Target: Harold Martin, President of the Government of New Caledonia
Goal: Stop deforestation in New Caledonia, a diverse island with many new and endangered species.
In New Caledonia, a group of French islands, scientists have recently found new species of plants and animals as well as species previously thought to be extinct. The area is home to thousands of plant varieties, hundreds of bird types, as well as various mammals and reptiles, and is considered to be the most species-diverse place anywhere per square kilometer. Despite this increasingly rare biodiversity, forested areas have been reduced by a staggering 95% on the island.
The crow honeyeater, a bird previously thought to be extinct, has resurfaced in the mountainous region of the island. Three new species of reptile have been discovered, including a new variety of gecko. Several new plant varieties were also found. These species, among many others, can only be found in the forests of New Caledonia.
Due to deforestation, nickel mining operations, agriculture, and climate change associated with global warming, the islands’ rich forests are nearly depleted. Only 5% of the original tree cover remains, and more is at risk of being destroyed. As the world’s second most endangered hotspot, further detriment to the New Caledonian forest could mean extinction for hundreds of species not found elsewhere.
Loss of this forested area will mean a loss of protection from extreme weather for New Caledonian animals and residents, in an area prone to cyclones and El Niño climate change. The loss of newly discovered species will limit research into potential new drugs and medicines, while destroying sources of food, fresh water, and clean air.
If deforestation issues are not addressed soon, the situation could face a breaking point. The loss of the New Caledonian rainforest will affect the entire landscape of the island, as well as air quality for the entire globe. Your signature will demand that immediate and aggressive conservation efforts are made to preserve and rehabilitate New Caledonia’s forests.
Dear Harold Martin, President of the Government of New Caledonia,
Recent findings in the forests of New Caledonia reveal many new species of plants and animals, as well as the crow honeyeater, a bird previously thought to be extinct. The biodiversity in New Caledonian forests is truly world class, and the new species found hold the potential for medical and scientific advancement.
Unfortunately, the forests in New Caledonia are quickly being depleted due to mining, agriculture, deforestation, and climate change. Only 5% of the forest cover remains, a staggering drop that places the remaining forest on a perilous road to obsolescence. Such absence of forest will have an impact on a local and a global scale, and must be averted. I demand that aggressive conservation and rehabilitation measures be implemented immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: BMR via WikiMedia Commons