Flora and Fauna
(CBC News, 28 October 2009) -- A much-anticipated polar bear conservation agreement between Greenland, Canada and Nunavut will be signed Friday. Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice is travelling to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, to sign the agreement, which involves the Canadian and Greenland governments as well as the Nunavut territorial government. All three parties have been working for months on a conservation agreement that covers hunting areas shared by Nunavut and Greenland, including Baffin Bay and Kane Basin. Polar-bear hunting in those two areas by Inuit from Nunavut and Greenland has caused international controversy in recent years, with biologists arguing that the combined level of hunting is not sustainable. Greenland has cut its polar-bear hunting quota in Baffin Bay to 68 bears a year, and Nunavut officials are under pressure to follow suit. Hunters in Nunavut can currently take up to 108 polar bears in Baffin Bay, but the territorial government wants to slash that to 64, introduce a new reduced quota or impose a complete moratorium on polar-bear hunting in the area. But Inuit who hunt polar bears in Baffin Bay have said the polar-bear population is actually rising, not decreasing. Friday's agreement is expected to pave the way for joint decisions on the size of the hunt and prompt new bear studies in the affected regions.
Posted 30 October 2009; 7:43:02 AM. Permalink