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Published by AdamVaughan

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Published by: AdamVaughan on Oct 06, 2010
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10/06/2010

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 Dear Minister of Environment,I am writing on behalf of the Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom and our readersworldwide to ask you to consider a proposal for protecting India’s biodiversity.The action has been proposed by our online readers and developed by professional scientists. Itis based by scientific evidence.We believe it will both protect an important species and habitat and send a clear signal to thenegotiations at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP10 in Nagoya later this monththat the decisive, concrete actions can and must be taken to halt the alarming decline in globalbiodiversity.Our campaign, Biodiversity 100, has identified 26 achievable actions in a number of countriesand has the support of the international scientific community. We are sharing our proposals with journalists around the world, who will be able to measure the success of their national and localgovernments in implementing the actions we have put forward. For more details of thecampaign please go to guardian.co.uk/biodiversity100.The specific proposals we request that you consider are stopping forest destruction to protectthe lion-tailed macaque and banning shark “finning” at sea (more details below).We kindly request you to react publicly to our recommendation, both through national mediaand through your statements to the CBD COP10 plenary. We also urge you to considerincluding our proposed action when you revise your National Biodiversity Strategy and ActionPlan after COP10. As a major international media outlet with a global audience, the Guardian takes seriously itsresponsibility to report on the planet’s biodiversity crisis. We would be very keen to hear backfrom you about your country’s efforts to protect the natural environment and, especially, to hearof your reaction to our proposal.October 5, 2010
Kings Place, 90 York Way, London
N1 9GU
Telephone 020-3353 2000guardian.co.uk
Shri Jairam RameshEnvironment MinisterMinistry of Environment and ForestsGovernment of IndiaParyavaran BhavanCGO Complex, Lodhi RoadNew Delhi - 110 003INDIA
 
 Yours Sincerely,
 Alan RusbridgerEditor-in-Chief
 
The GuardianCC:
Mr. Hem Pande, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive secretary, CBD
Lion-tailed Macaque Action:
Stop forest destruction to protect the lion-tailed macaque
 Description:
Forest fragmentation is threatening populations of the lion-tailed macaque(Macaca silenus) by separating sub-populations and restricting them to small fragments withhigh population densities. The fragmentation has occurred due to the continuing encroachmentof tea plantations into the forests of the Valparai plateau of Anamalai Hills and the Western Ghatsin the state of Tamil Nadu. As well as lobbying for greater expansion, tea plantation companieshold the misconception that forest fragments near or on their plantations increase human-animal conflict. The Indian government and the Tamil Nadu state government have the power tostop the further destruction of the forest immediately and also create links between the forestfragments to aid the migration of the endangered lion-tailed macaque in the long-run – but haveso far not done so.
 Evidence:
Numbers of lion-tailed macaques are decreasing rapidly due to forestfragmentation. Conservationists recommend the creation of corridors between forest fragmentsfor the migration of male lion-tailed macaque. The behaviour of this tree-dwelling macaque hasalso been affected: it is spending more time on the ground and are forced to eat different foodsdue to logging and new plantations.
Shark “finning” Action:
Ban shark “finning” at sea
 Description:
Finning is the wasteful practice of cutting off a shark’s fins and discarding itscarcass at sea. This happens because shark meat is generally of low value but shark fins canfetch US $100/kg as part of a gourmet dish in China. An estimated 26 to 73 million shark finsenter the global trade each year from all oceans of the world. India and Indonesia are the toptwo shark fishing countries and have not banned shark finning. The International Union for theConservation of Nature and the IUCN Shark Specialist Group recommend that shark finning isbanned in all national waters and international waters through the requirement that all sharks belanded with their fins naturally attached. This measure will improve the ability to enforce finningbans and collect species-specific catch data. While this is the most straightforward and reliablemethod for ending finning, it is not mandated in most countries’ finning bans or on the highseas. Legislation in all the shark fishing powers that have banned finning (Spain, Argentina,Mexico, Japan, Portugal, New Zealand and Brazil) include loopholes and exceptions. Taiwanhas no ban on shark finning but is not a signatory to the CBD.
 Evidence:
The World Food and Agriculture Organisation’s global database of fish capturerecords data for shark landings by country. A statistical analysis published in the journal Ecology

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