Canada just became the first nation in history to opt out of every proposed resolution protecting new endangered species from international trade.
This is unprecedented. Documents just released from a 2013 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) show that Canada expressed “reservations” on extending protection to all 76 species added to the charter. That means the world said, “We need to protect this animal or plant right now” and our government answered “meh.” 76 times.
There is literally no other country with a more isolated and radical opposition to protecting endangered species from international trade than Canada.
Tell the Harper Government to withdraw its reservations to CITES and protect endangered species now.
Canada doesn’t even harvest or trade in most of the species listed -- like manatees, manta rays or ebony -- making its decision even more baffling. So are its excuses: the government says its opposition is only “technical,” yet has done nothing to bring its regulations in line almost two years after the convention.
This is part of a worrying trend from the Harper government attacking conservation measures of all kinds. The federal government recently gutted key protections for endangered species, thousands of waterways, and even our beloved national parks, all to allow for rampant oil and gas development. But SumOfUs members are fighting back. Together we’ve pushed to keep BC’s humpback whales on the endangered species list, fought to stop drilling in the Arctic narwhals’ territory, and called on Harper to protect Quebec’s beluga whale population from the Energy East pipeline terminal. As we ramp up to this year’s federal election, we need to make sure our government puts the well-being of communities and strong environmental protections before oil companies’ profits.
Call on the Harper government to protect endangered species and make good on this conservation agreement!
Canada opts not to block international trade in 76 endangered species, CBC, Dec 10, 2014
The Canadian Government Is Failing Endangered Species, HuffPo, Dec 12, 2014
CITES: Reservations entered by parties