End the Sale of Endangered Species in Grocery Stores

Target: Fu Zhenghua, Minister of Justice, China

Goal: Preserve and protect endangered species by outlawing their sale in grocery stores.

Grocery stores in China are selling critically endangered species, including giant salamanders, sturgeons, and alligators. Sign the petition to demand the government of China outlaw the sale of endangered species in grocery stores.

While selling endangered species is regulated (businesses require a special permit), it is not altogether forbidden and it is quite easy for businesses to ignore getting a permit. One grocery store was allegedly selling endangered Chinese alligators as recently as last month without a permit.

Sign the petition to demand China outlaw the sale of endangered species. Permits and regulations are not enough. Endangered animals should not be for sale.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Zhenghua,

Just last month, a grocery store in your nation was caught selling endangered species like alligators and salamanders without a permit. This event shows the flaws in your permitting system. Endangered animals should not be for sale in “some cases.” They should not be for sale at all.

I demand you outlaw the sale of endangered species. They should not be for sale in the aisles of a grocery store. They should be preserved and protected at all costs.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: William Warby

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

Urge Starbucks to Stop Business with Hong Kong Chain that Allegedly Serves Shark Fin

Target: Kevin Johnson, chief executive officer of Starbucks

Goal: Stop doing business with Hong Kong restaurant that reportedly serves shark fin on their menu.

Maxim, a restaurant in Hong Kong, is still allegedly selling shark fin meat after they said they stopped in 2017. An investigation conducted by wildlife conservation charity WildAid, found that the shark fins are reportedly still being sold on a secret premium menu. Activists are now currently urging Starbucks to end their 18-year partnership with Coffee Concepts, which is owned by Maxim’s Caterers Limited. We need your help in breaking the ties between this these companies.

Shark fin soup, which is mostly served in Chinese banquet menus, poses a threat to the future of the shark species. With more than 70 million sharks being killed each year, many are in danger of becoming extinct. Sign this petition to urge Starbucks to cut ties with a company aiding in the sharks’ demise.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Johnson,

Starbucks needs to cut ties with Maxim. They are reportedly illegally selling shark fin in their restaurants after they have repeatedly commented that they have phased this cruel shark meat out. Starbucks has a lot of pull as a company. In order to ensure the health and safety of sharks, they need to either cut their ties with Maxim or demand that they drop shark fin from their menu indefinitely.

By still operating with this company, Starbucks is tarnishing their name by being tied to the illegal shark fin trade. This needs to come to an end. Starbucks should not support this company. The shark fin trade is illegal and cruel. If nothing is done to stop companies from selling shark fins, then a quarter of the species are going to become extinct. We demand that Starbucks takes action and gives Maxim an ultimatum to stop the reported selling of shark fin for good, or your lucrative partnership will come to a swift end.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: cloneofsnake

Save the Chinese Giant Salamander From Extinction

Target: Han Changfu, Minister of China’s Ministry of Agriculture

Goal: Preserve dwindling populations of the critically endangered Chinese giant salamander.

One of the world’s most awe-inspiring amphibians – and a cultural icon in the regions it calls home – may soon be no more if immediate action is not taken. In recent months, researchers have discovered a dishearteningly low number of Chinese giant salamanders in China’s wildlands. The animals are quite a sight, with the potential to grow up to six feet lengthwise and up to 150 pounds in weight: the size of a tall human being. These lizard-like wonders also have a cherished place in Chinese lore, as they may have inspired the renowned yin and yang symbols.

Unfortunately, the uniqueness of these animals also makes them an attractive target for poachers and for individuals who value them as an ingredient in Chinese medicine or for exotic food. Other factors such as pollution and subsequent habitat loss have also compounded the plight of these kings among salamanders. Ironically, one of the greatest recent threats rests in the release of commercially farmed salamanders back into the wild. When these released animals breed with the purebred salamanders, it weakens the species as a whole: a species that is called a “living fossil” precisely because its genetic makeup has seen virtually no major alterations in its 150 million-plus year history.

Sign this petition to urge the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture to heighten its efforts at conserving some of history’s most wondrous animals.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Changfu,

The Chinese giant salamander has remained entrenched in Chinese history and culture. You have made admirable efforts at preserving and conserving these living beings by placing them on your endangered species list, holding poachers accountable under the law, and by encouraging the release of these animals from farms.

Despite these efforts, your country’s famous salamanders –  “living fossils” of historical importance to the world as a whole – stand on the brink of extinction. Recent reports reveal a distressingly low percentage of these animals in the environment, with an even lower percentage from the original, millennia-long strain of wild salamanders. The farm release programs may have contributed to this latter problem by, in the words of one researcher, “genetically swamp[ing] out” the original salamanders. These same researchers advocate for a modified captive release program that emphasizes the preservation of the wild salamander’s genetic lineage.

If extinction does claim the Chinese giant salamander, the elimination of such an apex predator from the food chain has the potential for crippling effects that reverberate throughout entire ecosystems. Please take every measure to ensure these amazing natural wonders remain part of your country’s heritage for many more centuries.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: SH Jefferson

Reduce Air Pollution Choking Chinese Provinces

Target: Xi Jinping, President of China

Goal: Curb the deadly pollution enveloping industrial areas of China.

Despite attempts to limit emissions from factories, especially the steel industry, air pollution has continued to increase in industrial areas of China. Concentrations of particulate matter are on average more than double the recommended limits for exposure and at times exceed greater than ten times these amounts, leading to serious public health implications.

Reports on emissions from January to April of this year have indicated that even with limitations on manufacturing during winter months, emissions have continued to increase. The World Health Organization’s recommended limit on particulate matter less than 2.5 microns (PM 2.5) is 25 micrograms per cubic meter for 24 hours of exposure; industrial provinces in China are experiencing average levels of 55 to 64 micrograms per cubic meter. Any successful reductions in particulate matter are often counteracted by weather events, such as sandstorms and conditions which promote smog formation. Particulate matter emissions can increase the likelihood of developing lung and heart conditions and exacerbate pre-existing conditions such as asthma, especially in vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly.

Limitations on industries are put in place yet emissions levels continue to rise. Steel production reached its highest level in the past four years and will likely continue, with no end in sight for smog, particulate matter emissions, and the associated adverse health impacts. Only certain pollution levels will trigger reductions in activities, despite these levels already being above those recommended for exposure. Sign the petition to encourage Chinese officials to enact stricter emissions regulations and implement better control technologies, especially for industrial areas suffering the severe health impacts.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Xi,

Concentrations of particulate matter were on average more than double the limits for prolonged exposure in the first four months of this year. PM 2.5 concentrations in the air ranged from 55 to 64 micrograms per cubic meter in your industrial provinces compared to 25 micrograms per cubic meter recommended by the WHO based on the health impacts related to this pollution. Weather events such as sandstorms, or conditions which promote smog formation, can increase these levels even higher, even as stricter emissions standards are enacted for industries.

As steel demand and production increases, so too will particulate matter emissions. This will result in adverse health impacts to China’s populations, especially in provinces with significant industry. It is not enough to pledge to reduce pollutant emissions in a graduated manner, especially with the extreme weather events seen in these areas which only exacerbate particulate matter concentrations in the air.

As your industries thrive, your citizens experience increased pollution and its health effects. Even as levels continue to stay above concentrations recommended for exposure, only cases of extreme pollution trigger limitations on industrial production or allow citizens to stay indoors and away from work. Please, don’t allow your population to continue to suffer from increased asthma, respiratory conditions, and heart and lung diseases. Reduce particulate air emissions to the allowable recommended levels for health by requiring stricter pollution controls on factories.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Kentaro IEMOTO

Stop Killing of Jaguars for Construction

Target: Xi Jinping, President of China

Goal: Stop China’s use of endangered jaguars’ body parts for their construction projects.

The South American jaguar population is on a rapid decline, and Chinese construction projects have just been uncovered as the main reason. Endangered animal parts such as bones, fangs, and skins have been in high demand in China due to their alleged medicinal properties, particularly the organs of the jaguar and other big cats. Over 100 jaguars have been killed in less than a year to provide these parts.

We cannot let this continue. Not only is the trade and use of animal body parts unethical and technically illegal, the loss of any species is detrimental to the ecosystem. Jaguars are beautiful and graceful animals who have already been facing endangerment for years, and now they could disappear completely thanks to these projects. Worse, South America is enabling the loss of this species via an illegal trade route to China, providing them with the parts they claim to need.

In order to stop the illegal trade of jaguar body parts and save the species, we must attack the root of the problem. Sign this petition to demand China stop their purchase of jaguar parts and revise their construction plans to be more ethical and environmentally friendly.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Xi,

Construction projects in China are the root of the near-extinction of South America’s jaguar population. Construction workers are purchasing the skin, bones, and fangs of jaguars through an illegal trade route, claiming the need for the parts’ medicinal properties. This is both unethical and dangerous, as the loss of the species will damage South America’s ecosystem.

You must call for a ban on the purchase of jaguar parts immediately. Jaguars deserve better than to be killed and chopped up for parts, especially parts whose medicinal properties may very well just be a myth. Furthermore, these projects must be revised to comply with environmental protection standards overall. Animals should not have to die for progress and development.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: cmart29

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