Safari Club International (SCI) continues to oppose the United States’ official proposal to change the polar bears’ status under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) from Appendix II to Appendix I. Such a change would adversely affect conservation efforts and undermine efforts to allow imports into the United States. In September, SCI and SCIF submitted extensive comments explaining why the uplisting was not justified under the CITES criteria and how it would harm polar bear management and conservation efforts.
The United States nonetheless formally submitted a proposal to the CITES Conference of the Parties (“CoP”: the body of countries that considers changes to species’ status under CITES) that the polar bear be uplisted to Appendix I, the highest level of protection. Of the other four polar bear range countries, Canada and Russia oppose the proposal, Norway believes the proposal is premature, and Denmark (Greenland) has not taken a position. The CoP will meet in March 2010 to consider the proposal, which will be voted on by all 175 country parties to CITES. SCI and SCIF, with NRA backing, will continue to actively oppose this proposal.