimp, which are critically endangered in Guinea and need a chance to rebuild their numbers safely.

Do not let the government build this dam. World Bank, the company who initially supported the plans, is now calling for a moratorium on the project, but the plans have yet to be cancelled. It is unethical to rob innocent chimps of their home for the sake of construction. You must cancel this project immediately or demand the government find elsewhere to go ahead with it, somewhere that will not harm animals or wildlife.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sergio Morchon

End the Trend of Killing Polar Bears for Tourism’s Sake

Target: Ellen Hambro, Director General of the Norwegian Environment Agency

Goal: Protest the killing of a polar bear defending its home.

A man suffered serious injury and was near-death, while a critically endangered animal lost its life. This is the latest legacy from unneeded, dangerous tourism practices in the Arctic. Now, the one snapshot tourists of a German cruise ship will likely remember will not be an image of beautiful mountains, snow, and tundra. Rather, the lasting picture from this excursion will be the bloodied carcass of a polar bear shot by the sea.

The tragedy unfolded when a German-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises ship took tourists to a group of islands near the North Pole–islands  often dubbed an ‘Arctic fairy tale’ for their wondrous scenery. Fairy tale would soon turn to genuine nightmare, however, when polar bear guards (individuals meant to block a harmful encounter with the native bears) disembarked ahead of the tour group. After a bear spotted one of the guards encroaching on its habitat, it allegedly charged at the man and wounded him. The other guards had allegedly tried other methods to scare away the polar bear before tragically resorting to deadly force.

While this incident may have been unavoidable in the moment, the true outrage lies in such a potentially deadly and dangerous situation being allowed in the first place. Scientists have long warned that climate change, melting ice, and subsequent changes in food supplies are essentially forcing polar bears into territories where human encounters and aggression levels are higher. Officials in these regions post plentiful warnings about the dangers of polar bear encounters, but they still enable, and even seemingly encourage, reckless tourist intrusions.

Sign this petition to demand those responsible for preserving these picturesque lands put protection ahead of profit and curb activities that will facilitate more slaughter.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director General Hambro,

A polar bear mauls a camping man in the back, dragging him away from friends. Another bear attacks an ‘adventurer’ group. The German cruise line employees who allegedly shot an attacking bear likely had similar flashes of doom streaking through their minds when they took deadly action.

Who put them in this position, caught between killing a critically endangered animal or saving the life of one of their own? When you sanction so much tourist activity in these wildlands, do you think about he individuals killed and maimed, or the many more polar bears that have faced a sudden death in the past few decades? Do you consider how each of these ‘necessary’ deaths diminishes just a little more a population that even now exists only in the low thousands?

If these questions have plagued you, or do plague you now in the wake of the most recent tragedy, please take action. Reevaluate the tourism policies that are further endangering a cherished native creature already driven from its habitat by climate change and human inaction.

Save the polar bears. Save lives.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Flickr Favorites

Do Not Allow Nuclear Waste Disposal Under National Parks

Target: The Right Honourable Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Goal: Reject plans to allow nuclear waste disposal in national parks.

Nuclear waste may soon be buried beneath national parks in the UK. Members of Parliament apparently see this as “the only permanent solution” to the huge amounts of waste created by power plants and fracking. Previous plans to build an underground waste storage site were rejected in 2013, but new plans have been published and are currently being supported.

Burying such toxic, dangerous materials underground is the worst possible idea, especially burying them under national parks that should be protected from such defilement. These parks are national treasures, not only for the natural beauty found within them, but because they are also home to many species of wildlife who would suffer the negative effects of toxic waste burial. Humans living near these parks would suffer similar negative repercussions, and no matter how deep the waste was buried, it would still contaminate the soil and water alike.

Right now, the effort to protect national parks seems vast due to the many factors threatening them, but preventive measures are a step in the right direction. Sign this petition to stop the burial of nuclear waste beneath UK park sites.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Your Excellency Prime Minister May,

Parliament members have published new plans to bury nuclear waste under national park sites. These plans have gained support, being seen as “the only permanent solution” to the problem of waste created by fracking and power plants. These underground burial sites would not only defile the natural beauty of these parks, but would harm all living beings located in or near them due to contamination of the soil and water.

You must reject these plans immediately and prevent any new ones from being formed. National parks are too important to any country for a multitude of reasons, and we cannot risk them for a quick solution to a problem that should not even exist. Right now, the first step towards ending this problem is preventive measures against worsening them. Do not allow these plans for the defilement of the United Kingdom’s national parks to follow through.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mark Gallagher

Demand ‘Red List’ Status for Declining Penguin Species

Target: Inger Andersen, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature

Goal: Reevaluate the conservation status of king penguins after drastic drop in population.

Scientists studying king penguins living on the remote island of Ile Aux Cochon, a French territory between the southern tip of Africa and Antarctica, are sounding the alarm that these creatures are in serious trouble. With an estimated 200,000 birds remaining on the island, a mere 10 percent of the population just three decades ago, they are now calling on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to add this species to their “red list” of threatened and endangered wildlife.

Penguins are known for maintaining stable colonies for many decades, making it unlikely that these birds have gone somewhere else. This means that the most likely explanation for the colony’s collapse is that these birds have either died off or that they have been unsuccessful in reproducing, perhaps as a result of climate change.

The colony at Ile Aux Cochon is thought to represent at least a third of the global population of king penguins. Now that so many have disappeared, the time has come to reevaluate this species’ conservation status, which is still considered by the IUCN to be “least concern.” Sign this petition to urge this international board to add this declining species to their red list of threatened and endangered species so they can receive the additional protection they deserve.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director General Andersen,

The number of king penguins living on the French-controlled island of Ile Aux Cochon has declined by nearly 90 percent, perhaps as a result of poor breeding success linked to climate change. As this island’s colony is thought to be home to at least a third of the world’s king penguins, this drastic population drop is a real cause for concern that demands a reevaluation of their current conservation status.

If these birds are indeed threatened by global warming, adding them to the IUCN’s red list could put additional pressure on nations worldwide to increase their efforts to combat the harmful effects of excessive carbon emissions and other forms of pollution. Please look into the scientific evidence regarding the outlook for this species and the threats they face, and act accordingly before it is too late.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bernard Spragg.NZ

Send Aid to Wildfire-Ravaged Greece

Target: Mike Pompeo, United States Secretary of State

Goal: Send aid and assistance to Greek citizens and homes damaged by deadly wildfires.

The citizens of Greece are suffering from the devastation left in the wake of the nation’s worst wildfire in a century. Large portions of Greece have been ravaged by wildfires over the past several weeks, with the death count rising to 91. Hundreds of other citizens have lost their homes and businesses, and just as many acres of forests have been burnt to the ground. Reports have stated that the most recent fire near the coast of Athens is considered “the deadliest wildfire in Europe since 1900.”

To make matters worse, the government is blaming an alleged arsonist, despite there being no hard evidence of such in the area of the latest fire. The population, including the firefighters, are outraged by the government’s complacency in their ill-preparedness for such a disaster. Currently, there seem to be no plans as to how to stop the fires or aid those affected by them. The death toll is already beyond too high, and will only climb higher if nothing is done.

While we cannot bring back those who have died in the blazes, there is still ample time to send aid and support to the survivors whose lives have been damaged, as well as time to help slow the spread of these fires. Sign this petition to demand the United States send their aid in Greece’s time of crisis.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Pompeo,

Greece is currently being ravaged by the worst wildfires Europe has seen since 1900, with 91 people dead and countless others suffering the losses of loved ones, homes, and even businesses. The Greek government has yet to offer any solutions to this problem, most notably safer escape routes or even an apology for allowing the situation to reach this level.

The United States must send aid to Greece in such a dangerous time. Foreign relations and aid are critical during such a turbulent political era in general, and we have always prided ourselves on being willing to help other countries when they need it most. Greece does not deserve to suffer any more losses. The people need all the assistance and support they can get. Send aid to them as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Carl Osbourn

Don’t Destroy One of South America’s Most Important Rainforests

Target: Sarney Filho, Minister of Environment, Brazil

Goal: Protect the Guiana Shield from deforestation at the hands of loggers, miners, and farmers.

A vital rainforest basin may soon be destroyed, forever altering the climate of South America and threatening the lands of many indigenous populations. The Guiana Shield in Brazil has long been overlooked by scientists who have instead focused on the Amazon. However, the destruction of the Guiana Shield will prove disastrous for South America.

Extensive deforestation caused by logging, mining, and farming has already threatened the Amazon. While the cover of the Guiana Basin has remained untouched, it may not be for long. Scientists are warning that, should even one-third of the land be destroyed, the climate of the entire South American continent can be altered forever.

Rain will increase and runoff will destroy lands. Food supplies will be destroyed and indigenous communities will be under threat. Action must be taken now to protect the continent. Sign the petition to demand the government of Brazil take steps to protect this valuable land.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Filho,

Your nation is home to a rainforest just as valuable as the Amazon, if not more so. The Guiana Basin is situated in such a sensitive area that its destruction can alter the climate of your entire continent, increasing rains, decreasing food, and threatening indigenous populations.

This land already faces threats from mining, logging, and farming. You must take action now to protect the natural treasure your nation is home to, and the citizens of your country and beyond.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Maurizio Alì

Save Endangered Lynx From Extinction

Target: Blendi Klosi, Albanian Minister of Tourism and Environment

Goal: Ensure that the Munella Mountain region is made into a protected habitat for Balkan lynx.

Albanian environmentalists are trying to save the estimated 40 Balkan lynx that remain in the remote region around Munella Mountain. However, because this area is not yet recognized as a protected habitat, the future of this critically endangered species is at risk.

One of the many threats lynx living around Munella Mountain face is a large copper plant that poses a severe environmental threat while being the area’s largest employer. Lobbyists from the mining industry in Albania have consistently shut down attempts in the past to declare Munella Mountain a protected natural preserve, even after the endangered lynx were discovered in the area only as recently as 2011.

While the lynx themselves are legally protected against harm, they cannot survive without having a protected habitat in which to live. Sign this petition to urge Albania to do more to protect its rare wild lynxes by protecting this area as a natural preserve.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Klosi,

Albania is home to an estimated 40 Balkan lynx, all of whom are believed to live in the remote Munella Mountain region despite facing threats from mining, logging and illegal hunting in the area. Although this species is making a slow recovery, Balkan lynx are recognized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered and need our help if they are to survive. With so few lynx remaining in both Albania and Macedonia, each cat’s life is precious and must be preserved.

Although the lynx have only recently been rediscovered in the Munella Mountain area, lobbyists from the mining industry have already blocked efforts numerous times to establish a protected habitat for these cats. While copper mining is a major employer for the region, there is a potential for ecotourism and jobs related to conservation to also help the local economy if this area is made into a preserve. We, the undersigned, urge you to find ways to help these lynx coexist with people and to do what you can to ensure their long-term survival by establishing a natural preserve in this region.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bernard Landgraf

Stop Construction of Open-Cast Coal Mine in Unspoiled Valley

Target: The Right Honourable Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Goal: Halt construction of coal mine in Northern England valley.

Energy firm Banks Group is building a coal mine in the previously untouched Derwent Valley in County Durham, ending 40 years of peace and protection. Despite endless protests and efforts to keep the valley unspoiled, as well as the government’s constant promises to phase out coal by the year 2525, the firm has been granted permission to disrupt the peaceful and quiet life led by the residents.

England has one of the worst air pollution problems across the globe in general. The coal industry as a whole is responsible for half the world’s air pollution; hundreds of people suffer from health problems due to the condition of the air, with several even dying each year, and many species of wildlife and plants cannot thrive without cleaner air. “The government says it wants to be a world leader but is not putting its money where its mouth is,” says June Davison, a longtime protester and resident of Derwent Valley.

We cannot allow this formerly unspoiled, peaceful area to be marred by an unnecessary coal mine. Sign this petition to stop the construction of the mine as soon as possible, and to halt plans for any future mines.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Gove,

The Banks Group energy firm is constructing a coal mine in the preciously unspoiled Derwent valley, despite the residents’ protests and the government’s promise to be a world leader in the phasing out of coal altogether. This area has been clean and safe for 40 years, and all of that has been taken away by an inconsistent government and a company seeking a profit.

Coal is one of the leading causes of air pollution, and England has one of the worst pollution problems across the globe. Many people die of pollution-related health issues each year, and the air is not conducive to the survival of wildlife or plant life. Furthermore, the government’s inconsistency regarding its stance on coal is dishonest and problematic. You must stop this mine from being built as soon as possible, and ensure that no future mines will be planned. Derwent valley deserves more than 40 years of peace and protection.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Rennett Stowe

Save Dolphins and Seabirds From Drowning in Nets

Target: His Excellency Donald Tusk, President of the European Council

Goal: Do not let protection for Europe’s dolphins and seabirds falter due to Brexit.

The advent of Brexit will weaken protection of Europe’s seabird and dolphin populations. The United Kingdom was said to be the strongest voice in fishery reform, which ensured that fewer dolphins or seabirds would get caught in fishing nets. Unfortunately, even with these reforms in place, a total of 600,000 marine mammals and birds still die each year from being caught in the nets, and this number could skyrocket once the UK officially separates from the European Union.

Dolphins are already one of the most vulnerable animals on this planet due to negative changes in the waters such as plastic and oil pollution, as well as being captured and hunted as trophies. Many species of dolphins are nearly extinct, as are many seabirds. Without the influence of the UK on fishery reforms, these species could disappear forever, causing great strain on the ecology of the sea.

We cannot allow Brexit to weaken existing protection of dolphins and seabirds. Sign this petition to demand the European Union strengthen its voice towards fishery reform and the protection of marine mammals and seabirds.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Your Excellency,

Europe’s dolphin and seabird population is in danger of extinction due to Brexit, as the United Kingdom was the strongest voice for fishery reform. Hundreds of thousands of marine mammals and seabirds die of capture in fishing nets every year, even with reforms in place, and the weakening of those reforms could lead to mass extinctions.

You must strengthen the European Union’s voice towards fishery reform. Dolphins are already one of the most vulnerable animals on the planet due to being captured in nets as well as other dangers they face. The loss of even a single species of dolphin or seabird will wreck havoc on the ocean’s delicate ecosystem. Do not allow protection of dolphins and seabirds to weaken with the advent of Brexit.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pete Markham

Applaud Billion-Dollar Company for Cutting Ties with Deforestation Industry

Target: Corien Wortmann-Kool, Chairwoman of the ABP Board

Goal: Applaud leading financial company for putting the future of the planet before its bottom line.

A multi-billion dollar company in the Netherlands has cut ties with one of its lucrative international partners after learning that the company was involved directly in deforestation. Dutch pension fund ABP has divested its interests in Posco Daewoo, a company with palm oil plantations in Indonesia.

Palm oil plantations are one of the leading causes of rainforest deforestation. While many companies speak out against them, very few put those words into action. However, ABP is the exception, selling off hundreds of thousands of dollars in Posco Daewoo shares.

Sign the petition to thank ABP for taking a stand against deforestation. Ask that ABP continue to hold true to protecting the environment and urge other companies to follow their lead.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chairwoman Wortmann-Kool,

Thank you for cutting ties with Posco Daewoo in the fight against deforestation. Unlike other companies in your industry and beyond, you have put your money where your mouth is and held true to your commitment to environmental protection.

Thank you for your actions. I hope you continue to follow suit in the future. I ask that you continue your efforts in protecting the planet and urge you to ask the same of other businesses in your industry.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: David Maclennan