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Formal Request to ITB Berlin Convention

posted Feb 6, 2012, 3:23 PM by Pat Dickens   [ updated Feb 22, 2012, 2:57 AM ]

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Monday, Feb 06, The Seals of Nam and our partners launched the planning phase for international protest actions to be held in March against the continued clubbing of seals in both Namibia and Canada. Participants from Cape Town, Brussels, Chicago and Denver have already confirmed their support, while interest has come in from Johannesburg, Southern California, Florence and Berlin. More cities are expected to join us as we get closer to the dates scheduled. 

As part of these protests, we have made a formal appeal to the ITB Berlin Convention to bar Namibia from participation in the conference based of the annual seal hunt. The ITB Berlin Convention is the leading travel industry think tank and it takes place from the 7-9 March 2012. This coincides with the week that the protests are planned for. We have also contacted all the sponsors of the convention, informing them of this request.


Below is the letter we have forwarded to the organizing committee of the ITB Berlin Convention. You are welcome to make use of this as a sample or to draft your own. Contact details have been provided. 


Date: 08 Feb 2012

To:    Eva Guha                          email eva.guha@multivisio.de

         Alexandra Saless               email alexandra.saless@multivisio.de

         Sabine Bierlein                  email bierlein@messe-berlin.de

         Prof. Dr. Roland Conrady   email conrady@fh-worms.de 


For the attention of the organizers and sponsors of the ITB Berlin Convention

Re: Formal appeal to bar Namibia from ITB Berlin Convention

I wish to draw your attention to an international boycott of Namibian sport, produce and tourism based on the country's annual massacre of Cape Fur Seals. Each year, 91 000 of these animals (which appear on Appendix 2 of CITES) are savagely beaten to death on the beaches of Namibia. This is in direct violation of the countries Animal Protection Act of 1962, which clearly states it is an offence to “overload, overdrive, override, ill-treat, neglect, infuriate, torture or maim or cruelly beat, kick, goad or terrify any animal.”

News of the boycott is being rapidly spread by conservation organizations, media houses, animal rights groups and concerned citizens around the world. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are littered with references pertaining to the savagery of the hunt. The boycott also has the full backing of a number of celebrities, including UN spokesperson for peace, Dr. Jane Goodall as well as former Miss South Africa. For more information see www.sites.google.com/site/thesealsofnam/get-involved/the-boycott

 

As you are probably aware, Ethical Traveller, a non profit organization that uses the economic clout of tourism to protect human rights and the environment; recently excluded Namibia from its list of ethical destinations based on this annual slaughter. For more information you are referred to their website, www.ethicaltraveler.org/explore/the-worlds-best-ethical-destinations-2012/

 

A petition with around 22 000 signatures from the international community, calling on the Namibian Government to immediately end their annual hunt, has been delivered by way of the Namibian ombudsman, Adv John Walters. See http://www.thepetitionsite.com/6/please-grant-a-moratorium-to-suspend-the-namibian-seal-slaughter/

 

The Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism has come under further fire for issuing a permit for 70 zebra and "an unknown number of gemsbok and springbok" to be shot in the Okondjombo conservancy in the Kunene Region. The hunt, which began on December the 11th 2011, lacked any representation from the said ministry. It took place in a high tourist volume region and not in an allocated hunting zone. Aside from the fact that many zebra are pregnant over this period; the hunt makes nothing but a mockery of the countries conservation laws. See:

www.africanconservation.org/201112202451/conservation-news-section/namibia-zebra-hunt-under-fire

 

The USA, Mexico, the European Union and recently Russia have ALL banned the import of seal products based on the inherent cruelty that is involved in these hunts. A report, commissioned by The Humane Society, The World Society for the Protection of Animals, Bont Voor Dieren (NL) and Respect for Animals (UK) titled "The economics of seal hunting and seal watching in Namibia" clearly shows that eco-tourism initiatives will generate THREE HUNDRED times more revenue than the annual slaughter.

 

In light of the above, and considering all the negative publicity generated from this slaughter, we are making a formal appeal to the organizing committee of the ITB Berlin Convention to exclude Namibia from participating in this conference. The conference, which runs from 7-9 March 2012 coincides with planned international protests against seal clubbing.

For further information and to find out who else the campaign organizers are targeting, you are referred to our website www.sites.google.com/site/thesealsofnam/

 

Your assistance and cooperation in this regard would be greatly appreciated.

 

Kind regards



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