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Statement

Polar bear decision at the 16th Conference of Parties for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

OTTAWA, Ont. – March 15, 2013 – Canada’s Environment Minister, the Honourable Peter Kent, along with Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, today issued the following joint statement with regard to the polar bear decision at the 16th Conference of the Parties for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES):

“Helping protect the Inuit way of life in Canada is important to our government, and this week we continued our fight on the international stage.

“This week in Bangkok, despite attempts to prevent Inuit hunters from being able to continue their traditional hunt, Canada was able to show the international community that there are effective measures already in place to manage the hunt here in Canada.

“The proposal to uplist the polar bear under CITES was defeated. Scientific evidence continues to indicate that the polar bear does not meet the CITES criteria for an Appendix I (no trade) listing and ultimately, a trade ban would not improve polar bear conservation, but rather would cause undue hardship on the people in our Northern communities.

“While some in the international community say they are concerned with food security in Canada’s North, they simultaneously argue to shut down a hunt that provides country food to Inuit communities and all Northerners.

“The polar bear hunt is a source of food and income for Canadian Arctic communities. Our government appreciates the strong support from the Government of Nunavut and Inuit organizations who helped share accurate information about the polar bear hunt; we are proud to have helped sponsor their participation at CITES.

“Our government will continue to proudly represent the interests of the Inuit—and all Northerners—both here in Canada, and around the world.”

For more information, please contact:

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Director of Media Relations
Office of the Minister of the Environment
819-997-1441

Media Relations
Environment Canada
819-934-8008
Environment Canada's Twitter page: http://twitter.com/environmentca
Environment Canada's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/environmentcan

Cailin Rodgers
Press secretary
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
613-957-0200