In 1930, the world’s population was estimated at just 2 billion people. Today, that number has ballooned to over 7 billion. As the human population climbs to nearly 10 billion by 2050, the demand for food will increase 70%, while energy needs will grow 60%. This will put a major squeeze on Earth’s natural resources.It’s still too soon to predict how dire the situation will become…or if we’re doing enough to prevent a catastrophe.
Landmark and milestone achievements of the conservation movement.
How one man’s life evolves into his life’s work.
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is founded.
Lacey Act. Law bans illegal trafficking of wildlife.
Pelican Wildlife Refuge. President Theodore Roosevelt establishes first federal bird sanctuary. By the end of 1904, 51 wildlife refuges had been established.
Fur Seal Treaty. First international treaty to address the issue of wildlife conservation. Designed to manage commercial harvest of seals and other fur-bearing mammals. Signees included the United States, Great Britain, Japan and Russia.
International Whaling Commission is established.
Nine-year-old Paul confiscated and destroyed a leg-hold trap that killed one of his beaver friends.
The Wilderness Act created legal definition for wilderness and protected 9.1 million acres of federal land.
Endangered Species Acts provided a means for listing native animal species.
Paul organized protest on U.S./Canadian border against nuclear testing on Amchtika Island for the “Don’t Make a Wave” committee. This committee eventually becomes Greenpeace.
Marine Mammal Protection Act was signed into law by President Richard Nixon and protects all marine mammals and prevents their removal from their habitats.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species was an international agreement to regulate worldwide commercial trade in wild animals and plant species.
Paul was part of the first Greenpeace effort to oppose whaling.
Paul risked his life to protect whales by placing his inflatable Zodiac between a Russian harpoon vessel and a pod of sperm whales.
Paul led two Greenpeace campaigns to oppose the seal hunt off the coast of Canada.
Paul and Greenpeace part ways; Paul starts the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Paul led Sea Shepherd’s first campaign to save seal pups by publicizing Canada’s seal operation.
In July, a Sea Shepherd vessel chased down the whaling vessel, Sierra, into Port of Leixoes in Portugal then rammed it twice causing major damage.
February, Sea Shepherd operatives sank Sierra in Lisbon harbor, Portugal. This first sinking marked a change in tactics that Sea Shepherd still uses against whalers today.
Moratorium on Commercial Whaling. Member nations of the International Whaling Commission voted to end commercial whaling by vote of 25-7 with 5 abstentions.
Sea Shepherd first journeyed to the Southern Ocean to observe the Japanese Whaling Fleet as part of their Antarctic Whale Defense. This marked the beginning of a decade-long conflict with the Japanese that continues to this day.
Every time a new super storm emerges or a near extinction event lands in the news, the conservation movement’s voice becomes a deafening roar, and the activist ranks grow. But can the movement grow quickly enough to save the whales and planet?
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