Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto are being urged to do something to save a delicate symbol of the continent: the monarch butterfly.
The three leaders are being asked to review farming and logging policies with a view to giving the monarch butterflies a source of food on their annual winter migration routes. In an open letter, scientists, environmentalists, writers and artists ask the three leader to agree to create a corridor of milkweed — the butterfly’s food source — and reverse declines in butterfly populations.
Among the signatories are Canadian scientists who study monarch butterfly migration patterns, as well as noted Canadian authors Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and John Ralston Saul.
“If the monarch butterfly migration and overwintering phenomenon is to persist in eastern North America, mitigation of breeding habitat loss must be initiated,” the letter reads. “As Mexico is addressing the logging issues, so now must the United States and Canada address the effects of our current agricultural policies.”
The butterfly is one of those issues that the signatories hope will make it on the agenda for meetings this week between Harper, Obama and Pena Nieto. The environment is expected to be on the agenda, but there’s also the economy, immigration, security and education — a lot to go through in only a few hours.
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