Topic

marine conservation

9 petitions

Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Dr Khaled Fahmy, Ministry of the Environment Egypt

Save Dahab Coral Reefs

Save Dahab’s Coral Reefs   The 80km coastline of Dahab (Environmentally Managed Area) is one of the world’s most important areas of natural coral reefs in the world, hosting many different fish species, 40% of which are not found anywhere else in the world. So important are the reefs of Dahab, that the whole coastline was declared a protected area in 1996 by Prime Ministerial Decree no.33/1996, because of its unique bio-cultural diversity and recognising its unique importance.   The greatest financial value of these natural resources to the country is the income received from tourism; both national and international tourists flock to Dahab every year to enjoy the crystal clear warm waters, world-class scuba and free diving opportunities. The reefs of the Red Sea are internationally renowned and as a marine environment, they are both unique and incredibly important. Given the recent declaration that the Great Barrier Reef off the Australian coast, is now officially dead, following similar abuses there; the Red Sea reefs are even more important, as they offer insight into how we can help prevent such natural disasters from occurring again. Currently there is a conflict of interest between the Bedouins’ rights to fish, which was agreed originally to encourage the Bedouin population to settle in Dahab. At this time the Bedouin population was very small and their fishing was for their own subsistence, now the population has grown so large, coupled with the fact that the fish caught are being sold for profit rather than being for personal use. Bedouins from older generations realise that there are a lot less fish and understand the need to do something about it now, before it is too late. While realizing that Bedouins had historical rights to fish these reefs, it is also essential to realise that the current level of fishing is unsustainable, therefore it is essential that the conflict between fishing, recreational and other uses is resolved amicably as soon as possible. As a multiple-use managed area, it is urgent that the initial plans to create zones in Dahab Environmentally Managed Area for different uses are implemented, so that both fishing and other recreational activities can be effectively managed and co-exist sustainably.   Although there were initially plans to open a branch of the Protected Areas Management Unit in Dahab, unfortunately this was never realized, and to date, Dahab’s coastline remains unprotected. Currently, both Bedouins and non-indigenous fishers exploit the coral reefs unchecked, using destructive and illegal fishing gear such as small holed nets and spear guns, which will result in injuries and maybe even deaths to locals or tourists, in the future. Large numbers of snorkelers are ill-informed and are allowed to trample the reef flat, killing corals that will never recover. The current two casual staff employed by the National Park, to monitor Dahab’s coastline are simply not enough to manage an area of up to 80 km’s and therefore unable to do their job properly and more importantly, they do not have the legal backing to stop, for example, fishing in established dive sites and are therefore ineffective in stopping any illegal activity.   Proper reinforcement of existing laws could provide both subsistence for the Bedouin population and support tourism in a sustainable manner. As suggested in the original management plan for the protected area, we would like to emphasize the absolute urgency of establishing a branch of the Protected Areas Management Unit, dedicated to Dahab in order to halt the terminal damage being done daily by miss-use. Put quite simply, the reefs of Dahab are dying at an alarming rate as are whole species of fish too and if nothing is done about it soon, there will be no reefs for future generations to enjoy. The reefs are an integral part of Egypt’s natural heritage and to lose them is to lose part of Egypt itself.   We want to protect Dahab Coral reefs from more damage to ensure that the reef and the fish population will be allowed to recover enough to benefit everyone.    We SIGN to ask for the implementation of the plans to create zones in Dahab Environmentally Managed Area for different uses and for the establishment of a branch of the Protected Areas Management Unit for Dahab.             

Save Dahab Coral Reefs
1,753 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Philippine Government

I Support the Protection of Philippine Rise

WHY PROTECT THE PHILIPPINE RISE? 1.       The Philippine Rise is Philippine territory.  A large part of the region is within the country's 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf. In April 2012, the Extended Continental Shelf claim of the Philippines was approved by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).  According to the 1987 Constitution, all areas for which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction are considered legally part of the National Territory. As Benham Rise fits this definition – the region is definitely considered as Philippine territory. 2.       It nearly doubles the size of the Philippines. The area of Benham Rise within the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf of the Philippines is 11.4 million hectares while the Extended Continental Shelf is 13 million hectares. The region spans over 24 million hectares, compared with the 30 million hectare total land area of the Philippines – meaning our territory grew significantly. 3.       Benham Bank, the shallowest portion of the Philippine Rise, is a spawning area. Preliminary research conducted by scientists as early as 2013 revealed that Benham Bank is a spawning ground for assorted fish.  4.       The Philippine Rise is possibly the only place in the Philippines where coral cover hovers around 100% and is a likely source of larval spawn for corals and reef fish.    What must be done:  1.       As an immediate response, the Philippine government should issue an order declaring Benham Bank, the shallowest portion of the Philippine Rise, as a no-take zone, meaning no fishing, mining or drilling activities can take place on or around it, ensuring protection. 2.      Oceana recommends the immediate creation of a Management Framework for the Philippine Rise as a precautionary approach for development to ensure that we conserve the resources of the Philippine Rise while asserting our sovereignty. Further research should be done to ensure the area is developed sustainably. 3.      Oceana agrees with the government that “Benham Rise (now called the Philippine Rise) belongs to the Filipino people," as reiterated by Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella. Abella continued: "The Philippine government is duty-bound to defend and protect our sovereign and territorial rights over this region. Other countries can exercise innocent passage and territorial navigation. But they are disallowed to stay and establish any structure in the area."   By signing this petition, you are showing your support for the protection of the Philippine Rise. Please share this on your social media accounts to spread the word and encourage others!

Oceana Philippines
5,299 supporters
Update posted 3 months ago

Petition to Mr. Robert A. Iger (CEO of The Walt Disney Company) (CEO of The Walt Disney Company)

Save The Chinese White Dolphin!

Can you believe that this unique pink dolphin species is in danger of extinction? The Chinese White Dolphin is presently found in the waters of Hong Kong and the Pearl River Estuary of China. As of 2012, there were only 61 individuals observed off the coast of Hong Kong, a 60% decrease from 158 dolphins in 2003.  These dolphins are currently being threatened by land reclamation (a process of reclaiming land from the sea) within their habitat, that will pave the way to build a third runway for the Hong Kong International Airport.  This construction will not only cause devastating habitat loss for the vulnerable Chinese White Dolphin but it will greatly increase water and noise pollution, as well as fatal boating strikes as land is reclaimed from the environment. Many people do not know that such a species of dolphins exists in this part of the world but also many people do not know that there is a Hong Kong Disneyland that has been open to the public since 2005, located right in the vicinity of the dolphins.  Disney states on their website that they have a "commitment to the planet", striving to conserve the environment and "protect more than 400 species".  Hong Kong Disneyland is jointly owned by the Walt Disney Company and the government of Hong Kong.  Together, we should petition Disney to take a stand about this species of dolphin and attempt to reverse the Hong Kong government’s decision to proceed with the third runway construction.  The consequence of undergoing the construction will most assuredly be tragic for this unique dolphin species. Let Disney know that you do not want them to remain silent and that you want the Chinese White Dolphins to be protected. My name is Michael Tobet.  I am the author of a book entitled "Pink Dolphins of the World, Symbols of Global Change", which educates and empowers children, and in turn their parents, to help save the environment of pink dolphins and elsewhere around the world.  Please sign this petition and help to save these dolphins before it is too late.    

Save the Chinese White Dolphin!
3,188 supporters