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Embassy of Iceland in the United States, Washington D.C. 1156 15th Street N.W., Suite 1200 (12th floor) Washington D.C. 20005-1704 ph: 1-202-265-6653; fax: 1-202-265-6656; email: email@example.com
===================================================== SAMPLE LETTER Feel free to use portions of our letter, but please add some original thoughts. Hundreds of identical letters may lessen the impact. =====================================================
To: Icelandic Ambassador to the [[COUNTRY YOU LIVE IN]] To: Mr. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland To: Mr. Geir H. Haarde, Prime Minister of Iceland To: Minister Einar Kristinn Gufinnsson, Minister for Fisheries, Iceland To: Mrs. Valgerur Sverrisdottir, Minister for Foreign Affairs To: Mrs. Jonina Bjartmarz, Minister for the Environment
Honorable Officials of Iceland:
I am dismayed Iceland has renewed commercial whaling with blatant disrespect for international conservation law. The Ministry of Fisheries issued permits to slaughter 30 minke whales and nine fin whales. With the killing underway, whalers have already butchered their first endangered fin whale.
The decision to pursue commercial whaling and trade can only weaken efforts to promote Icelandic trade, investments, tourism and cultural exchange. Personally, I am committed to the worldwide boycott of Icelandic tourism and commerce until Iceland ceases all whaling activity.
Iceland already exploits the International Whaling Commission's exemption for "scientific whaling," disguising hunts as "research" to bypass a 1986 ban on whaling for profit. The 2006-07 hunt openly flouts the IWC's moratorium on marketable whaling.
The international community is appalled by images of whales shot with combustible harpoons that shred internal organs. A minke whale may suffer from several minutes to one hour before he dies. Some are left to drown in agony when the explosive spears misfire.
Why risk political credibility when a Gallup poll shows a mere 1.1% of Icelanders consume whale meat once or more per week? As Japan and Norway have learned, both domestic and global markets for meat are nearly inert.
A burgeoning whale watching industry, on the other hand, provides employment for Icelanders. Environmental organizations and tour operators expect Icelandic whaling to hinder a lucrative tourist attraction that annually yields millions of pounds.
Whaling is a superfluous industry that lost momentum with the demise of whale oil lamps over a century ago. Plainly, it is cruel. Whaling is also ecologically and scientifically unsound. In 2003, Iceland's "scientific whaling proposal" to the IWC was deemed "deficient in almost every respect" and unlikely to produce applicable data. Iceland's present challenge of the ban on international traffic in fin whales ignores the intent of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) to shield whales from trade.
Since Iceland reinstated whaling in 2003, it has failed to submit documentation depicting how long whales suffer prior to death. It has neglected to disclose how gear crafted to kill minke whales is reconfigured to suit fin whales, who weigh-in 12 times heavier.
Please register my firm opposition to Iceland's resumption of commercial whaling and trade. I thank you for considering my opinion and look forward to your feedback.
******************************************************************************************** Kinship Circle is a 501c3 non-profit. To secure Kinship Circle's future, we need ongoing donations to fund the literature, website, research and campaigns that let YOU take action for animals. Please keep Kinship Circle in mind when you donate. Thank you! BEAR WITNESS. SPEAK. DEMAND. ACT. Kinship Circle - Action Campaigns I Literature I Voice For Animals Nonprofit working in animal protection/cruelty + animal disaster relief campaigns Brenda Shoss, president * Janet Enoch, vice-president firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com http://www.KinshipCircle.org * http://www.kinshipcircle.org/disasters/default.html
The most direct threat to many endangered species today is that they are being hunted for their parts or captured alive to be traded. A basic tenet of conservation biology maintains that animal populations must remain above species-specific thresholds in order to survive the natural variations of living in the wild. Higher numbers mean better resilience.
Hunting and live capture directly diminish wild-living animal populations, rendering them highly susceptible to changes in the availability of resources they need to survive, disease outbreak, wildfire or other natural disaster, and of course, pressures due to man's direct or indirect interference in their habitat.
Hunting for parts and live capture are occurring despite an international treaty banning the trade in endangered species brokered by the United Nations. CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (www.cites.org) is no different than any other treaty in that it must be enforced in order to be effective.
In all of Canada, Environment Canada only has 50 wildlife officers. Only half of them work on CITES, and of that tiny group, only 8 officers perform border inspections. This is unacceptable considering that Canada is a source, as well as a consumer, of CITES-listed species.
Canada is not alone in this. Many nations are guilty of the same negligence to commit resources. I am pushing for my own country to improve its commitment to enforce CITES, and participate in any campaign that asks governments to step up allocation of staff and other needed assets.
Environment Canada must significantly increase the number of wildlife officers across Canada if it is to honor its CITES obligations and stop the illegal wildlife trade. I respectfully ask that you use your power and influence to bolster Environment Canada, to make it a force to reckon with.
I leave you with this article describing the new era of environmental enforcement in South Africa.
Sincerely, Melanie B.
‘Green police’ bring muscle to battle to protect environment
by Chantelle Benjamin Johannesburg Metro Editor
GOVERNMENT has established a new environmental policing unit with the same investigative and arresting powers as the police.
This move will see businesses or individuals who flout environmental legislation brought to book. New regulations relating to the National Environmental Management Act, which were put in place this year, have given environmental authorities much-needed teeth to fight destruction of the environment by those who plunder natural resources or dump toxic material. The environmental management inspectors unit has been set up to give the environmental affairs and tourism department the ability to enforce the law. There is an increased chance of arrest and there are heavy penalties.
Gauteng has become the first province to launch its environmental management inspectors unit. Members completed an intensive training course run by the department and the University of Pretoria.
The programme was supported by the environmental agencies of England and Wales as well as the Environmental Protection Agency of the US.
The new unit, succeeding an earlier group known as the Green Scorpions, will have powers of search and seizure, will be able to set up road blocks, issue enforceable compliance notices and carry out routine inspections. Fines of up to R5m can be issued for contraventions.
This gives environmental management teams the capacity to prevent abuse. Gauteng conservation and environment MEC Khabisi Mosunkutu said yesterday that the unit heralded a new period for environmental management.
“It will convey a positive and firm message to the Gauteng community that they now have a force exclusively dedicated to ensuring no one will, with impunity, degrade the environment and compromise our health.
“The honeymoon for environmental criminals is coming to an end. The (inspection units) are well trained and sufficiently well motivated to deal with (them).” The units were set up to comply with constitutional obligations. These say South African citizens have a right to a clean environment that is not harmful to their health and wellbeing.
"Blessed are the
meek: for they shall
inherit the earth."
(Matthew 5:5)Who are the
meek? I guess it
depends who you ask, but
I think the meaning
implied in the passage
above has somehow been
lost over the
It is said that
the eyes are the windows
to the soul. There
is much to be said about
this. You can see
emotion through the eyes,
can you not? You
can often tell if a
person is lying or not by
looking into their
When we are born, we are
aware of our spiritual
this is the part of
ourselves with which we
are most aware! The
body is new.
Wow! Look at those
fingers and toes!
As to the mental aspect
of self, we were ha...
I no longer choose to
trust the medical system
with caring for my health
in any significant
way. If I need
stitches or an emergency
But for my ongoing health
care, no thank you.
I do not believe in their
The turning of the
brings hope of new
things, but the truth is
that new things occur
moment in time. And
just as we have the
tradition of making
on New Year's Day, we
can also resolve to
change how we express ...