Meeting of the Parties 2009

The first Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement of 1973 since 1981 was arranged in Tromsø, Norway, March 17 - 19, 2009. The PBSG was officially invited and attended the meeting with two delegates, chairman Andrew Derocher and senior member Ian Stirling.

PBSG chairman Andrew Derocher and PBSG senior member Ian Stirling at the Tromso Meeting of the PartiesImage: Morten Ekker Delegates at the Tromso Meeting of the PartiesImage: Morten Ekker

Hopes were not high in advance as to the substantive outcome of the meeting. However, the final summary document ended up having some quite clear statements about climate change as the primary threat to the world's polar bear populations.

The Parties managed to agree on a process in the years to come. The next meeting is to be held in Canada in 2011, and Russia offered to host a meeting in 2013. The Parties also agreed to keep in contact and discuss matters between meetings. The PBSG was fomally asked to give input to a circumpolar action plan for polar bears, and was also asked to serve as a scientific advisory group to the Parties. These requests will both be discussed at the PBSG meeting this summer in Copenhagen.

As an invited speaker chairman Andrew Derocher presented the PBSG view on circumpolar status, trends and challenges for polar bears.

Read the final report from the meeting, released Sep 3, and visit the meeting website for more information.