For a few years now, I´ve aided a small NGO from Brasil, Divers for Sharks, which is the most efficient environmental NGO that I know about.
Divers for Sharks works in a VERY limited budget (about US$ 300/month), but they´ve:
> Been instrumental in adding several species of sharks to the list of protected species in CITES,
> Managed to get brasilian airlines to pledge not to transport shark fins,
> Aided in stablishing several protected marine areas in Brasil,
> Sued to block a legislative action that would cancel the penalties for fishing species vulnerable to extinction in Brasil
> Launched various educational campaigns about marine conservation, plastic reduction and aquatic species preservation.
Now, Divers for Sharks is in the breakthrough of a new success… There´s a huge change of getting Brasil´s marine national parks to expand from 1,5% of the marine area of Brasil (what´s protected right now) to 20% of the marine area of Brasil. They´ve been in contact with Brasil´s Environmental minister, who has already approved the idea, and need to go to the public meetings that will seal the deal.
But, as I said before, they work in a terrible low budget. They need US$ 2000 (yes, that´s it) to go to the public meetings that will discuss the creation of those new parks. Those meetings are in different states in Brasil, and they´ll need to fly to those, as the meetings are too far apart in distance and too near each other in time for them to be able to drive there… (Brasil is a big country, almost the size of Europe, and distances can be considerable here).
I´ve already helped them travel in the last weekend to meet Brasil´s Environmental Minister, and since I had a car accident last Tuesday, (debris from a nearby mountain felled on my car while I was passing through the road. I managed to steer the car clear, and I have not been wounded, but a few rocks hit the car and I had to take it to the mechanic), I don´t have much extra money to help them now, and the meetings are right away (one in the 7th of February and one in the 8th of February).
So I´m asking for anyone that can to help them. Even small amounts help, as they add up.
I´m NOT asking the money for myself, I´m just a donor for this NGO, I don´t work on it. To help them, the site is:
(it´s mostly in Portuguese, but values are translated in English. In the bottom, there´s a link to donate for a single time in dollars, using Paypal).
Bellow, a translation of the email from one of the two leaders of Divers for Sharks, asking for help:
We´ve just arrived from São Paulo, me and Truda, from the meeting with the Environmental Minister of Brasil and some other NGOs, and the News are really great!!!!
The story begins a few years ago, from the adoption of goals by the UN, who imposed to its member countries that they needed to have at least 10% of their marine areas protected until 2020. Brasil, today, is quite behind that goal, with only 1,5% of its marine area protected.
In February last year, 2017, me and Truda went to Brasília to give the Environmental Minister of Brasil a letter that requested the adoption of those measures already promised internationally, and suggesting which areas, sizes and types of conservation parks could be created. The Environmental Minister of Brasil fully accepted those suggestions, and released to the press that deal. More details here (link in Portuguese): https://marsemfim.com.br/novas-areas-marinhas-protegidas-algumas-novidades/
So, the meeting last Sunday was for the Environmental Minister of Brasil to ask the help of US to the next steps in creating those protected areas. They need us to go to the public meetings where the government listens to the public opinion for or against the creation of protected areas, before sealing the deal, or not, in creating the conservation unit.
It will be a huge victory for Brasil, going from less than 1,5% to more than 20% of protected marine area!!!!!!!!!!! And in those protected areas, eco-tourism will still be possible!! That means, people will be able to dive there!!!!
Everything going all right, we expect that the law decrees will be published in middle march, or in April, at most!!!! UHUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!
Here, the result of Sunday´s meeting (link in Portuguese): https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1181493738649850&id=100003677040576
But,… there´s always a f… but.
As the Environmental Minister of Brasil is in the end of his mandate and there´s no previsions on who will succeed him, we need to run and get everything done now. There´s no other way, politics is negotiation.
So, we have the following meetings on which the presence of Divers for Sharks will be mandatory:
February 5th – Meeting with the Federal Government in Brasília.
February 7th – Public Meeting in Recife to discuss the creation of the Natural Park of São Pedro e São Paulo.
February 8th – Public Meeting in Vitória to discuss the creation of the Natural Park of Ilha de Trindade e cadeia subaquática.
Yes, three airplane travels right now, next week, and we, Divers for Sharks, don´t have a cent in the blue to buy the tickets. I´m thinking in selling my guitar to be able to go, and do the following: go to Rio, Brasilia, Recife, Vitória and back to Rio, sleeping in the airports in between the meetings or in the house of anyone who can shelter me. That makes only 4 tickets to buy, instead of 6.
So, friends, that´s urgent! If anyone can help with mileage, donation of tickets, money, housing , or whatever, please contact me right now!
It´s important to be present phisically in the meetings, as we all now that the corrupt industrial fishing mafia is turning honest and humble fishermen against conservation units, lying to get people that don´t have education and knowledge to do their bidding and paying their goons to go to those meetings, so that only people against the creation of nature parks will speak. We can´t let that happen! No!
Hugs to all and I count on you,
Paulo Guilherme Pingüim
Center of Marine Studies Onda Azul
(55 21) 2323-6907