Target: Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete
Goal: Urge Tanzania to vote in favor of the proposed South Atlantic whale sanctuary
This year, member nations of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) will vote for a second time to create a permanent whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic. When this proposal faced a decision in 2012, it failed by just one vote. Part of the problem is that Japan is pressuring other nations to vote against the sanctuary and in favor of commercial whaling, even going as far as using bribes. If just one more nation votes in favor of the proposal this year, it will pass and whales in the South Atlantic will be protected forever.
If enough people speak up, Tanzania is a country likely to listen. The nation is known for being a champion for wildlife in many ways, and is rewarded for its caring stance by the economic benefits of a thriving wildlife tourism industry. Visitors are drawn to the Serengeti and to over 40 whale-watching boats in the Indian Ocean, which is already protected by the IWC.
Though Tanzania has taken significant steps to defend wildlife, two years ago Japan offered enough money to buy its vote against the proposed sanctuary in the South Atlantic. Unless Tanzania votes in favor of the sanctuary this time, it will put important whale conservation efforts in jeopardy again. Also, it risks severely disappointing its avid wildlife tourists and therefore losing the economic benefit of the industry. Join the pro-sanctuary nations of the IWC and thousands of global citizens in reminding Tanzania to stay true to its values. Tell Tanzania to end its hypocrisy, denounce Japan’s gifts, and vote for the South Atlantic whale sanctuary at the IWC meeting this September.
Dear President Kikwete,
Soon, the creation of a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic will face a vote at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting for a second time. Japan is still against its establishment and is continuing to pressure other nations to prevent it. Tanzania has historically shown great care for wildlife, including whales, which is why its vote against the proposed sanctuary two years ago was surprising and disappointing.
Tanzania enjoys tremendous benefits from wildlife tourism. Live whales contribute significantly to its economy, drawing a steady flow of visitors to the Indian Ocean every year for whale watching. Voting to hunt them in the South Atlantic is uncharacteristic of Tanzania’s otherwise excellent efforts to protect wildlife. Continued support for commercial whaling would deter future visitors and have a negative economic impact on the nation.
Tanzania’s vote at the next IWC meeting could be the deciding factor in finally establishing this important whale sanctuary. By voting in favor of the proposal, Tanzania will prove its strong conservation ethic and retain the respect of nature lovers worldwide. Such action will align Tanzania with other conservation-minded nations, including the U.S., Brazil, and South Africa, showing the world that it truly is committed to protecting whales and dolphins.
I urge you to take a stand against whaling and vote to support the South Atlantic whale sanctuary at this year’s IWC meeting.
[Your Name Here]
Image credit: Whit Welles via Wikipedia