by Frances Beinecke, President, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)
In less than three months, 176 nations will meet at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to vote on whether to end the profit-driven trade in polar bear pelts, skulls, claws and other body parts. This crucial vote will determine whether polar bears get the life-saving protection they desperately need, or continue their slide further toward extinction.
Even though scientists estimate that two-thirds of the world’s polar bears may become extinct by 2050 due to climate change, they are still hunted as trophies. Every year, the Canadian government allows hundreds of polar bears to be killed and carved up for sale around the world.
President Obama has proposed a ban on the trade in polar bears, but another polar bear range state, Canada, is adamantly opposed to it. The United Kingdom and other key European nations are still on the fence about this proposal, so NRDC is taking the fight overseas and putting pressure on U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and other European leaders, whose votes could prove decisive.
More than 100,000 NRDC activists have already sent letters in support of a ban on the trade in polar bear parts. In the next few months leading up to the CITES treaty talks, our team will be working hard to counter the disinformation circulated by Canada and get the alarming facts about the polar bear trade to international delegates.
Take Action: Send a message to U.K. Prime Minister Cameron, calling on him to rally the European Union against the deadly trafficking in polar bears.