Resolutions from the 7th meeting of the PBSG in Copenhagen, Denmark 1979

Res#1-1979: Research on the effects of oil on polar bears

The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group,

Recognizing that it is widely perceived by the general public that oil spills or blowouts will occur in Arctic marine areas as a result of offshore petroleum development and that these may have detrimental effects on wildlife in Arctic marine ecosystems;

Recognizing that while no data exist for polar bears but that the results of studies of other species suggest the concern is valid;

Recognizing that it is now important to assess what impact of oil on polar bears will be, in order to develop contingency plans to cope with the problems that blowouts or spills may cause to wild populations;

Therefore recommends that research be undertaken to examine the immediate and long-range effects of oil on polar bears.

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Res#2-1979: Protection of areas significant to polar bear survival

The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group,

Noting that Article II of the Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears states in part that "Each Contracting Party shall take appropriate action to protect the ecosystem of which polar bears are a part, with special attention to habitat components such as denning and feeding sites and migration patterns";

Noting that there are several areas in the polar basin, such as polynias in particular, which are of great importance to the continuing survival of viable populations of polar bears and of their prey species;

Noting that, to date, no national or international initiatives have been made in the polar basin to conserve or protect these areas,

Requests that IUCN urge the polar nations to consider appropriate measures to ensure adequate protection of these biologically important areas.

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Res#3-1979: Development of new research techniques

The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group,

Noting that sound management of polar bears requires identification of discrete subpopulations;

Noting that the results of studies conducted to date on variations in skeletal morphology, heavy metals, and the movements of tagged bears have indicated the existence of several different discrete subpopulations;

Calls attention to the fact that recent studies in the USSR on analyses of trace elements on bone tissue have given promising results in terms of the identification of subpopulations; and,

Therefore recommends that new techniques continue to be developed as required and with international cooperation.

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Res#4-1979: Votes of thanks

The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group,

Noting the fine organization, warm hospitability, and excellent facilities that were so carefully prepared for their seventh meeting in Copenhagen, and which resulted in the success of the meeting; 

Therefore, wish to thank Dr. Vibe most sincerely for his excellent efforts in organizing this meeting; Dr. Tener for chairing it so skillfully and sympathetically and Mlle. de Bonneval and Miss Warland for their work on the Group's behalf;

Furthermore, wish to thank Mr. N. O. Christensen, Director of the Arktisk Institut Denmark, in Copenhagen, for his warm welcome and for making his facilities available for hosting their meeting.

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