Conservation of Polar Bear: Implementation of the Agreement. THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

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1 Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bear Ilulissat, Greenland, 1 3 September, 2015 Conservation of Polar Bear: Implementation of the Agreement. THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

2 Russian Arctic with Polar bear habitat covers about one-third of Arctic area. 4 subpopulations: Barents Sea, Kara Sea (in Russia the one), Laptev Sea, Chukchi Sea Alaska. Total number of Polar bears in Russia between 6 and 10 thousand individuals, or about one-third the world population. 2

3 MAIN THREATS Climate change Mineral and energy resources exploration and development (infrastructure creation, sheeping, oil pollution, disturbance) Poaching photo: youmaker.com 3

4 CLIMATE CHANGE Warming in the Russian Arctic was 1.29 С over the last 100 years, whereas global warming for the same period was 0.74 С. Winter warming higher than summer warming Changes in sea ice coverage habitat degradation, decreasing prey availability, increasing the swimming distance, temperature changes in dens Changes in ocean water composition (acidification), invasive species, new diseases 4

5 MINERAL AND ENERGY RESOURCES EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT Federal programs Basic Principles of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic until 2020 and for future prospect and The World Ocean (Subprogram Development and Management of the Arctic ) Oil and gas extraction activities in the Barents Sea, Gulf of Ob and Taz Bay of the Kara Sea, Yamal Peninsula, and other Arctic seas of Russia Intensified use of the Northern Sea Route Sea water pollution with petroleum products, sand, silt, solid water There is not tested system for oil spill response in ice conditions 5

6 POACHING Until no accurate data on the exact number of illegally taken Polar bears in the Russian Arctic, but this number is significant The most significant poaching hotspots - Chukotka and Western Taymyr Since 2010 poaching takes place but it is limited to individual cases Legal harvesting in Russia may be opened for Indigenous people in Chukotka photo: S. Belikov 6

7 1. Strengthening legislation TAKEN MEASURES - Amendments on liability for endangered species poaching and trade were approved by the Federal Government (the Federal Law On Fauna and the Criminal Code of the RF) - The List of the most valuable wildlife and aquatic biological resources related to the species listed in the Red Data Book of the RF and protected by international agreements (including Polar bear) was approved - Penalty amount for illegal hunting on Polar bear increased to 1.1 mln. Rubles 2. Controlling poaching - according to official data, the number of illegally taken Polar bears was one order less 7

8 TAKEN MEASURES 3. Engagement of local and Indigenous communities & reducing human-wildlife conflicts There is positive experience of the use of traditional ecological knowledge in the study and conservation of Polar bears. First Bear Patrol was created in Chukotka in 2006 on the initiative of WWF-Russia, and currently Bear Patrol network established in different parts of the Russian Arctic. Network of Bear Patrols in the Russian Arctic: 8

9 TAKEN MEASURES 4. Habitat conservation and management Protected Areas System includes: 4 State Nature Reserves 4 National Parks 5 federal Refuges 3 regional Refuges 7 other regional PAs 23 PAs with total area ha, including ha - marine area Since 2013: 3 National Parks with total area ha, including ha - marine area photo: S. Belikov 9

10 TAKEN MEASURES 5. Monitoring and Scientific Research Photo: S. Belikov Photo: S. Belikov Photo: S. Belikov 10

11 TAKEN MEASURES 7. Engaging Industry companies in Polar Bear conservation 2 big commercial companies ROSNEFT and GAZPROM supported Polar bear survey and conservation in the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, East Siberian Sea, Chukchi Sea in and provided resources for that 11

12 TAKEN MEASURES 6. Awareness Raising and Education Leaflets on the behavior of Polar bear Instructions on the rules of human behavior in case of Polar bear encounter, aimed at minimizing human-bear conflicts 12

13 TAKEN MEASURES 8. Bilateral cooperation U.S.-Russia Polar Bear Commission The Commission is responsible for implementation of the Agreement between US Government and Russian Government on the conservation and management of the Alaska-Chukotka Polar bear population Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation and the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment on cooperation on monitoring of Polar Bears in the Barents Sea region is signed in February

14

15 THANK YOU!

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