In a press release this afternoon, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) announced it had added polar bears to their list of Appendix II migratory species. [CMS is a pseudo-arm of the UN Environment Programme, the UNEP1]
“The Polar Bear, the largest apex predator on Earth is affected by climate change that has led to the loss of 2 million m2 of sea ice. The Appendix II listing introduces the global perspective of existing threats to Arctic species stemming from shipping and oil exploration, making it a case for all CMS Parties.“
But why formally list the polar bear as a migratory species when it is protected under several other national and international programs?
UPDATED 10 November 2014, see additions below
Posted in Conservation Status, Sea ice habitat
Tagged Arctic oil, BBC, climate change, CMS, global warming, migratory species, oil exploration, oil money, polar bear, Red list, sea ice habitat, UNEP
Much of the polar bear research in Canada and American Arctic in the 1970s-1980s was funded by oil and gas companies, because it was the right thing to do (and governments required it). Now, Greenpeace says providing such money is just oil company marketing, meant to make them look good.
Stirling et al. 1993, oil funding acknowledgement for work in the Eastern Beaufort Sea.
Oil money helped fund the Ph.D. research of polar bear biologist and Polar Bears International spokesperson Steven Amstrup (Amstrup and Durner 1995), and made possible a number of other critical research projects in the early days of polar bear research that might not have been possible otherwise (Stirling et al. 1993; Stirling and Lunn 1997).
Yesterday, several media reports announced that ExxonMobil had advertised for a job counting polar bears in the Kara Sea (where very little research has been done), but a Greenpeace spokesperson called this an “obvious greenwash.”
Have a look at the media reports and the oil funding acknowledgements from polar bear research papers (“References”) and see what you think.
Courtesy IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group.
Posted in Advocacy, History
Tagged activists, Amstrup, Arctic oil, Beaufort Sea, environmentalists, funding from oil companies, funding sources, Greenpeace, oil money, polar bear, polar bear research, Rosneft, Stirling
Re: International Forum on Conservation of Polar Bears: December 3-6, Moscow.
[Updates added Dec. 2 and Dec. 3, 2013, as noted below]
[Updated Dec. 4, 2013: Final agenda here; and as noted below]
On Tuesday, setup begins for the Moscow meeting of all Arctic nations that signed the original agreement to protect polar bears back in 1973. In my post last week, I introduced the agenda (pdf here).
I’ve also made notes on the interesting mix of folks who’ve been invited.
Posted in Advocacy, Conservation Status
Tagged Circumpolar Action Plan for Polar Bear Conservation, Coca-Cola, conservation, Environment Canada, Eric Regehr, Geoffrey Haskett, Greenpeace, Leona Aglukkaq, meeting of the parties, oil money, polar bear, polar bear forum, Steven Amstrup, US Fish and Wildlife Service, WWF
Poor polar bear researchers: there are few full time jobs worldwide and research is underfunded.
This is not my opinion but the facts according to Andrew Derocher and Ian Stirling (2011) — see Fig. 1 and 2 below. I do not dispute them.
Figure 1. The distribution of full-time polar bear researchers worldwide. From Derocher and Stirling 2011, invited speaker presentation to the 2011 Polar Bear Meeting in Nunavut, Oct 24-26.
Since Derocher and Stirling have raised the issue, I contend it’s perfectly valid to ask: are polar bear biologists who proclaim their heartfelt fear for the future of polar bears at every opportunity behaving as advocates for polar bears or protecting their own careers?
Posted in Advocacy, Conservation Status
Tagged 2011 polar bear meeting Nunavut, Circumpolar Action Plan for Polar Bear Conservation, conflict of interest, conservation, COSEWIC, Derocher, Eastern Beaufort, expert testimony, government jobs, grant funding, helicopter survey, jobs, oil money, polar bear research, Southern Beaufort, Stirling, western hudson bay