[Coral-List] US Biodiversity NGO speaks out in Naha (LET'S PROTECT OUR DUGONGS IN OKINAWA!)

Mariko Abe shark at xc4.so-net.ne.jp
Thu Jul 15 12:16:34 EDT 2004

Dear all

Thank you so much for those who kindly cooperated in our petition activity 
at 10th ICRS.
Here is the update of the news.

 From WEB of Ryukyu Shimpo Weekly News(Newspaper)

US Biodiversity NGO speaks out in Naha
Executive Secretary Peter Galvin and six members of the Biodiversity 
Center, an American NGO,
held a press conference in the Prefectural Offices' press room on July 5.

They were speaking about the relocation of Futenma to Henoko and attacking 
the plans not only
because of the destruction of the reef but also because of the severe 
damage that would occur in
the peripheral environment.

At the same time they explained their plans to lobby the US Department of 
Defense, both houses
of Congress and the Marine Mammal Commission to request the withdrawal of 
the plans for Henoko.

The Center has a membership of about 10,000, mostly in the US, with about 
30 senior members, including biologists and lawyers.

Galvin and his group were visiting Okinawa for the International Coral Reef 
Conservation Symposium,
during which they gathered signatures in cooperation with the Okinawa 
Dugong Environment Assessment
  Group. In all, they gathered 889 names to strengthen their case.

Galvin said, "I heard the opinions of many biologists attending the Symposium.

In considering the rich marine environment spreading out around the coral 
reef, I heard
several say, 'Such a plan for a new base in our country would be unthinkable.'

"I heard many, many opinions opposed to the schemes for Henoko."

As for the dugong, recognized as a national natural treasure, Galvin said, 
"It is a rare species, so if its
habitat is reduced, its survival will be further threatened."

On Galvin's return to the US, the Center will submit the petition to the 
White House and Congress.

On July 5, the group visited OPG Cultural and Environmental Affairs 
director Choichi Yakabu to request
a halt to the seabed boring surveys and withdrawal of the plan for the base.

Yakabu said, "We'd like to think about your request, but we have to find a 
balance between the environment and development."

Best Regards,

Mariko Abe

p.h.D candidate at University of the Ryukyus
ReefCheck Japan Coordinator
*University of the Ryukyus, Hidaka lab

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