Petition to CITES, Ms Magdel Boshoff, Minister Barbara Creecy
BAN THE SOUTH AFRICAN TRADE IN RHINO HORN AND THE GLOBAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES PARTS
On the 5th April 2017 the late, South African Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa announced that she planned to permit the trade in rhino horn domestically and to allow the export internationally of Rhino Horn for 'personal purposes'. After losing a court case she chose the option to trade in rhino horn instead of re-instituting the moratorium on the domestic trade in rhino horn in the correct procedural manner. The South African Government has in the past been accused, and found guilty of corruption at the highest levels. Informed conservationists feared that the implementation process of the proposed permits for trade will be less than perfect. The rhino horn farmers have complained that they have had difficulties with obtaining permits that they have been stymied by the South African government and the bureaucracy of the CITES system. The rhino poaching statistics released in February 2019 have raised many questions. IF the poaching figures do really indicate a reduction in loss of rhino this fact would question the necessity for trade. Poaching figures may be less in the Kruger National Park BUT that is a result of fewer rhino being available to poach. Elephant poaching has increased in the Kruger National Park. Elephant poaching has increased dramatically in neighboring Botswana as discovered by scientist Dr Mike Chase of Elephants Without Borders. Rhino in South Africa are still facing extinction. South Africa has lost half its rhino population since this crisis began. Conservationists have confirmed their own figures that on average three rhino per day are losing their lives to rhino poachers. The opening of the domestic trade of horn has not slowed the extinction of this iconic species. The South African Government are curators of an enormous Rhino Horn stockpile. The black market value of Rhino horn is £51 000 per kilogram. This black market value makes Rhino Horn more valuable than Gold, Platinum for Diamonds per gram. At CoP17 held in Johannesburg in October 2016 the international community voted overwhelmingly AGAINST the trade in Rhino Horn. The rhino horn farmers will be encouraging the South African government to support Swaziland and Namibia’s proposal to legalize the international trade in rhino horn at CITES CoP18 in Geneva, Switzerland in August 2019. Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa have also proposed the lifting of the ban on the sale of their ivory stockpiles. Megan Carr VP Social Media GMFER
Petition to Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Caltech , University of California, National Institutes of Natural Sciences of Japan, National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Department of Science and Technology of India, National Research Council (Canada), Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)
The Immediate Halt to the Construction of the TMT telescope on Mauna Kea
We, the global community of Mauna Kea supporters are demanding the immediate halt to the construction of the TMT, 30 Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, Island of Hawaiʻi. The TMT will cause harm to the mountain and destroy a sacred place for Kanaka Maoli’s spiritual and cultural practices. We oppose any construction made on sacred land without the free, prior and informed consent of Kanaka Maoli. Mauna a Wākea is the tallest mountain on earth reaching from her base on the ocean floor to her summit that rises above the clouds. Mauna Kea is ancestrally, culturally and spiritually sacred to Kanaka Maoli, and the spiritual and physical health of the mountain, is reflective of the spiritual and physical health of her people. Mauna Kea is significant to the entire world, connected to all mountains and waters, all places and all people. We, the undersigned, demand the immediate halt to the construction of the 30 Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. WE, the global community of Mauna Kea Supporters will continue to support the Kanaka Maoli and the people of Hawaiʻi in every way possible. This is not just about one mountain in Hawai’i. This is a global movement and the world is watching. For media, resources, questions and information, contact: Bethany Bilowus // firstname.lastname@example.org // @loveletterstohumanity
Petition to President Nana Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo: Please Keep Ghana's Parks & Gardens Lands For The Green Economy
3rd June, 2019 Dear President Nana Akufo-Addo, Re: Please Keep Parks & Gardens Lands for the Green Economy i.e sustainable horticultural, botanical and environmentally-focused use On behalf of Eco-Conscious Citizens GH, and the undersigned, we respectfully petition you to use your good offices as Head of State, to give us assurances that Parks & Gardens lands will be kept for the Green Economy i.e sustainable horticultural, botanical and/or environmentally-focused use. Parks and Gardens, which is now a Department under the Ministry of Local Government, was established by President Kwame Nkrumah in 1961 as a Ministry under Cabinet Minister Mr. EN Ocansey, and is responsible for the development of the nation's landscape and the preservation and beautification of the environment. Unfortunately, over the years, portions of Parks and Gardens lands have been appropriated for concrete structures. The Department's functions are: + To promote landscape beautification of built and natural environment and collaborate with MMDAs to develop programmes for floral beautification of cities and towns.+ To acquire lands to establish public parks and promote ecotourism to generate revenue for Assemblies and jobs for the youth.+ Pursue actions to combat the effects of global warming by promoting a national tree planting campaign involving all stakeholders.+ Collaborate with the Botany Department of the University of Ghana and other stakeholders to document the country’s flora, to develop and maintain a national information facility for sharing digital biodiversity data,+ Initiate programmes to identify threatened economic and ornamental plants for multiplication and conservation. In addition, the department will promote public education on their conservation and importance of plants for human survival.+ Concentrate on the conservation of threatened plants and restoration of plants diversity as well as communicating its importance under the Global strategy for plants conservation programme. It is therefore astonishing that environmental vandalism took place on Parks and Gardens land earlier this year. According to our sources, over 140 trees and 5000 plants were destroyed to make way for a concrete structure. When Eco-Conscious Citizens GH visited the site, sand, stone and building materials were seen on the cleared Parks and Gardens land. We have since been informed by the Environmental Protection Agency that it did not give permission for the felling of the trees. After the matter was exposed in the media, a Deputy Minister for Local Government stated that the Ministry had written to the Attorney General for advice on cancelling a PPP (Public-Private Partnership) lease agreement entered into in 2016 under the previous administration. He said ..”2.2 acres of Parks and Gardens land had been leased by the Lands Commission to a private developer ostensibly for them to be able to build the office for Parks and Gardens.” He did not, however, unequivocally state that if the 2016 agreement was cancelled, Parks and Gardens lands would only be used for horticultural, botanical and/or environmentally-focused purposes. It is of concern that the trees were felled earlier this year. It would be helpful if the Department of Parks and Gardens is empowered to fulfil its remit of developing the nation's landscape and the preservation and beautification of the environment. At a time when Ghana's forests are disappearing at an alarming rate and cities like Accra and Kumasi are becoming concrete jungles, Parks and Gardens should be at the forefront of defending the country against the relentless southwards movement of the Sahara, and taking a leadership role in promoting the health benefits of trees and nature. We have asked Lands Commission for a list of areas designated as parks and open spaces in Accra. This information will help ensure that further lands meant for public gardens and open spaces are not appropriated and used to expand Accra's concrete jungle. If the Ministry of Local Government is intent on a PPP development on the area where trees were felled or any part of Parks and Gardens lands, we respectfully suggest that such a partnership should be with a group or person(s) with a track record of successfully managing horticultural and/or botanical gardens, and who can demonstrate how the green economy can produce sustainable jobs whilst providing a healthier environment with a mix of trees and shrubs. This will broaden horizons regarding green gold, and increase appreciation of how land can be put to horticultural, botanical and/or environmental use and still be profitable, socially and economically. Eco-Conscious Citizens GH, and the undersigned respectfully petition you: 1) for assurances that Parks and Gardens land will be used for horticultural, botanical and/or environmental purposes only, that no part of the land will be appropriated for concrete buildings, and that the Department will be supported to fulfil the role for which it was set up. 2) to direct the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and Lands Commission to publish a list of areas designated as public parks and open spaces in Accra, so that the citizenry is aware of the landscape of the commons, and open spaces are not appropriated to expand the growing concrete jungle. Awula SerwahEco-Conscious Citizens GH co-ordinator Please check:Eco-Conscious Citizens GH Photo-Montage And Background (including press coverage)A Case For The Accra Botanical Gardens (By Mrs J Zwennes)Instant Underground Poetry: Dept Of Gardens But No Parks (By Andy Quist)
Petition to Government of India, http://moef.gov.in/
Stop destruction of 177 hectares of forest land in the Western Ghats
177 hectares of forest land in the Western Ghats is being destroyed to set up a power line to Goa through Karnataka. The Western Ghats are a highly ecosensitive region that play a major role in the rainfall and climate across India. We need to draw attention of the authorities and the courts to stop this destruction. We owe it to the flora and fauna in the region and to ourselves.
Petition to Greens party, Australian Government, Senator Richard Di Natale, Scott Morrison
SAY NO TO GMO'S
GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are living organisms, like plants and fruits that have been genetically modified. Their genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory setting, through genetic engineering. Creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and virus genes that do not occur naturally or occur through traditional crossbreeding methods.Many people don’t even realise that they are consuming and using GMOs on a regular basis, due to the misleading labelling of GMO containing products. The overconsumption of these genetically modified foods can in fact cause detrimental effects on our bodies. The modifications can contain materials and products that can cause allergic reactions, they have also been proven to have toxic effects on our kidneys and liver and can lead to infertility. They severely harm our environment as they reduce biodiversity, pollute water sources and can eliminate habitats. Depending on the type of genetic engineering the organisms undergo, impacts how they eventually impact our environment and us internally. Together we can take a stand against the use and retail of GMO's.
Petition to Hon. Walter Roban, JP, MP, Premier the Honorable David Burt, JP MP, Julie Marshall, Mr. Chris Bulley, Bill Zuill, Maceo Dill, Ms. Tamsyn Doran, Ms. Victoria Pereira, Minister Zane DeSilva JP MP, Kevin Dallas
Preserve Bermuda Recreational Land Petition
This petition is signed by those people opposed to the potential change in ”Recreation” zoning of the former Riddell’s Bay Golf and Country Club and the residential development of the protected golf course property. The petitioners believe this potential zoning change would violate the Development and Planning Act 1974 (“the Act”) and set a precedent that would jeopardize all golf courses and other areas that are currently protected under the Bermuda Plan (2008). Bermuda has limited green space and a portion of the Bermuda Plan (2008) is zoned Recreation which includes sports fields, school playing fields, playgrounds, golf courses and general recreation areas, such as Bernard Park. These areas have historically been protected from zoning changes in order to maintain land for recreational purposes. If an exception is made to allow real estate development in areas that are currently zoned Recreation it could lead to the possible closure and redevelopment of other Bermuda golf courses and protected recreational areas. Background On October 25th, 2016 there was a presentation made to the residents of Riddell’s Bay by a group of investors who were in the process of closing on the purchase of the assets of the former Riddell’s Bay Golf and Country Club from the Provisional Liquidator. In the meeting the investor group confirmed that they planned to permanently close the golf course operation and change the zoning on approximately 17 acres of property to allow them to subdivide the property into one acre lots for residential development. They plan to create the “Master Plan” for the area and then sell the lots to real estate developers or individuals. It is our contention that the Development and Planning Act 1974 (“the Act”) should protect the golf course from residential or commercial real estate development. We believe that any efforts to re-zone the property would set a dangerous precedent for all of Bermuda’s property zoned Recreation and impact the island’s limited green space. This would include golf courses, sports fields and recreational parks. It is understood that there was a plan presented to the Provisional Liquidator from a group of Riddell’s Bay residents and former members to purchase the assets of the former club and maintain the golf course operation. Unfortunately the successful buyer contends that the golf course operation is not viable and that there is greater potential value in selling the real estate. There is always a temptation for real estate developers to buy restricted land and test the Bermuda Plan especially valuable real estate that is located in premium locations. The Provisional liquidator recently sold less than an acre of residential property for $1.5 million dollars. Based on this value the land is far more valuable to a real estate developer than it is as a golf course operation. The zoning rules are in place to protect restricted property from residential or commercial real estate development. It is unfortunate that investors may want to test the rigid Bermuda Plan guidelines. Bermuda Plan (2008) “The Bermuda Plan 2008" (the Plan) has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of Part III of the Development and Planning Act 1974 (the Act). It is the fifth development plan for the Island and will supersede the Bermuda Plan 1992 and the Development Plan for the Former Military Bases 1996. The Plan covers the entire Island with the exception of the land subject to the provisions of the City of Hamilton Plan 2001 (and any subsequent plan). The main purpose of the Plan is to provide for the land use and development requirements of the Island in a way that makes the most effective use of its resources, protects its natural and built environment, and provides a good quality of life for the Island’s residents. As such, the Plan helps to encourage suitable development on appropriate sites and helps the Development Applications Board make decisions on planning applications". "The Bermuda Plan 2008 Zoning Maps designate all areas of the island (except for the lands subject to the provisions of the City of Hamilton Plan 2001) into four zoning types: Development Base Zones, Conservation Base Zones, Conservation Areas and Protection Areas. The Conservation and Protection Areas overlay either a Development Base Zone or a Conservation Base Zone.” ”Chapter 18: Recreation" "The purpose of the Recreation zone is to conserve land for a variety of recreational activities. The areas designated under the Plan as Recreation include public and private playing fields, sports facilities and golf courses, and they are important components of the overall network of linked open spaces across the Island." "Some areas zoned Recreation are also designated under the Bermuda National Parks Act 1986 (as amended) and are further regulated by the provisions of that Act." "The Plan gives priority to retaining these lands in their open state and to protecting significant natural features. Development in the Recreation zone shall be restricted to recreational forms of development, forms of development associated with the principal recreational use of the land, and other forms of development which are associated with the open use of the land." Objectives REC (1) To allocate sufficient land throughout the Island for a variety of recreational activities REC (2) To retain recreational lands in their open state and to protect significant natural features” It is important for those people interested in preserving the golf course to click on the links below which explain the Bermuda Plan and how it relates to Riddell’s Bay. Relevant References and Links: http://www.planning.gov.bm/documents/Final%20Bermuda%20Plan%202008/Planning%20Statement%202008.pdf http://www.planning.gov.bm/2008_zoning_maps.aspx http://www.planning.gov.bm/documents/Final%20Bermuda%20Plan%202008/Zoning%20Maps/Map_17.pdf http://www.planning.gov.bm/Documents/Final%20Bermuda%20Plan%202008/Zoning%20Maps/Zoning%20Key.pdf http://www.planning.gov.bm/documents/Final%20Bermuda%20Plan%202008/Zoning%20Maps/Map_81.pdf http://www.planning.gov.bm/documents/Final%20Bermuda%20Plan%202008/Zoning%20Maps/Map_83.pdf We look forward to your support by signing this petition.
Petition to Department of Planning- Government of Bermuda, Kevin Dallas, Ms. Victoria Pereira, Julie Marshall, Mr. Chris Bulley, Tamsyn Doran, Ms. Wright, Minister Zane DeSilva, Sylvan Richards, Ms. Lovitta Foggo, Dennis Lister III, Hon Minister Walter Roban JP MP
Riddell's Bay Planning Application - Objection Petition
Acting Director of Planning Department of Planning- Government of BermudaDame Lois Browne-Evans Building, 5th Floor58 Court StreetHamilton HM12, Bermuda Planning Reference: S0020/19 Dear Acting Director, Over 1800 people have signed the petition to Preserve Bermuda Recreational Property on Change.org: https://www.change.org/p/bermuda-department-of-planning-preserve-bermuda-recreational-land-petition The signers of this petition are objecting to the application to add 19 lots (22 lots in total), 2 right of ways, along with the adjustments stated on the attached notice sign and in the planning application. On March 13th, the applicant, Castile Holdings Ltd., objected to the Draft Bermuda Plan, (2018), to change the zoning of 59.44 acres of protected recreation properties. This objection has not been accepted and therefore the majority of the property in this application is currently zoned recreation. In accordance with the applicants “Master Plan”, 20.87 acres of this property would be rezoned from Recreation to Residential 2. The signers of this petition agree: This application and the proposed Master Plan for the former Riddell’s Bay Golf Course violate the Development and Planning Act, 1974 (“the Act”) and would set a bad precedent for recreation and other protected zoning. Bermuda needs to protect our limited green open space and should not allow additional residential building since the local population is declining. We are objecting based on following factors: 1) The application does not comply with the zoning of the land. The application violates Development and Planning Act, 1974, the Bermuda Plan (2008) and Draft Bermuda Plan (2018), since the proposed new 19 Residential 2 lots in the applicant’s Master Plan are located on protected recreational property. 2) The application is based on the acceptance of the applicant’s objection to the Draft Bermuda Plan (2018) and without this acceptance there is no reason to subdivide the property. 3) Loss of open space/recreation land. The proposed change of zoning of 59.44 acres of protected recreation properties in the applicant’s Master Plan violates the objective of the Bermuda Plans (2008/2018) and specifically the language protecting recreational property: REC (1) To allocate sufficient land throughout the Island for a variety of recreational activities REC (2) To retain recreational lands in their open state and to protect significant natural features 4) The proposed subdivision is premature and not in the public interest and would be detrimental to the conservation of the visual amenities of the area. 5) Planning studies have shown that additional residential land is not required due to the decline in the local population. 6) Negative environmental impact: While the applicant has hired environmental experts to write a long environmental impact study on what could be done in the new “Nature Preserve”, Riddell’s already is considered one of the largest environmentally protected areas in Bermuda with significant areas of Woodland Reserve, Coastal Reserve, Nature Reserve and Recreation zoning. Those of us who have signed this petition recognize that the natural habitat in Riddell’s Bay is not found in other areas of Bermuda. We also recognize that changing 20.87 acres of this property to residential 2 zoning will permanently damage the sensitive eco system. 7) Coastal reserve impact: The proposed 7 western lots are located on an environmentally sensitive area which includes coastal reserve zoning and a small bay with mangroves, sea turtles and other protected sea life. Building homes on this area will have a major impact on the herons, longtails, bluebirds, lizards and other endemic species that live in this area. 8) Unknown environmental impact of future residential development. The applicant is not a developer and plans to sell the rezoned lots. Therefore, they have no control over what the new owners build on their properties. As such the applicant’s Master Plan environmental impact study cannot assess what impact this overall proposal will have on the environment. 9) Lack of clarity about the future management/potential for further development of the open space areas. It is unclear from the Master Plan who will pay to maintain “Riddell’s Bay Gardens and Nature Reserve” once the applicant has sold the residential lots. While the applicant states “to allow for development of new residential lots that will help finance long term maintenance of the nature reserve and gardens”, there are no details on how they intend to pay for the maintenance of remaining 66 acres of property. A survey of the residents indicates that they do not intend and are not obligated to pay for maintenance that had previously been paid by the golf club. 10) The granting of permission for the proposed lots under the current zoning or the change of zoning in the 2018 Draft Plan to allow such development would set a major undesirable precedent for the conversion of open space to residential development. The applicant purchased assets of the former Riddell’s Bay Golf and Country Club for commercial reasons, outbidding two other potential buyers who intended to maintain the golf course and recreational zoning. Since the applicant could make a substantial profit from the zoning change this will set a dangerous precedent for other golf courses and athletic clubs. The signers of this petition understand that in normal circumstances planning applicant objections would be filed directly at the Bermuda Planning Department, but we believe that this requirement should be waived based on three factors: The notice of intention to develop land "red signs" were only posted one week (on July 19th 2019) before the objection deadline. This planning application was submitted during the peak summer holiday season when many residents are traveling. The proposed change of zoning of 59.44 acres of protected recreation properties is unprecedented. For these reasons, we believe the signers of this petition should be all considered official objectors.