Save Japan's Dugong from Extinction!

For over 20 years, the Japanese and U.S. governments have been pushing a controversial plan to construct a large U.S. military air base in the area of Henoko and Oura Bay, Okinawa, Japan.

In July 2014, the Japanese government began drilling surveys and preparatory works based upon the conclusion of its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that the base will have "no impact" on the environment. The Japanese high court then intervened, and all the survey and construction works were halted. But now, despite Okinawa residents voting down the plans to construct the military base on their island, the central Japanese government has decided to go ahead with their plans anyway.

It is injudicious that the governments have chosen the area as the site for the base construction. The area is one of the richest biodiversity areas in Japan. It is home to over 5,300 marine species including some 260 endangered species. The dugong (Dugong dugon), an endangered marine mammal, Okinawa's cultural icon, and Japan's Natural Monument, makes this area the species' northernmost habitat.

It is inconceivable that the Japanese and U.S. governments insist upon the validity of the EIA's "no impact" conclusion. The construction of the base involves dumping of 21 million cubic meters of sand and rock into the water. That is 3.5 million truck loads of sand and rock! It will be nothing but an environmental disaster.

The EIA is an affront to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) past Recommendation 2.72 and 3.114 and Resolution 4.022, which have called upon the both governments to conduct proper EIA for the construction of the base and to draw conservation plans for the dugong.

Sign this petition to call upon the Japanese and U.S. governments to do a more rigorous environmental impact assessment and ensure the safety of the area's dugongs.

Save the Dugong Campaign Center

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