Polar bear conservation meeting ends with nod to traditional knowledge
Nunatsiaq News, 26 October 2011

NUNAVUT, CANADA: Canada, the United States, Greenland, Russia and Norway will develop a joint circumpolar action plan to guide polar bear conservation efforts, said delegates to the international meeting on polar bear conservation held from 24-26 October 2011, in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. This circumpolar action plan will be international in scope — covering the entire circumpolar range of polar bears. It will complement the national action plans on polar bear management, which Canada, the US, Denmark (Greenland), Russia and Norway are already working on. The action plan “will be informed by science, traditional ecological knowledge and will focus on opportunities for collaboration across the range of the polar bear,” said Virginia Poter, the director general of Canadian Wildlife Service, who chaired the Iqaluit meeting of representatives from the five countries which signed the 1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears. A draft of the circumpolar action plan, which will be presented at their next meeting, will: balance polar bear conservation requirements with the needs of local communities; include adaptive management strategies, to take into the account the changes in the Arctic climate; ensure indigenous populations are engaged in process; and consider the “best available science and increased consideration of traditional ecological knowledge.” Read the article …