Polar bear meeting

A meeting of the parties to the Polar Bear Agreement was held in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada, 24-26 October 2011. Agreement was made to develop a joint circumpolar action plan to enhance cooperation on conservation measures.

The five polar bear range states, Canada, Greenland, Russia, USA and Norway, met in Iqaluit to provide an update on the conservation status of polar bears and their habitat throughout their range. Agreement was made to develop a joint circumpolar action plan to guide polar bear conservation efforts. This circumpolar action plan will cover the entire circumpolar range of polar bears. It will complement the national action plans on polar bear management, which the Range States are working on. The full outcome document from Iqaluit, including the main elements to be included in the circumpolar plan, can be found under Outcome of meeting 2011, at this page. For further information about the Iqaluit meeting you may contact the Canadian Wildlife Service at polar.bear@ec.gc.ca.  

The polar bear range states entered into an agreement in 1973 to protect polar bears and their habitat.  Widespread hunting had reduced polar bear populations in many parts of the Arctic. Norway hosted the previous meeting of the parties to the 1973 Polar Bear Agreement in Tromsø 17 - 19 March 2009.

Scientific advice to the five polar bear range states is provided by the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG), and more information about polar bears and the PBSG can be found here.