Success: UK to Introduce Ivory Ban

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

Goal: Praise United Kingdom for finally introducing a ban on the ivory trade.

The United Kingdom will be banning all ivory sales, thanks to public pressure and persistent efforts from conservationists. The ban will reportedly be “the toughest in Europe and one of the strictest in the world,” cracking down on the sale of products containing ivory made in the last 30 years and containing more than 10 percent ivory; there is nothing to be done about vintage products with trace amounts, but the ban assures that no new products will be made or sold.

This ban has been a long time coming. For five years, the UK was the largest exporter of legal ivory in the world, with thousands of elephants per year being killed to produce it. Public pressure and petitions such as this one on ForceChange have challenged this grim reality, fighting for the rights and welfare of the elephants targeted by poachers and ivory dealers for their tusks, and these efforts have finally paid off.

The news of this ban is most welcome after years of the UK stubbornly clinging to their ivory trade. Every country that stops the sale and exportation of ivory is a step towards the phasing out of ivory products overall, meaning a brighter future for the elephant population. Sign this petition to thank the UK government for finally stopping their irovy trade.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister May,

The United Kingdom’s recent announcement of a ban on ivory sales is most welcome. For years, the UK has been one of the chief ivory exporters in the world, causing the deaths of thousands of African elephants each year, and the most reluctant to change this despite mounting public pressure. At last, though, the efforts of environmentalists and animal conservationists have paid off.

Ivory is fast on its way to becoming as obsolete as fur coats, as objects traditionally made of ivory are now crafted with other materials, and the more countries that reflect this, the better. This ban is a major step towards a brighter future for the elephant populations and is much appreciated. Thank you for listening to the demands of the public and putting the welfare and survival of elephants above the sale of an obsolete material.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sokwanele Zimbabwe

Success: Congratulate Montana for Rejecting Coal Development

Target: Brian Morris, Judge for the District of Montana

Goal: Congratulate Judge Morris for protecting precious land and resources from oil drilling.

A Montana court delivered a heroic ruling recently and saved over 15 million acres of land from being turned into coal mines and oil refineries. A proposal by the Bureau of Land Management would have desecrated sacred land in Montana and Wyoming.

Thanks to efforts by conservation groups, the case made it to court in Montana, where Judge Brian Morris ruled the proposal to be unlawful. The case took several years to fight and was an uphill battle for the defense, but thanks to Judge Morris and all of the environmental groups involved, Montana and Wyoming will remain beautiful. Sign this petition below to thank Judge Morris for his tremendous decision.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Judge Morris,

Thank you for allowing pristine land to remain beautiful under environmental protection. By ruling this proposal unlawful, you have set a precedent as we shift towards renewable energy. Now, when land groups seek to desecrate beautiful land, they will have an exceedingly more difficult time doing so.

If judges like you continue to protect our environment in the age of Trump and the Pruitt-led EPA, then our planet stands a chance of survival. With an administration so determined to kill the planet, decisions like yours make all of the difference.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: United States Forest Service

Success: Washington State Protects Wild Salmon and Orcas from Extinction

Target: Jay Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington

Goal: Support the protection of the Puget Sound’s endangered orcas and wild salmon via a government executive order.

Two endangered species found in Washington’s Puget Sound no longer face possible extinction. Thanks to an executive order signed by the governor of the state of Washington, Puget Sound orcas—whose population is currently the lowest it’s been in thirty years—and their main food source the Chinook salmon have a better chance at survival. Petitions like this one illustrate threats the salmon face, and as their population declines, so too does the population of the orcas. And, as the governor stated at a news conference, “The destiny of salmon and orca and we humans are intertwined. As the orca go, so go we.”

The executive order signed by the governor requires state agencies to take immediate action, outlining a strategy for the long-term survival of both the salmon and the orca. Plans include a decrease in pollution and noise from vessel traffic, and the creation of a task force that has until November to put forward a final report. The task force will include state agencies, tribal leaders, members of local and federal government, and others to ensure that action will be taken at all levels. Sign below to aupport this humane and responsible action that will benefit Puget Sound wildlife as well as humanity.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Inslee,

Thank you for taking a stand in order to protect invaluable Puget Sound wildlife—particularly the endangered Chinook salmon and Puget Sound orca. As you stated, our destinies are intertwined with these creatures, and they must be protected and preserved.

The population of the Puget Sound orca is the lowest it has been in 3 decades. This is tied inextricably with the threats to Chinook salmon, their main source of food. Your executive order—requiring action aimed at the long-term survival of both species on local, regional, and federal levels—is an inclusive and responsible fulfillment of your duties. I support this executive order and thank you for your commitment to protecting the future of salmon, orca, and humans.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mike Charest

Praise China’s Fight Against Pollution

Target: Zhang Jianlong, Director of the State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China

Goal: Encourage the restoration of millions of acres of forest in ravaged regions.

One of the world’s largest countries is doing its part in restoring our environment. As part of an ambitious plan to ensure up to one quarter of its lands are populated by forests within the next five years, Chinese leadership has enlisted the country’s army to take up arms against Earth’s most dangerous enemy: pollution. Roughly 60,000 members of the People’s Liberation Army and Chinese police forces will be tasked with planting enough trees across the expansive lands to cover an area the size of Ireland.

This step continues a promising commitment to green initiatives for China. Projects such as the Grain for Green program have proven successful in encouraging rural landowners to plant trees in the hopes of preventing flooding and damaging soil erosion. While issues like lack of biodiversity arose with this project, the new initiative by the State Forestry Administration has the benefit of strong leadership and a clearer plan of action. Recognizing the important role of trees in neutralizing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and in combatting pollution, the government has already devoted $80 billion to reforestation efforts at a time when many countries are beset by deforestation. This largest initiative yet will add millions more trees to the landscape. Many of these trees will surround areas beset by heavy smog, offering some counterbalance to harmful pollutants.

China is transitioning into a world advocate for environmental causes on all fronts, with other longstanding efforts currently ongoing in areas such as solar power, waste reduction, and the curtailing of development projects that could damage precious resources like rivers and lakes. The country is also actively encouraging individuals and organizations to participate in its reforestation efforts.

Sign this petition to support and encourage China’s progressive drive to boost the health of our environment and our world.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Jianlong,

“Development must be scientific development, and we must persist in unswervingly carrying out the concepts of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development.” In a world that sometimes loses sight of this fundamental principle, it is immensely encouraging to see these words enshrined in China’s central philosophy. The ambitious plan to increase China’s forest coverage is so meaningful because it represents more than just an idea; it is a course of action that will be realized and implemented with the full support of your government.

As in many other facets of your green initiatives, you are ensuring that China will be part of the solution rather than a driver of the problem. Every day, we witness the effects of environmental carelessness in our water, our weather, our food supplies, and in the very air we breathe. As countries, we may celebrate different ideals and drape ourselves in different symbols and colors, but at our core we all live under one color: green.

Please stand strong in your commitment to our shared environment. Green initiatives are the essential key to your country’s future and the future of our world.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Kevin Utting