(Washington, DC) – In response to the Government of Iceland’s announcement to set a new quota that authorizes the hunting and killing of up to 2,130 baleen whales over the next five years, Earth Day Network, has called upon the Icelandic Government to immediately reverse their decision. Earth Day Network represents a global environmental movement with over 75,000 organizational partners, engaging one billion people annually.
In a letter to the Embassy, Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers notes, “Iceland is a modern, advanced and forward-looking economy and can be rightly proud of its many efforts to advance environmental protection, climate action and sustainable development, including in respect to renewable energy and laudable electrification of its transport systems. Setting new quotas for hunting whales is a stain on Iceland’s reputation and undermines its positive evolving track-record in respect to its progressive policies in other sustainability arenas.”
Earth Day Network shares the view of the Icelandic Travel Industry Association. Namely that the potential damage to Iceland’s growing tourism sector far outweighs any questionable economic benefit to the fishing industry from continued whaling. Indeed, unless there is a clear signal from Iceland that whaling will be halted, Earth Day Network will have no hesitation in supporting the call for citizens world-wide to boycott Iceland as a tourist destination.
Earth Day Network is calling on environmentalists, NGOs and individuals to contact Embassies to pressure them to change their position.
Earth Day Network’s theme this year is Protect Our Species and whales represent one of the most endangered species. In addition, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement and the beginning of Earth Day. An announcement by Iceland that whaling has been consigned to the history books would be an early celebration for citizens everywhere in advance of this special anniversary year.
“The 50th anniversary is the appropriate time for Iceland, as well as Norway and Japan, to join almost 100 percent of the world’s countries to end commercial and scientific whaling for good,” adds Rogers.
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The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN), the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, works year-round with tens of thousands of partners in more than 190 countries on global reforestation, climate and environmental literacy, ending plastic pollution and protecting biodiversity. EDN’s goal is to build environmental democracy and to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement worldwide.