An Appeal To All Our Friends Who Love Nature And Wish To Live With Nature
--We Need Your Help To Save The Okinawa Dugong From Extinction!--
Representative: Masako Suzuki
In Japan, the dugong, an internationally protected marine mammal, is found only in the waters off Okinawa, a chain of islands situated south-west of the mainland. The Okinawa dugong is the northern-most population of the species and is on the verge of extinction. There are probably only a dozen or so left.
The Okinawa dugong is a National Monument of Japan, but its habitat is not protected. Neither has our government taken effective measures to save them from extinction. To make things worse, the government is now planning, under US pressure, to construct a huge US Marine airbase by land-filling the dugongs’ feeding grounds on the eastern coast of Okinawa at Henoko and Oura Bay, in Nago City. The planned construction site is an area with rich colonies of sea grass, the dugong’s only food.
In order to save the beautiful Henoko shore from destruction, the Okinawans have struggled for fifteen years to stop the project. The Japanese government has carried out a travesty of an Environmental Impact Assessment in order to claim that the negative effect on the ecosystem will be negligible and to force the Okinawa Prefecture government to permit the destruction of this huge sea area. With the start of the Noda cabinet in September, the process has suddenly accelerated.
The Okinawans believe that the dugong is a creature which brings the gods from the sea. How can we allow the remaining habitat for this precious species to be wiped out for the sake of a hub for war?
We have been
struggling for a long time to save these dugongs from extinction. We sincerely
ask all our friends to add your voices to ours. Please appeal to the Noda
government to listen to the heart’s desire of the Okinawans, and cancel the
base project. Your kindness can save the Okinawa dugong from extinction.
You can use the following address to send a message to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda: