The Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears, also known as the Polar Bear Agreement or the Oslo Agreement, was signed in 1973 by five nations: the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the former Soviet Union. This international treaty aims to protect the polar bear population and its habitat by regulating commercial hunting and unregulated sport hunting.
Polar bears are the world`s largest land predators and are an important part of the Arctic ecosystem. But their population has been under threat due to climate change and human activities. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), polar bears are listed as a vulnerable species, meaning their population has declined by at least 30% over the last three generations.
The Polar Bear Agreement is an essential tool to protect the species and their habitat. The treaty prohibits commercial hunting of polar bears, meaning that hunters cannot sell polar bear parts, such as fur and meat. It also limits sport hunting, allowing only indigenous people to hunt polar bears for subsistence purposes or cultural traditions.
The treaty recognizes that climate change poses a significant threat to polar bears. The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, which has a severe impact on the sea ice that polar bears depend on for hunting, breeding, and resting. The agreement aims to address the impact of climate change on polar bears by promoting research and monitoring of the species, as well as by promoting international cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Polar Bear Agreement was updated in 1994 to include additional measures for protecting the species, such as prohibiting the transfer of polar bear parts across international borders. The treaty has also been ratified by Russia, Iceland, and the European Union, demonstrating the international community`s commitment to protecting polar bears.
In conclusion, the Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears plays a crucial role in protecting the survival of polar bears and their habitat. By regulating hunting and addressing climate change, this international treaty ensures that the future generations can continue to appreciate the beauty and importance of this iconic species.