Polar bear summit to address climate threat
If arctic sea ice continues melting at its current rate, polar bears could become extinct by the end of this century.
The polar bear conservation treaty agreed 40 years ago by the five countries with polar bear populations successfully dealt with the main threats to this magnificent species – sport hunting and commercial harvesting – such that total populations have increased to 20-25,000 individuals. But the impact of climate change and resulting loss of summer sea ice, which is vital for polar bears, their prey and other ice-dependent species, now poses a major and growing threat to the survival of many iconic Arctic species. In Moscow in December, the five range states – Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and US – will come together again to celebrate the successes to date and identify how to secure the polar bear for the next 40 years in the face of climate change.