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Endangered Species letter - sign on!
From: Sandra_Bauer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: FW: ***URGENT: SIGN-ON FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES***
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 17:41:22 -0500
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2232.9)
***URGENT: SIGN-ON FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES***
PLEASE RESPOND BY APRIL 6, 1999
Canada's long-standing process for developing the national list of species
at risk of extinction is being degraded. Please have your organization
sign-on to this important letter regarding the need for impartiality in
the listing of species at risk. A credible endangered species list is a
fundamental first step in preventing biodiversity loss in Canada.
For 21 years, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada
(COSEWIC) has been working to annually update Canada's list of species at
risk of extinction. Key to the Committee's success has been its
foundation in science-based expertise. The Committee includes a number of
independent scientists, representatives of the conservation community,
and federal, provincial, and territorial government scientists.
This diverse and balanced composition of government and non-government
expertise has ensured an effective, impartial process for designating
species at risk.
Unfortunately, recent changes to COSEWIC's structure will upset this
balance and impede its ability to function as an impartial committee. In
September 1998, Canada's federal, provincial, and territorial wildlife
ministers decided to remove the voting rights from the Chairs of the
scientific sub-committees, who are largely academic scientists. Should
these changes be implemented, all voting positions will be filled by those
employed or selected by government. Traditionally based on sound science,
the assessment of extinction risk for species could well become, or be
seen to become, subject to political influence.
We understand there is still an opportunity to comment on these proposed
changes to COSEWIC. Please demonstrate your organization's support for an
impartial COSEWIC by signing-on to the letter below. Sign-on is being
sought from organizations (private companies, associations, NGOs, academic
departments, etc.), the representative of these organizations who deals
with conservation matters, and members of COSEWIC and its scientific
PLEASE sign-on to the letter below by faxing or e-mailing the name of your
organization, and your name and title (where applicable) to:
e-mail <email@example.com> fax (613) 562-3117
The deadline for sign-on is April 06, 1999.
PLEASE pass this letter onto other organizations interested in this
Prepared by the Canadian Nature Federation, Canadian Wildlife Federation,
and World Wildlife Fund
----LETTER TO WILDLIFE MINISTERS---
Dear wildlife ministers,
We, the undersigned, agree that the Committee on the Status of Endangered
Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) must operate as an independent scientific
authority in determining the national list of species at risk of
We are proud of COSEWIC's achievements in its 21 years of operation. What
makes COSEWIC function effectively is that it has brought together
government, non-government, and academic sectors in a partnership process
to designate the status of species at risk in Canada. The presence of
these three groups has served to provide an appropriate balance of views,
thus ensuring that decisions have been made based on sound science. The
result has been a credible list of species at risk that serves as an
essential first step towards protecting the nation's biological diversity.
We are therefore deeply concerned about your recent decision to remove the
right to vote on the status of species from the Chairs of the scientific
subcommittees. We believe that their participation as full voting members
is essential to ensuring COSEWIC's real and perceived impartiality, and to
maintaining broad-based acceptance for the Committee's vital work.
Recognizing that wildlife ministers are committed to the effective
conservation of endangered species, and recognizing COSEWIC's fundamental
role in this process, we urge you to ensure that the Chairs of the
scientific sub-committees participate as full voting members in the newly
Endangered Species Program Coordinator
Canadian Nature Federation/Federation canadienne de la nature
1 Nicholas St, Suite 606, Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
(613) 562-3447 ext.227 Fax (613) 562-3371
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