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Inuits deplore threat to the Arctic

INUVIK, CANADA (AFP) - Inuit leaders gathered here this week to talk about pollution, ozone layer depletion and growing consumer rejection of seal fur. Under the banner 'A common future for the Arctic', representatives from native communities in Siberia, Greenland, Alaska and Canada met for the sixth Inuit Circumpolar Conference. The ICC was founded to preserve Inuit culture, to fight for the protection of their environment and to lobby for a nuclear-free north.

The group is concerned about protecting the fragile environment of the north, as oil and industrial disasters take a toll on their nature- based livelihood. Their principal source of income has come under threat from growing anti-fur sentiment among consumers, and Inuit leaders fear that the abandonment of nuclear installations in the Arctic after the Cold War might lead to unforeseeable accidents.