Project News

Earth Island News

The Cove, a documentary that follows the efforts of Ric O’Barry, International Marine Mammal Project, and the Save Japan Dolphins Coalition (Earth Island Institute, Elsa Nature Conservancy of Japan, Ocean Care, In Defense of Animals, Campaign Whale, and the Animal Welfare Institute) to stop the slaughter of dolphins and whales in Japan, has opened throughout North America to widespread critical acclaim. It is expected to open in Europe and other countries in October.

photo of a man wearing a t-shirt
Ric O’Barry is the hero of the award-winning
documentary The Cove.

The Cove is an intense and inspiring film-going experience, and has received standing ovations in various film festival circuit theaters. It received the Audience Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and so far has garnered further Audience Awards at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto, the Newport Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Sydney International Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival, as well as Best of Festival at the Blue Ocean Film Festival, and Best Documentary at Ireland’s Galway Film Festival. MSNBC called The Cove “some of the most exciting filmmaking you’ll see this year.”

The Save Japan Dolphins Coalition needs your help to take advantage of the worldwide publicity and public support for dolphins and whales. We need continuing funding to make sure The Cove is properly publicized and seen in Japan, and to help grassroots Japanese groups fight the slaughter of dolphins and whales. To take action or make a donation, please visit:

You can listen to Ric O’Barry and The Cove director Louie Psihoyos on National Public Radio discussing the movie and the campaign for dolphins and whales here.

A coalition of five nonprofit groups has launched a campaign to highlight the plight of children in Peru’s sex trade. The effort, spearheaded by Berkeley-based Ethical Traveler, will send letters from concerned travelers to Mercedes Aráoz, Peru’s minister of foreign trade and tourism, urging her to use her influence to end child sex slavery. “Child sex tourism is a threat to Peru’s status as a world-class travel destination,” says Jeff Greenwald, Ethical Traveler’s executive director. “If the practice is allowed to continue, travelers of conscience may be reluctant to support the government with their travel dollars.”

For more information, visit

Across America, bears have been hunted for only their gallbladders, their carcasses callously left to rot. Poachers and unscrupulous profiteers are selling bear organs illicitly throughout the world and putting bear species at risk.

But there is hope. US Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and John Campbell (R-CA) have introduced the Bear Protection Act of 2009 to deter bear poaching and facilitate prosecution of poachers.

In the US, there exists a patchwork of state laws regulating the bear parts trade: Some states allow unfettered trade in these organs, most prohibit it, and still others allow the trade if the bears were killed in another state. The continued trade from a small minority of states thwarts the wildlife management of the majority of states. By uniformly prohibiting the trade in bear parts, the Bear Protection Act will assist state law enforcement officers in their effort to protect bear populations.

Big Wildlife is urging representatives in Congress to co-sponsor the Bear Protection Act of 2009. To lend your support, call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, ask for your representative, and tell him or her to support the legislation.

The Red Panda Network and its director Brian Williams are mentioned in the June/July issue of National Geographic Kids. The issue focuses on conservation efforts to save red pandas. The Red Panda Network has also recently been approved as a conservation project of the Auckland Zoo in New Zealand.

On July 7, the Oakland City Council approved climate protection targets that would dramatically cut the city’s global warming pollution and make Oakland, California among the most environmentally conscious cities in the nation. These targets are stronger than those set in most other Bay Area cities and meet the international standards of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “It’s vitally important that Oakland has taken this step, putting itself at the forefront of cities across the nation that have been struggling with this issue,” says Aaron Lehmer of Bay Localize, part of the Oakland Climate Action Coalition that pushed for the targets.

You Make Our Work Possible

You Make Our Work Possible

We are standing at a pivotal moment in history, one in which education and advocacy around the climate emergency, public health, racial injustice, and economic inequity is imperative. At Earth Island Journal, we have doubled down on our commitment to uplifting stories that often go unheard, to centering the voices of frontline communities, and to always speak truth to power. We are nonprofit publication. We don’t have a paywall because our mission is to inform, educate and inspire action. Which is why we rely on readers like you for support. If you believe in the work we do, please consider making a tax-deductible year-end donation to our Green Journalism Fund.

Get the Journal in your inbox.
Sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Subscribe Now

For $15 you can get four issues of the magazine, a 50 percent savings off the newsstand rate.