No proposal has been submitted to the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) to uplist polar bears from Appendix II to Appendix I of the convention. This represents an important milestone in Inuit efforts to have the international community recognize the legitimacy of Inuit trade in polar bear skins and other parts and further emphasizes that Canadian Inuit trade is not detrimental to the conservation of polar bears.
Proposals to up-list polar bear from CITES Appendix II to Appendix I had previously been submitted to the CITES CoPs in Doha, Qatar, in 2010 and in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2013. An up-listing to Appendix I would ban all international trade in polar bear products and do serious damage to Canadian Inuit polar bear sports hunts.
Since 2013, supporters for polar bears hunts from Canada’s Inuit continued to highlight the social, cultural and economic importance of polar bears for inuit and to demonstrate the responsiveness, robustness, and adaptive nature of the Canadian polar bear management regime.
The committee on international trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, meets in Johannesburg, South Africa this September.