Polar bear trade survives - Macleans.ca

Polar bear trade survives

UN says no to motion banning the skin trade


The people trading polar bear skins, teeth and claws are breathing a bit easier today after the UN shot down a motion that would see the international trade halted. Proponents of the U.S. backed ban told the UN wildlife meeting in Doha, Qatar, that the sale of skins is hurting populations that are already in danger due to habitat loss resulting from climate change. But a group of countries led by Canada, Norway and Greenland successfully argued that the ban would severely impact the economies of indigenous people, and that the trade actually does little to harm the overall population of the bears. Conservationists are upset that the ban failed. “(They) have turned their backs on this iconic species,” said Jeff Flocken, spokesperson for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. There are about 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in the world, but it’s believed that their numbers could decrease by up to two thirds as their habitat, which is almost exclusively Arctic ice, melts away over the next 40 years.

CBC News

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