BEAUTIES WALK FOR WILDLIFE
In a groundbreaking initiative, The Earth Organization, a South African born international conservation and environmental organization, has teamed up with International Miss Earth, to push through a world changing United Nations resolution. The resolution was drafted by The Earth Organization in an effort to prevent the willful destruction of enclosed wildlife in war situations.
The Executive Director of the Earth Organization stated, “There have just been too many animals dying in times of war. Some die the slow and agonizing death brought about by hunger and thirst, others get mowed down by gun fire.” Lawrence Anthony, world-renowned conservationist and founder of The Earth Organization, initiated the UN resolution after his historical Baghdad Zoo rescue during the US-Iraqi war. The rescue earned him the coveted Earth Day Medal, presented at the United Nations in New York.
The resolution requires the labeling of animals in war situations as soft targets, in the same way as hospitals and schools are treated. This means that they would not be directly attacked. It also means that a small number of soldiers and vets would be sent in, to ensure that the animals are cared for. One of the reasons that this is vital, is that some of these institutions may contain the last of a species that they are breeding up, with the intention of preventing their extinction. “Enclosed wildlife has become a reality on this planet. With the rapid decline in biodiversity, people will have to change the way they look at these enclosures. If we are to prevent mass extinctions, we will need to put in extra measures to protect what we still have.” said Taylor.
The National Director of Miss Earth South Africa, Catherine Constantinides, was deeply moved when she heard about the terrible losses in the Baghdad zoo during the coalition invasion. ““As the dominant species on this planet, we are responsible for the survival of Earth’s life forms” said Constantinides in South Africa earlier this week. “To allow the willful destruction of innocent creatures during war is inconceivable. Miss Earth South Africa has as its mission ‘true Beauties for a Cause’. We are a group that works to get effective results and we believe that this resolution deserves our full support. As an organization this was no doubt a perfect opportunity to stand up and create the much needed awareness around preserving our natural heritage, especially in time of war.”
The Earth Organization has been known for its controversial approach to conservation projects. Last year, Lawrence Anthony, in an audacious bid to save a species from extinction, met with leaders of the Ugandan rebel force, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), in Juba, Sudan, to negotiate for the lives of the last few remaining Northern White Rhino on Earth. The Earth Organization formally secured an agreement with the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army rebels, which was entered into a formal UN ceasefire agreement. Now, The Earth Organization have their sights set on changing international law. “We are engaging upon a worldwide campaign to get people involved in the survival of wildlife in war zones” said Yvette Taylor.
To forward these goals The Earth Organization and Miss Earth South Africa have arranged a walk hosted by the Johannesburg Zoo to present a copy of the resolution to representative of the United Nations. The walk, labeled “Walk for Wildlife” will take place on the 13th of March at 10:30 am.