(CBC News, 16 October 2009) -- Canadian Inuit are outraged over a U.S. plan to use an international treaty to eliminate all trade in polar bears anywhere in the world. They say it would cripple one of their few industries and they're calling on the federal government to step in. "We're fighting with Goliath here," said Gabriel Nirlungyak, director of wildlife with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., which oversees the Nunavut land claim. "We want our government to defend us." On Friday, Tom Strickland, the United States assistant secretary of the interior, released a proposal to the 175 countries that have signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species [CITES]. The proposal says polar bears should be moved to a classification that would outlaw all commercial trade in the animals. "The proposals submitted this week will improve protections for dozens of declining species, while improving enforcement and implementation of (the convention) for many others," Strickland said in a news release. The bears are threatened by habitat loss—the result of melting sea ice caused by climate change, he said.
Posted 18 October 2009; 3:05:26 PM. Permalink