Before the world’s conservation experts meet in September in Hawai’ for the World Conservation Congress (LT&C will be involved there in several events) there is a golden opportunity to convince President Obama to create the largest swath of protected ocean ever in the waters around Hawai’i. The MPA – “home to turtles, sharks and ancient coral – could be created in weeks, simply with Obama’s signature”, says Avaaz, the 41 million person global campaign network. LT&C-members and their friends are encouraged to support this campaign and sign the petition:
Hawaiʻians call the place Papahānaumokuākea, and for many it’s sacred — a place that should be protected for generations. And large-scale protection is exactly what scientists say we need if we want to stop garbage from outnumbering fish in our dying oceans. But major commercial fishing interests are lobbying tooth and nail against it — putting their narrow interest above the planet’s.
President Obama is a Hawai’i native, a local hero, and insiders say he wants to hear from the international community, knowing that protecting the ocean is a global task. If we build a huge wave of global support and deliver voices from Hawai’i to the White House, we can convince Obama to make history! Sign now.
To save our oceans, experts say we need to set aside as much as 30% in protected areas as soon as possible. This reserve would be a huge step in that direction, protecting 1.6 million square kilometers of ocean habitat home to over 7,000 species, a quarter of which can’t be found anywhere else on the planet. It’s a stunning piece of our precious biodiversity that we can’t afford to lose.
But Papahānaumokuākea is also unique because experts say it’s an exceptional ‘climate refuge’. As our oceans heat up, marine life is traveling to cooler waters — and this reserve is big enough and placed perfectly to span both tropical and more temperate ocean. That means it could maintain coral reef — and the critical biodiversity it sustains — in a way that most other places on Earth won’t be able to.
President Obama — who is from Hawaiʻi — has overseen the creation of several critical protected areas, but this could be a new crowning achievement — one that he could announce at home in Hawaiʻi at a major conference in September.
We’ve fought for and won protected areas around the world, including off the coast of Hawaiʻi just two years ago — where we beat these very same lobbyists. Let’s show everyone from the locals behind the project to Obama himself that the world is 100% behind this plan. Add your name now, and protect Papahānaumokuākea:
The fishing industry doesn’t have a leg to stand on in the debate. They want to be able to keep fishing big-eye tuna in the area — but they’ve already fished out 86% of the world’s stock of the species. And not only that, they only get about 5% of their catch from within these waters, and would be free to keep fishing anywhere else in international waters. But they’re powerful lobbyists and they’re making their case heard — let’s make sure we drown them out!
Danny, Nick, Lisa, Nell, Risalat, Ari and the rest of the Avaaz team
Native Hawaiians Call for World’s Largest Marine Reserve (Pew Trusts)
Obama’s moving closer to creating the world’s largest marine reserve — in Hawaii (Washington Post)
Avaaz.org is a 41-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.