Nunavut: polar bears are not endangered here -

Nunavut: polar bears are not endangered here

Territory will lobby against U.S proposal to ban trade


Nunavut officials are not pleased with U.S efforts to ban the commercial trade of polar bears. The United States has proposed that polar bears be reclassified under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a move which could effectively put an end to the polar bear trade. The suggestion is now part of an international treaty that will be put to a vote in March and 175 countries have already signed on. But those in Nunavut say the move would be detrimental to the economic well-being of territory residents. Since the treaty would prevent hunters from taking home polar bear hides from Nunavut, sport hunting in the territory would all but disappear—and, along with it, the jobs of those who who work as hunting guides. Nunavut Environment Minister Daniel Shewchuk insists this is all a big misunderstanding. Americans, he says, don’t understand that Canada has a strong polar bear management system and that the species in not endangered here: “It’s a matter of educating these other countries and the U.S. on our management system, on what we have done for polar bears and what we continue to do.”

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