Despite the growing threats of climate change, toxic pollution and oil development that jeopardize the very existence of polar bears, hunters continue to kill hundreds of them every year -- and are allowed to sell their body parts legally in the international market.
Tell President Obama to lead the way globally by proposing an urgently-needed ban on the commercial trade in polar bear parts at the next meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Subject: Time for a ban on the commercial trade in polar bear parts
Dear President Obama:
Please lead the world toward a worldwide ban on the commercial trade in polar bear parts by proposing the transfer of polar bears from Appendix II to Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
With polar bears gravely threatened by climate change, we must take all possible measures to limit other deadly pressures on them. Scientists estimate that rising temperatures will cause two-thirds of the world's polar bear populations to go extinct by 2050. Their populations cannot afford to be hunted simply to meet the international demand for polar bear rugs.
Your administration led the way at the last meeting of CITES two years ago, where the United States sponsored an urgently-needed proposal to ban the international trade in polar bear parts. That initial effort fell short and since then, the situation for polar bears has only gotten worse.
In advance of the next meeting of CITES in March 2013, please lead the way again by directing your administration to sponsor a proposal for a ban and work with like-minded range states, such as Russia, to pass it -- for the sake of polar bear survival.