E-Petition saves rainforest in French Guiana

Description: The French government was scheduled to start gold
mining in a nature reserve in French Guiana, but an email campaign started by a
concerned scientist and his student made all the difference in saving the
ecosystem in this South American protectorate. The duo started the campaign with
organization Ecological Internet weeks before the French Government gave the
final contract to Canadian gold corporation Cambior.

Scientist Pita
Verweij and her student Liesbeth Fontein researched consequences of gold mining,
like deforestation and water pollution and took action.

Digital
Activism tools:
website, e-petition campaign

How These
Tools Are Being Used:
An action alert was post on Ecological Internet’s
website in September 2006, describing the detrimental effects of industrial
mining on the area’s environment and indigenous people. Below the action alert
is space for activists to co-sign their names to a pre-generated protest letter
that would automatically be emailed to then French President Jacques
Chirac.

Outcome: According to Verweij, ten thousands of
protest mails were sent to the French government. The project stalled in October
2006 due to the volume of emails. The government finally decided not to grant
the contract and cancelled the project in February 2008.

“The world needs
to stop looking for easy answers to failing global ecosystems; and commence
radical, even revolutionary, means to protect our atmosphere, land, water and
oceans, said Ecological Internet president Glen Barry in a statement.“The Earth
and humanity’s very survival — being — depends upon protecting and restoring
intact ecosystems, ending burning of fossil fuels, reducing human population and
consumption, and other sufficient actions to avert global ecological collapse.”

Posted in Americas, E-petitions and tagged .

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