Media Centre

NTI Opposes US Proposal to Stop World Trade on Polar Bear at CoP

(Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Vice-President of Finance, Raymond Ningeocheak expressed his opposition to the US proposal to up-list the polar bear from the CITES Appendix II to Appendix I at the Conference of the Parties (CoP) of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

“NTI does not support the proposal to list the polar bear under CITES Appendix I. The proposal threatens and undermines the polar bear management system that has been in place in Canada for the last 40 years.” said Ningeocheak.

The CITES website states that Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals. The species are considered threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, such as scientific research.

Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but may become so unless trade is closely controlled.

175 countries will meet in Dohar, Qatar to vote on the proposal in March 2010.

“The polar bear population in Canada has grown from 8000 in the 1970’s to more than 15 000 bears today under the management system we have in place here in Canada.” said Ningeocheak. “If the proposal is passed it will have a devastating effect on our communities. Inuit understand the importance of conservation of the polar bear because the animal is so important to our society, culture and economy the same way the automobile industry is to the American society and economy.”

For further information:

Franco Buscemi
Director, Communications

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Direct line: 867 975 4939
Cellular: 867 222 1411
Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006