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

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

Don’t Allow Oil Companies to Drive Gorillas to Extinction

Target: Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Goal: Don’t put critically endangered gorillas and other species at risk by allowing oil drilling within the boundaries of the Virunga and Salonga National Parks.

The Democratic Republic of Congo government is discussing the possibility of opening up one-fifth of the protected Virunga National Park to oil exploration and drilling. This park, along with nearby Salonga National Park, is home to critically endangered mountain gorillas, as well as bush elephants and another endangered ape known as the bonobo.

Members of the DR Congo government have stated it is within their rights to drill anywhere in the country, but allowing oil companies into these parks could pose a global risk by contributing to the worldwide climate change crisis. If the cabinet approves the decision, up to 664 square miles of Africa’s oldest wildlife reserve would be declassified and up for grabs for international oil companies to exploit at will. While Virunga National Park has remained closed following conflict with poachers and kidnapping incidents earlier this year, it is one of the few places mountain gorillas have survived relatively unscathed.

More must be done both to protect these parks and to address the growing instability and violence within the region. Sign below and demand that no drilling be allowed in these beautiful and unique parks.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Kabila,

The future of Virunga National Park, the oldest such reserve on the continent of Africa and home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas, is in jeopardy. If your government moves ahead with plans to open up parts of this park and nearby Salonga National Park to oil drilling, widespread environmental destruction will almost inevitably occur. That is why we, the undersigned, demand that you not open up any sections of these parks to oil exploration that would most certainly put endangered wildlife at risk.

Oil drilling in these parks will also release enormous amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which will contribute to global warming. For this reason, and for the well-being of the gorillas and other living creatures that call these jungle-cloaked volcanic mountains home, we urge you to oppose all plans to allow oil exploration within these parks and to do what you can to improve stability and reduce conflict within this troubled region.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Fanny Schertzer

Stop the West From Turning Thailand Into a Toxic Rubbish Dump

Target: Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior

Goal: Shut down electronic waste recycling plants in Thailand.

Factories in Thailand burn massive amounts of electronic waste every day. This waste is illegally shipped from the west to Thailand and dumped in front of an old factory, after which it is taken to recycling plants where workers extract whatever precious metals they can before burning the rest. The lesser heavy metals in all of the broken computers, TVs, and printers pollute the air, water, and soil.

This is extremely dangerous. These electronic waste recycling plants are the exact opposite of the practice meant to reduce pollution and contamination. The air will quickly become too dangerous to breathe if they continue to burn so much plastic, and the contaminated water and soil harms humans and wildlife alike. Additionally, the factories cannot even burn the waste faster than it is dumped in the country, leading to skyscraper-high levels of broken electronics becoming an eyesore.

Authorities and environmentalists are beginning to fight back against the illegal dumping and these factories, and the United States must aid them in fighting for a cleaner environment. Sign this petition to stop the illegal export of electronic waste into Thailand, and to shut down the dangerous factories.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Zinke,

Thailand is becoming the world’s rubbish dump thanks to the west illegally exporting its electronic waste into the country. The waste is taken to factories where workers conduct dangerous methods of extracting valuable metals while burning the rest, allowing the lesser heavy metals to pollute the air, water, and soil. This is extremely dangerous to all living beings in Thailand, and the never-ending piles of broken electronics are an eyesore.

The United States is heavily responsible for this problem, and we must put a stop to it. We cannot continue to allow the west to dump its electronic waste into Thailand, and we must aid the authorities in shutting down the dangerous factories polluting the country. You must outlaw the illegal export of electronic waste immediately, to ensure a better future for Thailand.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jacopo Werther

Shut Down Whale and Dolphin Meat Market

Target: His Excellency Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister of Japan

Goal: Shut down the whale and dolphin meat market for good.

Several regions of the world still consume whale and dolphin meat, despite efforts to stop the trend. An in-house cafe at a Japanese marine park features dolphin on its menu, whale meat makes up most of the Alaskan Inuit diet, and Greenland’s natives and tourists alike feast on whale. Despite countries like Iceland and Britain cutting down their consumption, the sea mammal meat market continues to be a problem.

Not only is the consumption of whale and dolphin a major reason for the decline in both species over the past few decades, but the meat of these creatures is actually dangerous for humans. The bodies of dolphins and whales accumulate traces of heavy metals such as mercury or silver; when these metals are unknowingly consumed by humans, they can cause neurological disorders such as seizures and memory loss. Some territories are even aware of this; the Faroe Island government has issued a warning to its citizens against consuming dolphin despite it being a major part of their diet for years.

The sea mammal meat trade is a lose-lose situation for all involved. Innocent creatures are hunted and killed for their meat, and humans risk serious health problems by consuming it. Sign this petition to stop the whale and dolphin meat market once and for all.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Your Excellency Prime Minister Abe,

The dolphin and whale meat market still persists to this day, despite whaling and dolphin fishing being a major cause of the near-extinction of these creatures. Some countries have stopped their consumption of dolphin and whale, but others persist. Not only is this the cause of the species’ endangerment, but the meat is dangerous to humans due to its high concentration of heavy metals such as mercury. These can cause severe health problems such as memory loss, infertility, and seizures.

Your country is one of several that still consumes whale and dolphin meat, so you must set an example by outlawing the hunting of these creatures once and for all. Send the message to other countries and territories that the sea mammal meat market is not only cruel to the animals themselves, but that the meat is too dangerous for human consumption.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Chris Buelow

Save Declining Southern Resident Orcas

Target: Carmen Yulín Cruz, Mayor of the San Juan Islands

Goal: Prevent further decline in the Southern Resident Orca population.

Southern Resident Orca numbers have hit their lowest point in 30 years, with only 75 remaining after one went missing and is presumed dead. These whales have been under constant watch for the past three decades, with conservationists doing all they can to help their numbers grow. However, with the decline of the species’ food source as well as a boom in human population, they have faced many dangers over the years as well.

The decline of the Chinook salmon is a major reason for the species’ struggles; these fish are the Orca’s main food source, with their disappearance leading to the threat of starvation. Human intervention is another factor, with plans to build oil pipelines running through the ocean and disrupting the whales’ habitat and living patterns. Whales are such gentle and beautiful creatures; they do not deserve to suffer the pains of starvation and habitat disruption. Additionally, they are a vital part of controlling the krill population of the oceans.

With numbers this low, it may not be long until we see the complete disappearance of the Orca from this planet. Do not let this happen. Sign this petition to protect the remaining Orcas and to give them a chance to rebuild their numbers.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mayor Cruz,

With the disappearance and presumed death of a Southern Resident Orca, the species’ numbers have reached their lowest point in the past 30 years. The decline in the species’ main food source as well as constant plans to build oil pipelines running through the oceans are a threat to the species as a whole, both the result of a boom in the human population of San Juan.

Whales are beautiful and intelligent creatures, as well as vital to the control of the ocean’s krill population. We cannot let their numbers go any lower, or they will disappear completely within a few short years. We, as humans, must strengthen our protection of the Orca by rejecting plans to build oil pipelines and by enabling the Chinook salmon’s return to the ocean. You must aid us in the protection and conservation of this species before it disappears forever.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Robert Pittman

Extinct No More? Explore the Potential of Past Animals Saving the Future

Target: Alexander Sergeev, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Goal: Investigate and support the conservation benefits of restoring extinct species to the environment.

Conservation ecologists and other science professionals recently converged to offer insight on a hotly debated topic: the potential cloning of long-extinct species. Rapidly accelerating biotechnology advancements make the prospect of ‘de-extinction’ more a potential reality than ever before. Such a monumental step could forever alter the course of animal conservation and, in some cases, environmental conservation.

One of the more popular potential subjects for de-extinction is the wooly mammoth: the long-haired, elephant-like creature that roamed Earth during the Ice Age. While an exact replica of this or any animal is unlikely, scientists are exploring the idea of genetically modifying a current similar species (in this case, the Asian elephant) and giving these animals traits of the extinct animal. If genetic modification and cloning technology were to be used in creating a sizable group of mammoths or other animals, these advances could offer new hope to other species on the brink of or past extinction.

Further, the introduction of missing species could have a positive effect on the surrounding environment as well. Natural habitats that rely on a delicate cyclical balance of plants, prey, and predators could be restored or maintained. When the wooly mammoth fell to extinction because of climactic changes and human hunting practices, scientists believe that the loss of such a cornerstone of ice age habitats had a devastating impact on other members of this ecosystem: an impact that was still felt thousands of years later. If wooly mammoths were reintroduced to the Siberian tundra, their roaming practices could possibly help halt the thaw of permafrost in the region. This could in turn keep the large amounts of carbon (a key greenhouse gas) underneath the frozen grounds from being released into the atmosphere.

While caution and careful planning are essential, the promising potential benefits of de-extinction should not be ignored. Sign this petition to encourage further exploration of and funding for a technology that could truly change the world.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Sergeev,

What was once the realm of science fiction is fast becoming promising possibility. Cloning and genetic modification spark many spirited debates about ethics and the role science should play in shaping our world’s future. Yet as the threats to our health, our security, our wildlife, and our environment continue to mount, novel and creative solutions are not just desirable. They are essential.

‘De-extinction’ is an emerging concept that holds vast potential for restoring our vulnerable animal populations while bolstering environments worldwide. Scientists have explored the potential of formerly extinct animals to revitalize endangered habitats such as the Arctic tundra while in the process curbing environmental dangers posed by the loss of these habitats (for example, the release of greenhouse gases from the warming Arctic tundra). Other potential benefits have run the range from seed transplantation to natural fire-fighting. The wooly mammoth—the animal that is perhaps the closest to being technologically and genetically viable for de-extinction—would most likely need a home base on the lands of Siberia. This is where Russia can play a vital, prominent role.

Scientists need the investment and the resources to transform flights of fancy and imagination into proactive policies and applications. Please support them in paving a trail to a better world and a better future.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: RBC

Punish Man Who Reportedly Punched a Possum in the Face

Target: Andrea Midgen, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal New Zealand SPCA

Goal: Demand that the man who allegedly punched a possum in the face be charged with animal cruelty and receive the maximum penalty possible by law, if convicted.

A possum was reportedly violently punched in the face in a shocking act of cruelty. A video posted on Facebook reportedly showed one person laughing as another man knocked the poor animal off of a fence post. Demand justice for this innocent possum.

“If it was a dog or cat being punched violently in the face, there would be no discussion about this, other than that the perpetrator needs to be prosecuted for animal abuse,” stated a spokesperson for Save Animals From Exploitation (SAFE).  The short clip reportedly showed a young man exiting a car and stopping in front of a possum, which had perched atop a fencepost. He then allegedly punched the possum directly in the face. The person filming reportedly laughed as the poor animal fell off of the fence and onto the ground.

Many consider possums as merely pests, but SAFE feels otherwise. They have reported this disturbing video to the Royal New Zealand SPCA in hopes that the inspector will investigate and prosecute the people involved. Sign below and demand that those responsible be prosecuted and sentenced to the maximum penalty possible by law, if convicted.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chief Executive Officer Midgen,

A possum was reportedly brutally assaulted in a disturbing case of animal cruelty. A video allegedly showed a young man punching the poor animal in the face, causing his friend to laugh. We demand justice for this innocent possum.

Members of the animal welfare group Save Animals From Exploitation have called upon you to condemn the people who reportedly assaulted a defenseless possum. A popular video, posted on Facebook, allegedly showed a young man exiting a car and stopping in front of the alerted possum. The young man then reportedly punched the possum in the face, causing the poor animal to fall off of a fence. The person filming then reportedly laughed at the possum’s senseless suffering.

Possums may be considered pests by some, but no one should be allowed to assault them for a laugh. We demand that you prosecute the people in this video and seek the maximum penalty possible in this case.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: hirisflower