The whale-saving petition

03.07.2010 - Morocco - Pía Figueroa

The pro-whaling lobby tried to use political favors to win a so called ‘compromise’ that amounts to a quota for hunting whales, but as tension grew in the closed-door talks, the massive petition became a top story on the BBC’s world news, and the work with friendly negotiators and other allies helped to put pressure where it was most needed and draw greater global attention.

The Australian environment minister Peter Garrett received the petition for like-minded governments in front of the world’s media and said *“It is a great pleasure to be here and accept this petition … I believe the people of the world’s voices need to be heard. I certainly hear them today.”*

After the meeting, one European negotiator told Avaaz activists: *”We’ve managed to keep the ban in place…I’ve been checking the petition on-line. I was very impressed by how fast the numbers are rising and seeing people signing from across the world.”*

This is an important victory for whales – and for global people power – who demonstrated that international decisions can be shifted by a little bit of well-placed effort from a lot of people everywhere.

But winning this battle won’t guarantee the whales’ safety yet — Japan’s *“scientific”* whaling fleet is already sailing out of harbour through IWC loopholes to kill hundreds of whales.

To win for good, a campaign is needed to strengthen and reform the IWC, and to mobilize in countries with pro-whaling governments, like Japan.

People power can stand up and win against powerful special interests. Whether it be protecting whales, countering corruption, supporting authentic democracy movements or fighting for a global climate deal, people are coming together to bridge the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.

Categories: Africa, Ecology and Environment, International

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