Dugongs living on the coast of Japan’s Okinawa island are threatened by the proposed expansion of a U.S. military base there. Construction of the airbase would destroy local coral reefs, the habitat of the dugong, and thousands of other creatures, including three species of threatened turtle.
So now you know. Actually, dugongs are large marine mammals – the only truly herbivorous one. They’re a threatened species, and need serious protection. But the Japanese government and the U.S. military don’t seem to agree.
Time is short, but we can still stop the airbase – throughout September, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the airbase site is open for public comment. We’re usnly ing this opportunity to let the Japanese government know what the people of the world think – by delivering a petition of thousands of names to the environment and defence ministries, and calling on the government to establish a marine reserve in the area.
This wouldn’t be the first time that construction at Henoko, in north-eastern Okinawa, has been stopped. In 2005, after a sustained protest by local people, and following the arrival of the Rainbow Warrior, plans for an airbase was shelved. If the military machine can be stopped once – through the voice of thousands worldwide, and through peaceful protest in Okinawa, then it can be stopped again.