Earth Island Institute and ECO

The International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP) of Earth Island Institute has joined many other organizations as a proud sponsor of ECO since our inception. David Phillips, Director of IMMP, has been editor of ECO for most of the past 20 years of IWC meetings. We are pleased to offer ECO online for activists to follow the action at this year's IWC meeting in Japan, May 20-24, 2002.

» For more about ECO and the IWC, click here!
» IWC 2002 Photo Gallery, click here!


Sperm and Minke Whales

* illustrations donated by Larry Foster

ECO 2002 Issues - Cutting-Edge Environmental Coverage from the IWC in Japan! [Click here to download Adobe Acrobat!]

     For back issues from the IWC 2001 meeting in London, please click here!

* NOTE: PDF files are lengthy documents and will take awhile to download if you're using a slow machine or have a slower Internet connection. If speed is an issue, please click on the HTML links for faster access.

Protecting whales
The International Whaling Commission (IWC)

The International Whaling Commission is the regulatory body established by international treaty in 1946 to both regulate whaling on the high seas and to promote the "orderly development" of the whaling industry.

For many of its early years, the IWC was seriously deficient in protecting whales from commercial whaling. Many species declined to levels where their future survival still rests in doubt, due to over-hunting. The Scientific Committee was often ignored in the IWC political discussions to divide up the world's whales among whaling nations.

However, beginning in the 1960s, many whaling nations, in the face of public opposition and declining whale numbers, closed down their whaling industries, while the concerns of environmental and animal welfare organizations began to be heard within the formerly-closed IWC deliberations. In 1985, the IWC imposed a long-term moratorium on commercial whaling, although several nations are using questionable loopholes in international law to pursue continued whaling, notably Japan and Norway.

IWC Website:

ECO - The Environmental Voice at IWC

For years, the IWC has allowed Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to attend and observe proceedings at IWC meetings. But NGOs are not allowed to participate by making statements or arguing policy; only representatives of member nations can actively participate.

The environmental and animal welfare community developed ECO, a daily newsletter, to compensate for this lack of direct access to the debates.

ECO is put together each evening, recording votes by member nations and providing background and commentary from NGOs about the proceedings of the IWC. ECO is then distributed the next morning. ECO provides IWC member nation delegations, the media, and the public with the views of organizations defending the rights of whales.

ECO is funded and written by NGOs. For a list of the sponsoring NGOs of ECO 2002, see Issue #1 (Adobe Acrobat Reader required).

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References, research, history and more!

Want more? Here are some good places to start.

International Marine Mammal Project
300 Broadway, suite 28
San Francisco, CA 94133
415/788-3666 or fax 415/788-7324