1st Scientific Meeting on the Polar Bear, Fairbanks, Alaska 1965


A number of scientists and conservationists of northern nations who feel a responsibility for the preservation of Arctic animals have been concerned about the adequacy of scientific knowledge for the effective management of polar bears. That concern led to the holding of the First International Scientific Meeting on the Polar Bear at Fairbanks, Alaska, September 6 to 10, 1965. The proceedings of this meeting have confirmed that scientific knowledge of the polar bear is far from being sufficient as a foundation for sound management policies.

1. It is the mutual opinion that as polar bears are found not only on lands and seas of nations around the Arctic Ocean but in international waters as well, and that as polar bears move over large areas beyond national waters, polar bears be considered as an international circumpolar resource.

2. It is mutually recognized that each nation, within whose territory polar bears are found, or whose citizens harvest the species in international waters, should take such steps as each country considers necessary to conserve the polar bear adequately until more precise management, based on research findings, can be applied.

3. It is agreed that all cubs, and females accompanied by cubs, require protection throughout the year.

4. It is the mutual opinion that each nation should conduct to the best of its ability a research program on the polar bear within its territory or adjacent international waters to obtain adequate scientific information for effective management of the species. It is recognized that each nation will determine the character of its research.

5. Each of the nations participating in this meeting should give consideration to the prompt exchange of research and management information obtained on polar bears. It is suggested that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, or similar international organization, be invited to receive and distribute information on polar bears submitted to it. It is therefore desirable that each nation designate an agency or office responsible for receiving and distributing polar bear information both nationally and internationally.

6. It is desirable that future international scientific meetings be called on the polar bear when urgent problems or new scientific information warrants international consideration.

7. The requirements for the completion of matters arising from the First International Scientific Meeting on the Polar Bear suggest that the Office of the Secretary General be continued until final documents have been printed and distributed to participating delegations and until other business directly associated with the conference has been dealt with.