Thursday, January 20, 2011

Save the Pink Dolphins: Join us for Afternoon Tea

Dear friends of Taiwan environment,

Thank you for your concern and support of the Taiwan pink dolphin (Sousa chinensis Matsu’s Fish) conservation effort. We would like to invite you to a special fundraising event on Sunday, February 13, 2011.

Protect Taiwan’s Beautiful West Coast—Save the Pink Dolphin!

Four years ago, six organizations learned of the plight of the Eastern Taiwan Strait population of pink dolphins—that they faced almost certain extinction in the very near future with a drastically reduced population numbering around just 75—and very quickly formed the Matsu’s Fish Conservation Union (MFCU) to begin work to save them.

The Union’s mission is to educate the public about the pink dolphin, to advocate for the protection of the dolphin’s habitat, and to be a watchdog for any industrial development that adversely affects that habitat. In addition, we support scientific research on the pink dolphin, convene international conferences on pink dolphin research, and promote exchange of information with international conservation groups.

Even with limited financial resources and a skeletal staff, the Matsu’s Fish Conservation Union and its dedicated volunteers have achieved much in the last three years.

Volunteer Training
- Held training sessions for volunteer guides and dolphin observers for three years running.
Attendants for each session numbered over 120.

Education, Publication and Protest
- Organized a protest march against the development of Kuokuang petrochemical plant. Over 10,000 people were estimated to have participated in this march to the Presidential Offices on November 13, 2010.
- Organized the first annual Taiwan Pink Dolphin Road Race on April 25, 2010
- Organized Thousands Protect the Changhua Coast event on October 25, 2010
- Published children’s picture book, Alive, about the pink dolphin
- Produced a number of short films to educate the public

Taiwan's Critically Endangered Pink Dolphins
- Provided on-shore dolphin-watching opportunities to the public.
- Held presentations on the pink dolphin situation in a variety of settings.

Government Watchdog and Advocacy Work
Our long-term goals include being a watchdog for any development plans that would threaten the ecological system on which the dolphins depend. The threats are land reclamation along the coast for development, underwater noise, decrease of freshwater input from the river, entanglement in fishing nets and general air and water pollution in the dolphins’ habitat.

Currently, we are focusing our effort in advocating for habitat protection against the push to develop more highly polluting plants on the Changhua coast by Kuokuang Petrochemical. We are closely monitoring the planned diversion of waters from the Da-Du River for industry use.
- In January of 2008, as direct result of our successful lobbying and advocacy efforts, the topic of pink dolphin conservation and habitat protection has begun to be addressed by the Sustainability Commission of the Executive Yuan and potential impact on dolphin habitat is now required to be addressed in all environmental impact assessment reports for projects in the area.
- In 2009, again through successful lobbying and petition, we began consultation work with multiple government agencies on the pink dolphin issue and joined the Environmental Protection Agency on its research trip to Hong Kong to study their efforts in pink dolphin conservation.
- The Forest Service is expected to submit a draft on pink dolphin habitat protection, which would be sent to Wildlife Conservation Advisory Committee for discussion in early 2011.

International Exchange
- Helped organize Second Annual International Workshop on Conservation and Research Needs of the Eastern Taiwan Strait Population of Indo-pacific Humpback Dolphins Sousa chinensis in September 2007
- Held workshop on Taiwan Pink Dolphin Critical Habitat, press conference and public hearing after the workshop. Papers from the workshop have been accepted for publication by Marine Policy in November 2010.

Please join us for this special fundraising event:
Protect Our Beautiful Coast, and Save the Pink Dolphin on February 13, 2011 at 2pm.
- Taiwanese food
- organic fruits and vegetables
- auction of arts and crafts items
- showing of videos on pink dolphin conservation

All proceeds will help pay for independent scientific research, an international workshop on fisheries and dolphins as well as administration and staffing costs of the Matsu’s Fish Conservation Union.

Help us make Taiwan the home for the pink dolphin now and forever. Please donate today!


Chen-Yi Kan, Secretary General, Matsu’s Fish Conservation Union
Chia-Yang Tsai, Director, Changhua Environmental Protection Union
Robin Winkler, Founder, Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, Taiwan

Time: Sunday, February 13, 2011, 2pm
Place: Y17台北市青少年育樂中心流行廣場五樓 (5F No. 17, Section 1, Ren-Ai Road, Taipei)
Tickets: NT$ 2000 (tax-deductible)
Account Name: Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association
Bank Name and Number: :兆豐國際商業銀行城中分行(代碼:017)
Telephone: 02-23825789 Fax 02-23825810

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