In the contest between commerce and conservation, a global conference this week aimed at protecting imperiled wildlife seems to be giving commerce the upper hand.
Delegates gathered in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday rejected proposals pushed by the United States to impose restrictions on trade in polar bears and Atlantic bluefin tuna, despite arguments that climate change was endangering the polar bears and that bluefin tuna has been fished to precipitously low levels. The group earlier defeated a measure aimed at exposing problems in the global shark trade.
The 175 nations represented at the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora could reconsider the decisions before the meeting ends next week, but they have shown little inclination to make economic sacrifices for the sake of conservation.