A proposal to ban the international trade in polar bear parts was rejected on Thursday at a major international conference on wildlife trade, highlighting the difficulties of reaching a global consensus on protecting many kinds of endangered wildlife.
The decision on whether to upgrade the protective status of polar bears was one of the most high-profile issues being debated at a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or Cites, here in Bangkok.
Others include proposals to afford protection to three species of sharks, manta rays, fresh water sawfish and various types of timber.
The polar bear proposal had been put forward by the United States, but faced opposition from Canada, Greenland, and Norway, all of which have polar bear populations. A compromise proposal by the European Union that included export quotes and tagging to help control illegal trade also was rejected.
If the U.S. can’t get a ban on the trade of “polar bear parts,” how can U.S. enviros expect anything on climate change?