The five polar bear range states met in a virtual format, 29 October – 2 November 2023, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears. As the Scientific Advisor to the Range States, the PBSG provided updates on its activities including the updated subpopulation status assessment and a habitat mapping project that was completed as part of Objective 3 of the Circumpolar Action Plan – Conservation Strategy for the Polar Bear. The PBSG raised its concerns that aspects of polar bear management in Canada were inconsistent with the 1973 Agreement and stressed the need for clearly stated subpopulation-specific management objectives, especially where harvest occurs, to develop management strategies to meet stated objectives, to provide context to trends in status, and, to facilitate adaptive decision-making and state-dependent assessments.

Following this meeting, the PBSG sent a letter to the Heads of Delegation of the Polar Bear Range States to reinforce the concerns expressed in its public presentation. Click here to read the full text of the letter.

Last modified: March 19, 2024