Arctic and Antarctic

Les milieux polaires sont les aimants de la Terre. Ils ont commencé par attirer les explorateurs, les chasseurs de baleines, de phoques et d’ours polaires. Ils ont ensuite captivé les scientifiques et les militaires, attiré les touristes, les concessions minières et les extracteurs d’hydrocarbures. La grande pêche s’y déchaine. L’Océan Glacial Arctique n’est protégé par aucune convention internationale. En Antarctique il faut empêcher la destruction du statut protecteur, en Arctique il faut le construire.

CITES : Vote blank !

11 Mar 2013

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
CITES 2013 – Bangkok, 7.00 pm (local time)
Press release # 6

The United States, Russia, and the European Union take plenary session this week for the 16th CITES assembly. “A joint proposition for polar bears!” such is Robin des Bois’ message for Bangkok.

This new, last resort proposal could ban international polar bear trade concerning eight declining subpopulations. It would be less restrictive than the Appendix-I ban on international trade for all polar bears, and would therefore be more likely to collect more votes than the initial proposal by the United States. The decline of some subpopulations is recognized by all, including Canada. In 1991, Canada regarded the fate of polar bears as something which raised serious concerns. Polar bears in the western part of the Hudson Bay are especially targeted.

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“Le Beau Mâle,” the perfume that kills

8 Mar 2013

“Le Beau Mâle,” the perfume that kills

An advertisement for John Paul Gaultier’s new perfume portrays a handsome man with the remains of a polar bear.

Polar bears are at risk of extinction. Hunting is specifically aimed at males. Polar bears are also threatened by the chemical contamination of the Arctic, noise pollution, food scarcity and climatic disturbances.

Of course the authenticity of these polar bear parts for advertising purposes is not guaranteed. But this image encourages a belief in the virtues of charm and virility associated with animal trophies. As CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – has just refused the proposal to transfer polar bears into Appendix I (1), this advertising is poorly timed.

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International Trade of Polar Bears to Continue

7 Mar 2013

International Trade of Polar Bears to Continue

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
CITES 2013 – Bangkok, 12h50 (local time)
Press Release No.

The international community, inadequate in stopping the melting of the ice caps, is equally inadequate in protecting polar bears from international trade. The U.S. proposal to add polar bears to Appendix I of CITES was voted down yesterday with only 38 votes for, 42 against, and 46 abstentions (2/3 of the vote were necessary).

The agreement between the U.S. and Russia was not enough. The 27 members of the European Union abstained; they are well situated among the 70 countries that import polar bear hides and skulls each year.

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Polar Bears Betrayed by the European Union

5 Mar 2013

Polar Bears Betrayed by the European Union

In Doha, Qatar in 2010, Europe played a deciding role in the rejection of the American proposal to add Ursus maritimus to Appendix I. Because Europe voted against it, the proposal failed.

In Bangkok, three years later, the E.U. tries again to block the U.S. proposal. Instead of supporting the U.S. proposal, like Russia, the E.U. proposes keeping the polar bear under Appendix II, which authorises the international trade of polar bears and their parts. This compromise suggested by the E.U. is actually more like the status quo. The E.U. presented its proposal several requirements already expressed by specialists, environmental NGOs and certain range states, claiming it would be best to first understand the state of sub-populations, investigate smuggling networks, and to evaluate the effects of the capture and the hunting of the species.

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Is Coca Cola in favour of Polar Bear trade ?

21 Feb 2013

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

The Coca-Cola Company

One Coca-Cola Plaza

Atlanta, Georgia 30313


Dear Mr. Chairman Kent,

Robin des Bois is an NGO working for the protection of Man and Environment, based in Paris and has been an observer at CITES, (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) since 1988. Fear not, we are not asking for money, we are simply writing to you today with the hope of receiving a response.

We are well aware of the deep-seeded affection your company expresses for polar bears and your interest in their future. With this in mind Coca Cola has established a scientific and economic partnership with WWF. This partnership has raised millions of dollars with the goal of reinforcing efforts towards the protection of polar bears.

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A Dark Future for Polar Bears

18 Feb 2013

A Dark Future for Polar Bears

The hunting of polar bears is now in full force. The Canadian tourist agencies responsible for organizing hunting trips in Nunavut, the North West Territories, and in Manitoba are completely booked until 2014. In order to respond to such high demand, Nunavut increased the hunting quotas in the Hudson Bay area, without taking into account the disapproval of the Polar Bear Specialist Group from the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). Instead of the elephant, the polar bear is now the « ultimate target ». The polar bear finds itself in the challenge of the century, at the summit of the world. « For our European Clients, we recommend at least the caliber 8 x 57mm, but the best is 9.3 x 74mm ». Having reached the top, you can return with the most prestigious of trophies, with some help from the best taxidermists in Canada.

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Polar Bears: Left Out in the Cold

5 Feb 2013

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a marine mammal that lives off of the other marine mammals inhabiting the artic ice pack, and the surrounding ice flows and ocean. The polar bear is thus an excellent swimmer. The artic ice pack, home of the polar bear, is disappearing. The vulnerability and mortal risks faced by polar bears are increasing.

The polar bear, beloved by many, has become the martyr employed by governments and NGOs to symbolize the fight against global warming. It has become a fundraising symbol and a top-model.

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(Français) 13 associations exhortent la France à s’opposer au commerce international des ours polaires et de leurs parties

13 Dec 2012

Only in French.

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The Nisshin Maru: not to Catch but to Scrap

26 Sep 2012

The Japanese government has announced that they are considering “major repairs” of the Nisshin Maru, the mother factory ship of the whaling fleet that works in Antarctica in the name of science. The work will be superficial because the Nisshin Maru should be ready in time for the departure to Antarctica which happens every year in November. The Japanese Fisheries Agency hopes that this fast cosmetic repair will resist 10 years.

However, the Nisshin Maru is old. She is fragile. She was launched in 1987.

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Life jacket for the French Ambassador in the Arctic

2 Sep 2011

Once more, he could not say no to the invitation of a ship owner with a polar cruise. Michel Rocard, French ambassador for the Arctic and Antarctic poles embarks September 4th from Iqaluit in the Canadian arctic for eleven days aboard the Boréal.

This voyage is not without risks for the passengers and the environment. A year ago exactly, in the same waters, the Clipper Adventurer ran aground on a reef. The 197 passengers and crew members had to wait forty-eight hours on the ship, in distress, before beginning to be evacuated. Means of assistance and salvage from Canada like other coastal states of the icy Arctic Ocean are inadequate. The ship owner sued the Canadian government for mistakes in the mapping surveys. Today, only ten percent of the Arctic Ocean is correctly charted.

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