CITES voted against protecting polar bears on an international level, here’s a story from a couple of days ago (3/5/13), in the Guardian UK, telling you why they should have…
US and Russia unite in bid to strengthen protection for polar bears
Proposal to ban international commercial trade in polar bear products sets up showdown with Canada over key Cites vote
by Damien Carrington
A fight to protect polar bears from Arctic hunters has led cold war foes the US and Russia to unite against Canada ahead of a key international vote this week.
The bitter row is over the 600 or so of the polar species killed each year by Canadian hunters, most of which are exported as bear skin rugs, fangs or paws. Diplomatic relations became even frostier on Tuesday, when the European Union attempted to block the US proposal to outlaw the export trade, which is strongly supported by Russia.
The US is adamant the trade is unsustainable. “The best scientific evidence says two-thirds of the polar bear population will be gone by mid-century, so how can you have a sustainable commercial trade?” asked Dan Ashe, head of the US delegation to the 178-nation meeting of the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) being held in Thailand.
Canada, home to about three-quarters of the world’s 20,000-25,000 remaining polar bears, is the only country that allows the export of polar bear products. Its delegates argue there is “insufficient scientific evidence” that polar bear populations will decline by more than half in the coming decades and that trade is “not detrimental to the species”. They say hunting and trading in polar bears is “integrally linked” with Inuit subsistence and culture…
(read more: Guardian UK) (photo: Paul J Richards)