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.
Other entities, notably the government of the United States, also act to protect polar bears. The U.S., one of 5 countries providing a home to polar bears, proposes to include polar bears in Appendix I of CITES. First proposed three years ago at the previous CITES Conference of the Parties that took place in Qatar, this proposal will be renewed at the next session from 3-14 March 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. This inclusion would ban international trade of polar bears and their body parts, such as their hides, skulls and claws. What failed in Qatar can succeed in Thailand.
Many nations, including Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Poland have announced their support for the U.S. proposal.
Numerous environmental NGOs across the world act decisively and with force to support this proposal. However, we are aware that this measure will combat only one of the many dangers polar bears face and that other measures are necessary to assure the conservation of the species and its icy habitat. Robin des Bois, one of 13 NGOs working in the French Coalition for Polar Bears (Coalition française pour les Ours Polaires), is also a member of SSN (Species Survival Network) composed of 92 NGOs working together worldwide in support of the U.S. proposal.
Unfortunately, WWF has engaged in a campaign against the U.S. proposal with resources provided, among others, by your company.
Of course, Robin des Bois, along with other environmental NGOs across the world, has an interest in the future of Inuit communities as well as other native communities of Arctic territories. We believe, however, that, for a durable and harmonious future for these communities, it is important that foundations be built on resources other than those such as the exploitation, direct or indirect, of dead polar bear.
We ask only if your partnership with WWF signifies that your company also supports the continuation of international trade of polar bears and their body parts. To provide further clarification and information on this issue, please find attached two reports by Robin des Bois and the French Coalition for Polar Bears.
We eagerly await your response on this subject,