A new "report card" by the World Wildlife Fund-says international efforts to save polar bears and their environment are far behind schedule.

WWF report: International polar bear action plan, far behind schedule


It’s called the Circumpolar Action Plan for the Conservation of Polar bears (CAP).  It’s a ten-year plan begun two years ago which involves the five Arctic nations with bear populations; Canada, Russia, Denmark, Norway, and the U.S.

An international action on polar bears was first discussed in 1973 in a binding agreement by the “range nations”. In 2013 with the realisation that climate change was have a noticeable effect on the Arctic environment, the Range States came together once again to renew and refocus their commitments, with implementation to begin in 2015.

Last week the World Wildlife Fund released an extensive 52-page scorecard for the first two years showing that the various actions agreed to in the ten-year plan will not be met at the current pace.

Canada with 13 of the sub-populations has the majority of the 19 bear ranges which together total somewhere between 22,000 and 31,000 animals.

Canada has the majority of polar bear subpopulations; Image- WWF CAP-scorecard 2018

The WWF scorecard says Canada is doing alright in some aspects, but lags behind Norway and the US, and even then overall including all range states, only 5 per cent of the ten year plan has been completed.

In a press release Megan Leslie, President and CEO of WWF-Canada was quoted saying, “For too long, we have under-resourced species and habitat protections, and the polar bear is no different. Despite being listed as of Special Concern under Canada’s Species at Risk Act since 2011, polar bears still don’t have a management plan. To ensure the longevity of the species, delays are no longer acceptable. The longer we wait to act, the harder it will be to prevent further declines.

Climate change means less ice which the bears need for hunting and mating. The WWF says while bears can adapt somewhat, overall action needs to be taken by all range states to preserve the species and the environment. PHOTO Govt Canada

Finally, failing to act aggressively on climate change is tantamount to giving up on polar bears. All people and countries have a role to play in protecting the species.”

Paul Crowley, vice-president of Arctic conservation for WWF-Canada, says: “Another side effect of sea-ice melt is an increase in Arctic tourism and shipping and consequently an increasing risk of ship-based oil spills. Arctic communities are not prepared to deal with such a spill, and when it happens the contaminants will have long-term impacts on important habitat for wildlife, including polar bears, whales and fish.”

While the 52-page report indicates some progress, it made a long list of recommendations including increased cooperation and sharing of information among the five Arctic nations, and for an increased inclusion of indigenous peoples in the effort with their traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). It also says with increased ship and tourist traffic due to less ice, there is a greater risk of oil spills and Canada must do much more than is the case at present to prepare for such a disaster.

Categories: Economy, Environment, International
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *