This great article by Stanley Johnson highlights the need for further protection of the polar bear at the Quito summit in November, as proposed by Norway. Norway argues that because polar bears are under great stress from global warming it is vital that they gain protection from other threats such as pollution and trade in polar bear products. With diminishing sea ice it is clear polar bears need all the help they can get.
Last month, the scientific council of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) gave its positive advice on a Norwegian proposal to list the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) under the convention. In the explanatory document, Norway observes that the polar bear is indeed a migratory species, falling within the ambit of CMS. Of the 19 subpopulations (spread out between five countries, at least eight directly overlap two or more national jurisdictions, thus qualifying them for protection under the CMS.