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Zak Smith’s Blog

Hours Away from Vote to End Profit Driven International Trade in Polar Bear Parts

Zak Smith

Posted March 6, 2013 in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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The vote on a US proposal to end the international commercial trade in polar bear parts will take place tomorrow in Bangkok, Thailand.  The US proposal is before the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and is opposed by Canada, the only country where polar bears are found that still allows the killing of the animals to supply global demand for polar bear parts (skins, claws, teeth, skulls).

The US delegation to CITES has been headed all week by USFWS Director, Dan Ashe, who has been rallying support fo the US proposal.

The proposal has gained Russian support, where polar bears are threatened by illegal killing to supply the international market, and the support of other countries around the globe.  Nonetheless, securing protections for polar bears by banning their global trade won't be easy,  as such a ban requires two-thirds suppport from all countries voting at CITES.

Some countries have lined up agains the proposal, such as Canada, which continues to deny the best available science on projected impacts to polar bears from climate change (more than two-thirds of their total population will be gone by 2050) and allows the unsustainable killing of polar bears against the advice of polar bear specialists.

The vote on the US proposal, which could once and for all ban the global profit-driven trade in polar bears is mere hours away.  NRDC, working with a coalition of other organizations, has been doing all it can to ensure passage of the US proposal.  I'll send out a report as soon as the vote's results come in.  Wish us luck.

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Comments

Douglas ClarkMar 6 2013 04:37 PM

I would appreciate an explanation from NRDC about why your organization's position is at odds with recommendations of the IUCN's Polar Bear Specialist Group, the CITES Secretariat itself, and leading international ENGOs. Your blog has yet to mention those organizations' recommendations to reject an Appendix I listing for polar bears at COP 16.

diane claytonMar 6 2013 05:19 PM

please keep those bears safe please

Linda GoodwinMar 6 2013 08:54 PM

Douglas Clark,

The information is readily available on this website. Click on "Biogems" in the "Top Tags" box on this page.

Marguerite Mar 6 2013 10:29 PM

Please protect pilot bears and their habitat .

Lori PriceMar 6 2013 11:37 PM

Thank you - adding a link to this important post to the CLG website.

Comments are closed for this post.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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