WWF's Polar Bear CAP Scorecard summarises the first two years of work on the Circumpolar Action Plan for the Conservation of Polar Bears (CAP). The CAP is the only international mechanism that brings together all five Range States - Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Norway, the Russian Federation and the United States - to manage polar bears. The five Range States agreed to the 10-year implementation strategy.
At their current rate of work, the polar bear Range States will NOT meet their 10-year target. Two years in just three, or 5%, of their actions are complete... just the tip of the iceberg of what needs to be achieved.
The primary habitat of polar bears - sea ice - is shrinking rapidly due to climate change and Range States must continue to demonstrate their leadership by sticking to their goal to implement the CAP by 2025 to ensure a future for the species.
Polar bears around the Arctic
Approximately one third of polar bears
move across national boundaries.
22 000 – 31 000
Polar bears worldwide
or within three polar bear generations, scientists predict we will lose a third of the world’s polar bears without urgent action to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
These scorecards summarise the overall performance of the Range States and the PBSG on delivering 19 actions from 2015 to 2017. They include assessments of their conservation performance towards the six Key Objectives, incorporation of TEK and implementation of management activities essential for the CAP’s success.
|<40% of maximum score||Little or no progress on implementation|
|40-60% of maximum score||Some progress on implementation|
|60-80% of maximum score||Encouraging progress on implementation|
|>80% of maximum score||Full or substantive implementation|
|No data||Data not publicly available or not shared with WWF|
|Objective||Overall||Joint Action||Polar Bear Specialists Group|
|Communicate about climate change and polar bears||N/A|
|Preserve polar bear habitat||N/A|
|Monitor populations and manage harvest||N/A|
|Manage human-polar bear conflict||N/A|
|Ensure sustainable trade||N/A||N/A|
|Incorporation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)|
Improve implementationTake a more strategic and structured approach moving forward. At the current rate of implementation, the Range States will not meet their 10-year target.
Provide access to informationEnhance accountability for CAP implementation
Work cooperativelyCollaboration is the key to success.
Work with scientistsReliable support from scientific experts is crucial for the CAP’s implementation.
Work with Indigenous Peoples to integrate Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)Consensus on science is needed to inform management of polar bears. It is essential that Indigenous Peoples are central to decisions made on the use of TEK in polar bear management.
Talk about the biggest threat to polar bearsRange States need to urgently deliver on their mandate to “bring global focus to the threat of climate change to the Arctic and polar bears”.
Ensuring polar bears have the best chance of survival needs collaborative action on two fronts. The first front is the The Circumpolar Action Plan for the Conservation of Polar Bears (CAP).
Millenia of evolution have prepared Arctic species like the polar bear, walrus and narwhal for life on and around the sea ice. Now their habitat is radically shifting in a matter of decades.