Agreement On Conservation Of Polar Bears

Goals: to ensure the protection of polar bears as an important Arctic resource through other conservation and management measures. Summary of provisions: (a) the admission of polar bears is generally prohibited (Article 1), with the exception of good scientific or conservation purposes, or to avoid disturbances in the management of other living resources, or by the local population using traditional methods in accordance with the laws of the party concerned (Article 3); (b) parties to take steps to preserve the ecosystem to which polar bears belong (Article 2); (c) coordinate this research and exchange of information between the parties conducting research on species management and conservation (Article 7). (Source: UNP Register of International Treaty and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment, 2005) Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service In 1973, Canada, Denmark, Norway, the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics signed the Polar Bear Conservation Agreement. Representatives of the parties (Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia and the United States) noted that at that time, the greatest threat to the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) was hunting that had led to the severe depletion of certain subpopulations in their range. The number of polar bears has increased in some previously depressed populations as a result of coordinated international efforts and effective management measures by range countries. The rank states adopted a 10-year action plan for the Circumpolar Action Plan (CAP) in 2015. The CAP relies on international cooperation to preserve polar bears throughout its territory. The goal of the CAP is to ensure the long-term persistence of polar bears in the wild, which represent the genetic, behavioural and environmental diversity of species. This vision cannot be achieved without adequate control of greenhouse gas emissions by the international community. The objectives of the CAP are: the agreement prohibits the hunting of polar bears arbitrarily and unregulatedly and prohibits the hunting of polar bears from aircraft and icebreakers that have most harmed the polar bear population.

In addition, the agreement makes Member States responsible for the need to take appropriate measures to protect the ecosystems in which polar bears live, with particular attention to the places where polar bears create caves, feed and migrate. [2] States must also manage polar bear populations on the basis of the best available scientific data, in accordance with good conservation practices. This agreement is important to Canada because the best way to deal with a number of threats to polar bears is through cooperation between the countries in the range (for example. B the exchange of information on best management practices). In 1973, Canada, Denmark (Groenland), Norway, the Soviet Union and the United States (commonly known as the Range States) met and signed the Polar Bear Conservation Agreement (commonly known as the Range States Agreement). The agreement was launched out of fear of a dramatic increase in polar bear harvesting, particularly as a result of sport hunting, and calls for cooperative international management and polar bear protection. Each country agreed to take appropriate measures to protect ecosystems, including polar bears, and to manage polar bear populations based on the best available scientific evidence, in accordance with sound conservation practices.

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