Resolutions from the 13th meeting of the PBSG in Nuuk, Greenland 2001

Res#1-2001: Effects of global warming on polar bears

The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group,

Recognizing that sea ice is critical to the continued survival of polar bears, and

Recognizing that the earth’s climate has warmed significantly over the past century and this trend is continuing, and

Recognizing that, as a result of climatic warming, the maximum ice cover of the Arctic Ocean has declined significantly over the past 20 years, and

Recognizing that documented changes in the pattern and timing of breakup and fluctuations in the seasonal distribution of sea ice significantly influence the condition and reproduction success of polar bears and their prey, and

Recognizing the need to manage polar bears and the ecosystem of which they are a part (Article II); and

Recommends, that research on the effects of global climatic warming on polar bears be increased in order to understand how these changes will continue to affect polar bears in the future and develop management and conservation measures to respond to future changes.

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Res#2-2001: Improvement of harvest monitoring program in Greenland

The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group,

Recognizing that the right of local hunters to harvest polar bears is identified in the International Agreement for the Conservation of Polar Bears (Article I and III) provided that this harvest is managed in accordance with sound conservations practices and;

Recognizing that Greenland and Canadian management authorities have initiated polar bear co-management discussions for the shared Kane Basin, Baffin Bay and Davis Strait polar bear populations and;

Recognizing the need for a mechanism to regulate regulating the harvest of shared populations of polar bears in Canada and Greenland and;

Recognizing the Greenland management authorities have accepted the need for quota regulation of the take of polar bears in Greenland and;

Noting that sound conservation practices for sustainable harvest of polar bears requires accurate information on the number, sex, age and location of harvested animals and;

Complimenting Greenland management authorities for their effort during recent years to establish a monitoring programme to provide information about the catch of polar bears in Greenland and;

Complimenting the Greenland hunters for their effort to report data on their catches and;

Noting the need to validate this information;

Recommends that Greenland improve its harvest monitoring programme so that it provides accurate data about number of polar bears caught by season and area, as well as of the sex and age of the individual kill.

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Res#3-2001: Offshore jurisdiction for enforcement of polar bear regulations in Canadian waters

The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group,

Recognizing that the management of polar bear populations that are shared between populations needs to be coordinated; and

Recognizing that each Contracting Party to the Agreement for the Conservation of Polar Bears requires appropriate legislation to regulate polar bear harvest activities within their jurisdiction (Article VI); and

Noting that within Canada there is uncertainty about whether jurisdiction for enforcement of laws controlling the harvest of polar bears on the sea ice offshore from the low tide mark lies with the Federal or the Provincial and Territorial governments; and

Recommends that relevant legislation be reviewed by all jurisdictions with a view to confirming which jurisdiction has the legal authority for enforcement; and

Recommends that, if required, legislation be developed as needed to ensure the ability to enforce laws governing the take of polar bears.

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Res#4-2001: Development of a quota system for polar bear harvest in Québec

The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group,

Recognizing that the right of local people to harvest polar bears is identified in the International Agreement for the Conservation of Polar Bears (Article I and III) provided that this harvest is sound conservation practices and;

Recognizing that Greenland and Canadian management authorities have initiated co-management discussions for the shared Kane Basin, Baffin Bay, and Davis Strait polar bear populations and;

Recognizing the need for a mechanism to regulate the harvest of polar bears in Canada and Greenland and;

Recognizing that all management authorities in Greenland and Canada (except Québec/Makivik) have accepted the need for quota regulation of for the take of polar bears and;

Noting that sound conservation practices for sustainable harvest of polar bears requires accurate information on the number, sex, and age of harvested animals and;

Complimenting Quebéc/Makivik management authorities for their comprehensive and accurate harvest monitoring program and;

Complimenting Nunavik hunters for their participation and cooperation with the harvest monitoring program;

Recommends that Quebéc/Makivik institute a polar bear quota system that effectively regulates the take polar bears.

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