Dr. Steve Amstrup addresses delegates at the recent Polar Bear Range States Meeting in Moscow.

© Joel Koczwarski/Joel K Photography

10/30/2011 5:00:22 PM

Polar Bear Range States Meeting (1)

Delegates from the five polar bear nations - Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia, and the U.S - met in Moscow last week for a meeting focused on polar bear conservation. 

"We defined priorities, with a key focus on the need to address climate change to save the polar bear's habitat," said our chief scientist, Dr. Steven Amstrup. "We also focused on the increase in industrial activity in the Arctic and threats from poaching and illegal trade. These are complex and difficult issues, but the consensus was encouraging - especially with regard to implementing a Circumpolar Action Plan."

During the meeting, delegates commemorated the 40th anniversary of the International Agreement for the Conservation of Polar Bears and reaffirmed their commitment to work together to ensure the survival of the species.

The parties to the Agreement:

  • Reviewed progress on monitoring and scientific priorities for polar bears and engaging local communities in monitoring and conservation efforts.
  • Encouraged the Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, in its capacity as scientific advisor to the Range States, to determine how to best use Traditional Ecological Knowledge in combination with scientific approaches.
  • Agreed to establish a working group to address emerging issues related to trade of polar bear parts.
  • Reviewed inter-sessional work on a Circumpolar Action Plan for polar bears and identified the next steps in its development.
  • Affirmed the importance of the Polar Bear-Human Information Management System and approved its continued development.
  • Agreed to review some rules of procedure for future meetings.

For more information, read the Polar Bear Forum Declaration.

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