Target: Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, President of the Philippines
Goal: Preserve coral reefs in the Philippines
Over 70% of the coral reef in the Philippines has been destroyed, and only 5% of the remaining coral reef in the region is in good condition. Large population centers near the coastlines have destroyed their environment. Coral reefs can flourish live in clear, clean water. Pollution from nutrient runoff leads to algae growth that smothers the reef, and over-fishing in the area has led to an increased number of predators that eat coral.
To catch and sell fish that live around the coral reefs in the Philippines, profit-driven fishermen have blown up coral reefs with explosives to catch larger quantities of stunted fish more easily. Other fishermen and divers have used poisonous cyanide on coral reef to stun fish, thereby completely destroying the reef.
Climate change in the region has also caused corals to become ill and die, because even a one degree increase in temperature can damage the reefs. Although an estimated 900 coral reefs in the world are similarly damaged, the situation in the Philippines is one of the worst. Although local law prohibits the gathering of coral reefs, government authorities are unable to curb all of the illegal smuggling and trading that occurs. Sign the below petition to urge the Philippine government to take a more active role in curbing the illegal destruction of coral reef.
Dear President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III,
Southeast Asia is known throughout the world for its incredible coral reefs and diving opportunities. However, an estimated 70% of the coral reefs in the Philippines have been destroyed, and only about 5% of the remaining reef is in good condition.
The ocean absorbs about 25% of the carbon dioxide that humans put into the atmosphere, weakening coral reefs and making them more prone to disease. Over-fishing is a major problem in the Philippines, as some fishermen continue to use explosives and cyanide to stun fish that live in coral reefs to sell for food and aquariums. Dive tourism also affects coral reefs when divers decide to walk on reefs or take portions home as souvenirs.
I am urging you to work with local environmental groups and take a more active role in preserving the coral reefs of the Philippines. Please enforce strict penalties for fishermen and divers who willingly destroy coral reefs for profit. Coral reefs have been able to survive tens of thousands of years of natural change, but they are no match for human destruction. Thank you for doing your part to preserve the natural beauty that your nation has to offer the world.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Per Edin via Flickr