CITES (shamelessly) rejects ban to protect Polar Bears

It is sad how politics are sometimes so evidently manipulated by money that they can be just on-our-face shameless. A proposal to ban the trade in polar bears parts was rejected in CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) by a vote of 42 to 38, with 46 abstentions, on the argument that climate change is a much greater menace to polar bears than the commercial trade on their parts, a trade which kills 800 polar bears every year.

There are currently 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in the wild, meaning that by 2050 we might be down to one third of the polar bear population.

Now, you can read the rest of the article here, but there are two points that I would like to underline out of this issue:

1. CITES, congratulations! I guess the failure of this proposal pretty much brings you to just shy of utter meaninglessness. If your purpose is, in fact, to protect endangered species you just failed miserably, all the funding, manpower, work-hours put into your organization seem to have just been wasted away, bent to the power of money.

2. It is clear that these particular politics does not take into consideration the will of the people, since polls pretty much point out that the vast majority of inquirees wishes to ban the trade on polar bear parts as seen on the poll from the article in question (on 18th March 2013, by Care2.com). So we can safely assume, I believe, that once again the whole mechanism of politics is nothing but a farce puppeteered by those in power to give us the illusion of decision, when in fact everything is decided on the level of profit that will ultimately benefit the few that hide behind the curtain.

polls

 

 

 

It’s hard to decide if you should be pitied for your uncompassionate nature or punished for your endless greed. Time will tell. On the meanwhile, shame on you…

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2 thoughts on “CITES (shamelessly) rejects ban to protect Polar Bears

  1. While we are happy that people are concerned about polar bear management and populations, the issues are complex. The harvest of 800 bears per year represents about 3% – 4% of the total population. We could find no scientific study stating/showing that this relatively low level of harvest is adversely impacting polar bear numbers. Your own conclusion, that over a period of 37 years the annual harvest of 800 polar bears could lead to a two-thirds reduction in the population seems to ignore that bears reproduce. If the bears stop reproducing, then we can assume that we’ve got an ecological disaster on hand that obviates any concerns regarding human harvest.
    In our view, the decision to allow a limited harvest of polar bears seems to be an intelligent one; it makes no sense to impose a hunting ban that will negatively impact Inupiat groups who rely on harvesting bears for income, clothing and to some extent food. A hunting ban unfairly singles out this group, and, again, at a harvest of just 800 bears per year, it is clearly Not the Inupiat who are imperiling polar bear populations. If the objective is to make things better for polar bears, why not take a more even-handed approach and ban, say, air conditioning, cars, and mass-produced electricity – things that are contributing to climate change? This would spread the sacrifice out in a more equitable way, and might actually do the bears some good.
    And finally, we suspect that if polar bear numbers do begin an overall decline from their current levels, it will be due to neither hunting nor climate change, but to overfishing of the seas. Polar bears eat seals. Seals eat fish. Overpopulated humans are cleaning the fish out of the sea at an unsustainable rate.

    • Indeed. Hunting is not the only issue that is endangering the polar bear population, that is an undeniable truth, but if we consider that there are currently 13,500 Inupiat natives in the region that would mean that each Inupiat man, women and child hunts almost 18 bears every year for survival. As their diet also encompasses several other animals (from both land and see), berries and roots I think it’s safe to assume the Inupiat are not the only ones hunting after the polar bears. They are probably also victims of the over-hunting as it leaves them less polar bears for survival. But then again my knowledge in this field is not deep enough so I can only make assumptions. Thanks you for commenting.

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