Guidelines for the IUCN/Polar Bear Specialist Group

Version Oct 31, 2012

Mission statement

The PBSG has a mission to coordinate, synthesize, and distribute scientific information necessary to guide the long-term viability of polar bears and their habitats.  


  1. Promote and develop scientific information necessary for the long-term conservation of polar bears.
  2. Communicate scientific findings on polar bear conservation.
  3. Promote inter-jurisdictional research, monitoring, and management of polar bears and their habitats.  
  4. Coordinate distribution of scientific information necessary to manage traditional harvests of polar bears.  
  5. Identify anthropogenic threats to polar bears and define possible solutions.  
  6. Provide scientific advice regarding policies and actions concerning polar bears.
  7. Assure actions of the PBSG reflect all tenets of the 1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears.

Membership statement

  1. The PBSG is focused on having an active and widely skilled membership that is fully representative and supportive of its scientific mission and activities.
  2. The Chair of the PBSG is nominated and approved by the members, and appointed by IUCN.
  3. The PBSG Chair appoints members on the basis of their direct and relevant scientific knowledge. Members will provide independent scientific expertise while serving in the capacity of a PBSG member.
  4. The PBSG will consist of 15 to 35 members, including a minimum of three representatives from each Range State, and will strive to ensure international balance. All members have an equal vote.
  5. Chair and member appointments will normally be made on a four-year cycle, and will coincide with the timing of the ordinary meeting. Consistent with IUCN procedures, the PBSG membership will be dissolved and members reappointed at the end of each cycle. It should not be assumed that continued appointment is automatic. For example, members that no longer support the mission and objectives of the PBSG, or those that have been inactive, may not have their membership renewed.
  6. The Chair may choose to appoint a Deputy Chair or co-Chair.