Statement - Minister of the Environment applauds European Union decision on trade of polar bear

OTTAWA, June 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, issued the following statement regarding the European Union's decision on trade of polar bear.

"I am very pleased to see the European Union (EU) recognizing the value of Canada's solid polar bear management system.

"Last week in Belgium, the EU Scientific Review Group decided not to impose further restrictions on the import of polar bear into the EU, and instead to continue with the current regime.

"Canadian officials representing the Government of Nunavut and Environment Canada were invited to the meeting to present Canada's management and conservation approach for its polar bear population.

"Our careful management and strong commitment to monitoring are reflected in the status of Canadian polar bear subpopulations. Over the past five years, governments and other organizations in Canada have collectively invested over $9 million in polar bear monitoring. Our Government is proud to be part of this effort and has recently committed to continue its support of monitoring activities.

"Decisions based on evidence, such as that taken by the EU, lead to true conservation progress. We are encouraged to see that our European partners have made careful decisions based on the updated information provided to them.

"Canada has a solid management system in place for polar bear that is founded on the land claims agreements and engagement with Inuit communities. The system considers both science and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge, thus ensuring a high level of support from all stakeholders, and, importantly, from people living among polar bears in the north.

"A Circumpolar Action Plan is being developed that will focus on threats that are best addressed at the international level by the Polar Bear Range State countries (Canada, the United States, Norway, Russia, and Greenland)."

SOURCE: Environment Canada

For further information:

Ted Laking
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of the Environment

Media Relations
Environment Canada


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