A Polar Bear Camps Out in London: Will Prime Minister Cameron Notice?

Today in London's Sloane Square, a lovely life-sized statue of a polar bear by artist Adam Binder was unveiled by Stanley Johnson, the father of London's Mayor Boris Johnson, and an author and environmental campaigner.

polar bear statue and Stanely Johnson (photo by Alexandra Kennaugh)

The unveiling is part of a growing campaign to convince the United Kingdom to support ending the international market for polar bear parts at the next meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).  The international body will vote on a proposal by the United States, which is supported by Russia, to end the international commercial trade in polar bears this March.

Canada, the only country that hunts and trades polar bear parts for profit is fighting the U.S. proposal fiercely.  And, it seems, the balance of power lies with the European Union.  A crucial vote in the EU, one which could help determine if the 27-nation block of votes supports or walks away from polar bears, is the United Kingdom.

polar bear hides ready for sale (photograph by Paul Shoul)

Let's hope that the Binder's striking statute attracks some much-needed attention and sympathy for the "ice bear" and that the UK stands up for them when it counts.

If you want to tell Prime Minister Cameron to stand up for polar bears, you can do so here

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