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March 15, 2010 - Polar Bears      


15th March 2010
Ask Australia to support protection for polar bears
The United States has submitted a proposal to give the polar bear the highest level of protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) by transferring the species from Appendix II to Appendix I. This proposal will be discussed at the CITES meeting currently underway in Doha, Qatar.

Climate change is destroying the polar bear's critical sea ice habitat at such a rate that its population is predicted to see a two-thirds decline by 2050. On top of that, polar bears are killed to supply the international commercial trade in their parts and products such as polar bear skin rugs.

International trade is a significant threat that is exacerbating the ongoing devastating impact of climate change. Prohibiting international trade is an effective and precautionary conservation measure that the global community can implement immediately, whereas reducing the impact of climate change will take many decades.

Despite announcing their positions on a number of species proposals under discussion in Doha, Australia is yet to decide whether to support the polar bear proposal or not. We therefore need your help urgently to encourage Peter Garrett, the Environment Minister to support this proposal.

Please therefore urgently write to the Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, asking him to support the U.S. proposal to transfer the polar bear to CITES Appendix I.


Contact details:

The Hon. Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts
Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600 Australia
Tel: (02) 6277 7640
Fax: (02) 6273 6101
Email address: Peter.Garrett.MP@aph.gov.au

Please send us copies of any responses you receive.  

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