ATTA is the Adventure Travel Trade Association with 750+ members of the global travel industry. ATTA acts as facilitator to turn its membership into "advocates for sustainability and justice worldwide", working to "ensure the sustainable development of the adventure tourism industry, with sights set on people, planet and profit." The 2013 summit is expected to draw 600 adventure tourism professionals from more than 50 nations.
PETITION TO REJECT NAMIBIA AS CANDIDATE TO HOST 2013 ATWS Namibia is one of three candidates being considered to host the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS). However, ATTA and its 700+ members worldwide should be made aware of the following: Each year in Namibia thousands of Cape Fur Seal pups and bulls are inhumanely clubbed to death for commercial harvest (the 2011 TAC was 86,000). In response to worldwide outcry, on September 20, 2011, the Ombudsman for Namibia, John Walters, held a Stakeholders Meeting in Windhoek regarding the harvest, which opened the door to closer examination of many issues: 1. There is an international boycott of Namibian products and tourism in progress. News of the boycott is being spread by conservation organizations, news media, animal rights groups, and travel agencies such as Ethical Traveler, a non-profit organization that uses the economic leverage of tourism to protect human and environmental rights. International protests have been held. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are inundated with references pertaining to the controversial seal harvest. 2. In a 2010 paper co-authored by Dr. Steven Kirkman and Dr. David Lavigne, “Assessing the Hunting Practices of the Namibian Seal Hunt”, they conclude, in part: “Whether best practices for humane slaughter can ever be implemented successfully in large-scale seal hunting operations, remains doubtful.” Pro-sealers contend the paper is biased, but we have found no scientific studies refuting the findings. 3. In August 2011, Russia banned import of seal products from Canada and Greenland; the US banned seal trade in 1972; the EU banned it in 2009; the Swiss National Council banned it on May 29, 2012. China has tabled similar legislation but has not yet taken action. Thus, the market for seal products has been steadily declining. 4. On 29 May 2012, The Humane Society International applauds the Swiss National Council, for voting 132 to 28 in favour of a prohibition on commercial seal product trade. The Council noted the cruelty associated with commercial seal hunting, the opposition of many of its citizens to this practice, and the need to ensure the Swiss market does not operate as an alternative for the European Regulation banning commercial seal products trade. 5. South Africa’s Seabird & Seal Protection Act of 1973 allows for sustainable management of seal populations but prohibits commercial seal harvesting. This was proposed as a model for Namibia 6. A Legal Opinion rendered by the SA law firm of Dawson Edwards cited several violations of Ministry of Fisheries & Marine Resources (MFMR) sealing policies and other statutes. 7. A petition with approximately 22,000 signatures from the international community calling on the Namibian Government to immediately suspend the harvest was delivered to Advocate Walters. The Ombudsman has been investigating these issues and will announce his recommendations regarding the harvest before the start of the 2012 harvest season, which begins in July. Based on the foregoing, and based upon ATTA’s own ecological ethics, we hereby petition ATTA to reject Namibia as a candidate to host the 2013 ATWS unless its commercial seal harvest is abolished. We seek ATTA’s cooperation not as a punitive measure, but as a message to the Namibian government that the inhumane harvest cannot be tolerated by the global community, encouraging them to develop economic alternatives. JUST FOR SEALS NAMIBIA – South Africa Endorsed by 4A - Action Against Animal Abuse REFERENCES: ATTA http://www.adventuretravel.biz/ Namibia shortlisted to host ATWS http://www.sun.com.na/content/national-news/namibia-under-eagle%E2%80%99s-eye-for-adventure-summit Petition for Moratorium of Namibian seal hunt www.thepetitionsite.com/6/please-grant-a-moratorium-to-suspend-the-namibian-seal-slaughter