I have great news to share.
The Obama Administration has just announced that it will support an upgrade in international protection for polar bears.
If it passes, that increased protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will help end trophy hunting and stop the global trade in polar bear body parts.
This breakthrough would not have happened without your online activism. In recent weeks more than 100,000 of you wrote to the White House, asking President Obama to stand up for polar bears.
And you were heard!
I’m asking you to send a message to President Obama right now and thank him for doing the right thing for the sake of polar bear survival.
But please know that this fight is far from over.
Between now and March 2013, when the CITES treaty talks take place, we will have to expand our campaign to make sure that other key nations line up with America’s pro-polar-bear position.
So much is at stake: each year hundreds of polar bears are still being hunted as trophies, with their pelts and body parts traded globally. Canada, which is home to two-thirds of the world’s polar bears and includes some of the world’s most important polar bear habitat, still allows both trophy hunting and commercial trade.
If the polar bear is to survive, we must end these destructive practices by upgrading polar bear protection under CITES.
Around the world, NRDC has played a leading role on this issue. Our team recently traveled to Geneva to advocate polar bear conservation with the CITES Standing Committee, and we partnered with allies in Norway and the European Union to build international momentum.
Most importantly, our team helped secure the support of Russia — a key player in polar bear conservation — for the US proposal.
Over the next few months I’ll be updating you as the CITES treaty talks approach — and asking you to take more action to maximize our chances of success.
In the meantime, please take a few minutes to savor this victory — and please send your thanks to President Obama for leading the way internationally.
Thank you again for helping to make this breakthrough possible.