Intervention letters

High-level interventions address conservation issues of serious and urgent concern, through letters to governments or private companies which highlight the threat(s) to species and /or their habitats.

Using SSC expert advice, proposing suitable action to influence decision-making and therefore helping to avoid or reduce any adverse impacts on biodiversity. Each letter provides the background and technical information, and a thorough review process led by the SSC Chair's Office, engaging the appropriate Specialist Groups experts across the network as well as the IUCN regional offices and IUCN programmes.

2019

  • Concern and Support for the Conservation of the last population of the Loa water frog (Telmatobius dankoi), in Chile. Signed by the Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. August 2019.
  • Conservation status of the Termit and Tin-Toumma National Nature Reserve, Niger, with regard to concerns about the long-term integrity of the reserve and the survival of its residual population of Addax antelopes (Addax nasomaculatus). Co-signed by the IUCN Director General, the SSC Chair and the Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. May 2019.

2018

  • Proposed exploration for hydrocarbons on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, compromising the already threatened population of polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea. A letter was sent to Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Co-signed by the IUCN Director General and the SSC Chair. December 2018.
  • IUCN is increasingly concerned about the cull of Mauritius Fruit Bats (Pteropus niger) as a lethal method of control on a species whose risk of extinction has recently increased. A joint letter was sent to the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food, Mauritius, co-signed by the IUCN Global Species Programme and the SSC Chair with inputs from the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, BSG and HWCTF.
  • Concern raised by the Asian Songbird Trade SG regarding the possible removal of several bird species from Indonesia’s protected species list. Co-signed by the IUCN Director, Global Species Programme and the SSC Chair.
  • Seeking confirmation of the proposed transfer of okapi from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Zimbabwe. Signed by the Giraffe and Okapi Specialist Co-Chairs. September 2018.
  • Proposed Koukoutamba Hydroelectric Project and its impacts on the Critically Endangered Chimpanzees of Guinea. Co-signed by the IUCN Director General and the SSC Chair. July 2018.
  • Proposed guanaco (Lama guanicoe) commercial harvest in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. Signed by SSC Chair, the Chair of the South American Camelids Specialist Group and the Chair of the Argentinian National IUCN Committee and South American IUCN Regional Committee. May 2018.
  • Inclusion of the Atewa Forest at Kyebi in current plans to develop an integrated bauxite industry in Ghana. Co-signed by the IUCN Director General and the SSC Chair. April 2018.
  • Increasing pressure on the Critically Endangered Pehuenche Spiny-chest Frog (Alsodes pehuenche), Argentina. Signed by SSC Chair, the Co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist and the Chair of the Argentinian National IUCN Committee and South American IUCN Regional Committee. February 2018.

2016-2017

  • Conservation action planning for orangutans in Indonesia, given the steep decline in their populations. A letter signed by the SSC Chair, was sent to the Minister of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia. December 2017.
  • With the intention to draw attention to the Critically Endangered white-naped mangabey (Cercocebus lunulatus) in the Atewa Forest in Ghana. A letter jointly signed by the Chair of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group and the President of the African Primatological Society, and sent to the President of the Republic of Ghana, was endorsed by the SSC Chair. December 2017.
  • Concern about the potential environmental impacts of the proposed Sambor and Stung Treng hydropower dams on the Mekong River, Cambodia. Co-signed by the IUCN Director General and the SSC Chair. August 17, 2017.
  • A co-signed letter by the IUCN Director General and the SSC Chair was sent to His Excellency Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, expressing IUCN’s concern about the current and potential impacts of tourism development in Son Tra on the red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus), one of Vietnam’s most charismatic wildlife species and one of the world’s most threatened primates. June 2017.
  • With advice from an SSC member, the SSC Chair sent a letter to Sra. Isabel García Tejerina, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment of Spain, to express concern and request action for the conservation of the Critically Endangered European mink (Mustela lutreola) in Spain. March 2017.
  • Invasive Asian toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) spreading from an epicentre that coincides with the Ambatovy plant site. IUCN Director General and the SSC Chair wrote to the lenders of the Ambatovy Joint Venture, to request concrete action to control the spread of the toad. December 2016.
  • In December 2016, as requested by the IUCN China Regional Office (and also with guidance from the Asia Regional Office), IUCN Director General and the SSC Chair sent a letter to His Excellency LI Keqiang, Premier, State Council, Peoples Republic of China, expressing interest and concern over the future of Poyang Lake and the project to construct a water control structure across the lake’s outlet. Letters on the same issue were written in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014.
  • Concern about the establishment of oil palm plantations in key areas of Lake Mesangat, the habitat of the Critically Endangered Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis). With council from the Crocodile SG, and assistance from the IUCN Asia Regional Office and SSC experts in the region, a co-signed letter by the IUCN Director General and the SSC Chair was sent to HE President Joko Widodo of Indonesia. October 2016.
  • Following the advice of the Cetacean SG, the SSC Chair sent a letter to Moses Maurihungirire, Permanent Secretary of the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, in reference to the proposed capture of African penguins (Spheniscus demersus), bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), killer whales (Orcinus orca), and fur seals (Arctocephalus spp.) in Namibian waters, apparently for export to China. October 2016.
  • In response to a call for IUCN members in Argentina, and following up on Resolution 90 from the 2016 World Conservation Congress, a co-signed letter by the IUCN Director General and the SSC Chair was sent to President Macri to express concern for the building of two dams on the Santa Cruz River, especially due to the lack of environmental impact assessments (EIS) and their potential impact on survival of the critically endangered hooded grebe (Podiceps gallardoi), October 2016. On 21 December 2016, Argentina’s Supreme Court unanimously agreed to suspend all work on the dams until EIS had been carried out and the public had the opportunity to comment.
  • IUCN expressed concern for the ongoing culling of Mauritius fruit bats (Pteropus niger) in response to crop losses. In September 2016, a co-signed letter by the IUCN Director General and the SSC Chair was sent to His Excellency Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security of Mauritius. The cull took place triggering a second letter sent in March 2017, with assistance from the IUCN SSC Bat SG and the Task Force on Human-Wildlife Conflict.