On this "World Environment Day" we are urging persons of all walks of life to urge the Government of India to petition the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to declare the Gulf of Mannar a World Heritage Site.

The Gulf of Mannar is one of South Asia's largest biosphere reserves. It is the first marine area in India to be declared as World Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Program. It is also the last refuge for a unique set of ecosystems that include marine life, coral reefs, sea grass beds, wetlands and oyster beds, all maintained by a thin ridge that connects Sri Lanka to India. This geologic feature known as Adams Bridge or Ram Sethu, acts as a breakwater wall to protect the shallow seas of the Gulf of Mannar. Seen from space it appears as a thread linking the two countries. To cut this thread, sacred to many millions will bring great misfortune not only for the invaluable biodiversity of the Gulf by muddying the pristine clear waters but also to the humans who live in the region by destroying the fisheries and salinating the fresh water wells of the area. And that is not all. There is increasing evidence that the Gulf of Mannar acts as a birthing sanctuary for a number of whale species. We must protect the birthing waters of the whales of the Southern seas of India.

The Gulf of Mannar is now threatened by developmental projects. We, as concerned citizens of the world feel that our already endangered marine ecosystems are the lifeblood of our planet and it is of grave concern to us that what nature has shaped in the course of billions of years will be destroyed forever if these projects are allowed to proceed. The ecology of the Gulf of Mannar and its significance as an ancient pilgrimage site are a heritage for the whole of humanity and it is up to us to make sure that nothing harms the serenity it holds.

Our aim is to have the Gulf of Mannar, recognized as a World Heritage Site under the criteria specified by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). We are urging the Government of India to nominate the Gulf of Mannar as a World Heritage Site.

For this campaign to succeed, we need your support and would be grateful if you would join the campaign by signing the letter provided at the bottom of this page.

You may write on behalf of your organization and indicate the total number of members you represent.

Thank you in advance for your support. Please help the campaign and circulate this message to your family and friends.

Save Ram Sethu International Campaign
Living Planet Foundation

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

Nominate the Gulf of Mannar as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As organizations and individuals interested in the conservation of India's unique natural and cultural heritage, I/we call on the Prime Minister of India to ensure that the SSCP is scrapped and the Gulf of Mannar is recognized as a World Heritage Site under the criteria laid down by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The establishment of the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere reserve has enhanced India's position as an environmentally responsible country in the comity of nations. Now, with the Gulf of Mannar declared as a World Heritage site, India can leave a lasting legacy for the people of India and the world. We urge you to act now!

Thank you.

You can send the complete letter by clicking here.