Target: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) member states
Goal: Ensure the survival of polar bears by banning worldwide trade of their pelts
The world’s current polar bear population is estimated to be around 20,000, a population which could decrease by two-thirds due to decreasing sea ice within 50 years. Climate change has caused Arctic sea ice to drop to a record low. This loss of habitat and feeding grounds is only made worse by the recent highs in prices for polar bear skins, with recent sales in Canada bringing in twice the profit they did five years ago. The amount of bear habitat being lost means they are now rarer than ever, prompting an increase in demand, and thus, poaching. The situation is not helped by the fact that Cites certificates are becoming easily available for purchase through Russian websites, allowing poachers to claim countless legal kills.
Although a proposal to upgrade polar bear status from appendix two to appendix one within Cites failed in 2010, a new conference quickly approaches and so too does the opportunity to save the bears. Placement within appendix one would declare the polar bear as sufficiently endangered as to ban all international commercial trade of their products. The convention currently allows their hunting as legal. The worsening trade and global climate, however, are pushing groups like the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Human Society International to support the polar bear category change – an initiative that the Russian ministry of natural resources has confirmed it will support.
This cooperation between the United States and Russia has the potential to raise enough to support among the convention, made up of 176 different members states, to see the appropriate action taken. This support is absolutely necessary if polar bears are to be moved into appendix one in order to ensure their survival. Demand that the member states help put this initiative through at the next convention meeting.
Dear Member States of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species,
As the next meeting quickly approaches during which changes can be made to the appendices, it is of vital importance that the position of the polar bear be reconsidered. As a result of climate change, Arctic sea ice has dropped to an all-time low. In conjunction with this diminishing polar bear habitat, poaching has become more widespread as prices in polar bear products increase with demand. One key fact is stopping this situation from being alleviated: the polar bear’s position in appendix two of the convention, legalizing the international commercial trade of hunting prizes.
The United States and Russia have agreed to combine their efforts in support of initiatives which would see the polar bear moved into appendix one. In order to gain the two/thirds vote ultimately necessary, your help is required. Please, see to it that one of the planets most endangered species is acknowledged as such and given the protection it deserves.
[Your Name Here]