Resolutions from the 11th meeting of the PBSG in Copenhagen 1993

Res#1-1993: Thanks to Greenland Fisheries Research Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark for hosting the eleventh working meeting of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group

The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group,

Recognizing that Article VII of the International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears states that contracting parties shall exchange information on research and management programs, research results, and data on bears taken; and,

Recognizing that participation by all contracting parties and invited specialists contributed to the success of this meeting; and,

Noting the excellent organization, meeting facilities, support, and hospitality provided for its eleventh meeting, by the Greenland Fisheries Research Institute during its meeting in Copenhagen 25-27 January 1993;

Extends its sincere appreciation and thanks to the Institute.

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Res#2-1993: Participation of users as invited specialists to meetings of the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group

The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group,

Recognizing  the increasing mandate of indigenous people with respect to management of polar bears in several jurisdictions; and,

Recognizing the value and importance of traditional knowledge to the accumulation of scientific knowledge and management of polar bears; and,

Recognizing the current and past contributions of traditional users to the research and management programs of the various nations signatory to the International Agreement for the Conservation of Polar Bears and its Habitats:

Therefore acknowledges the participation of northern indigenous people in this meeting of the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group and supports continued participation of northern polar bear specialists in the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group and in future research and management activities of polar bears.

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Res#3-1993: Proposed opening of hunting of polar bears in Russa

The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group,

Recognizing that the International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears and its Habitat requires that each Contracting Party shall take appropriate action to manage polar bear populations in accordance with sound conservation practices based on scientific data; and,

Recognizing that the polar bear populations in some areas of Russia appear to have increased since the cessation of hunting in 1956; and,

Recognizing that interest has been expressed by aboriginal people in the possibility of resuming harvesting of polar bears in Russia; and

Recognizing that Article III(d) restricts the harvesting of polar bears to local people using traditional methods in the exercise of their traditional rights and in accordance with the laws of that Party;

Hereby recommends that, prior to the initiation of any hunting in Russia, adequate scientific data on the subpopulation concerned be collected; and

Further recommends that a management plan be developed, using sound conservation practices, providing for complete and ongoing monitoring, involving local aboriginal people, and, where applicable, in cooperation with other countries when shared populations are involved.

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Res#4-1993: Environmental contaminants

The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group,

Noting, that the International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears and its Habitat requires each Contracting Party to protect the ecosystems of which polar bears are a part; and,

Recognizing that anthropogenic global pollution, nuclear wastes, and offshore exploration activity, are having a detrimental effetc on arctic marine ecosystems; and,

Recognizing that because polar bears are at the top of the trophic pyramid they may be more affected by pollutants; and,

Noting that disturbingly high levels of PCB concentrations have been found in the fat of polar bears in the Barents Sea and other areas, and that lesser but still substantial levels of PCBs and other substances have been found in tissues of polar bears in other areas; and,

While recognizing that detrimental effects resulting from such contamination have not been confirmed,

Therefore recommends that the levels of toxic contaminants in polar bears and the health of the bears be monitored by the Parties to determine trends and possible detrimental effects.

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Res#5-1993: Restricting the sale of gall bladders from polar bears

The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group,

Recognizing that the world-wide trade in bear parts, particularly gall bladders, threatens the very survival of several species of bears; and,

Recognizing that the legal availability of the gall bladders of any species of bear makes it impossible to control the traffic in illegally taken gall bladders and thereby encourages further illegal killing of all species of bears, including polar bears,

Hereby recommends, that each Contracting Party consider that an overall benefit to the resource and its users may be gained by restricting traffic in polar bear gall bladders.

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