Objective 2 (2023-2025)

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Communicate to the public, policy makers, and legislators around the world the importance of mitigating Greenhouse gas emissions to polar bear conservation

Objective Leads

Lauren Schmuck (Environment and Climate Change Canada, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Andreas B. Schei (Norwegian Environment Agency, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Participants:

Polar Bear Range States members:

Canada:

Lauren Schmuck (Environment Climate Change Canada)

Norway:

Andreas B. Schei (Norwegian Environment Agency)

United States:

Lindsey Mangipane (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Greenland: 

Sofie Abelsen (Greenland Ministry of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture

Russian Federation:

Stanislav Belikov (Russian Research Institute for Nature Protection)
Angelina Gnedenko (Russian Research Institute for Nature Protection)

 

Working Group members:

IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group and Polar Bears International

Emily Ringer

Alaska Nannut Co-Management Council

Vacant (TBC)

University of Washington

Kristin Laidre

Wildlife Management Advisory Council, Northwest Territories

Larry Carpenter (TBC)

St. Louis Zoo

Lisa Lidgus

Norwegian Polar Institute

Magnus Andersen (TBC)

World Wildlife Fund

Melanie Lancaster
Andrea Norgren

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

Melanie Virtue (TBC)

Defenders of Wildlife

Nicole Whittington-Evans (TBC)

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated

Paul Irngaut (TBC)

 


Actions associated with Objective 2 in the 2023-2025 Implementation Plan

(see top-left sidebar for further information on the actions)

CCC-A4: Post and maintain key information related to the Climate Change Communications Strategy on the Polar Bear Range States website.

CCC-A5: Enter into climate change communications partnerships with organizations that have targeted audiences and strong public reach.

CCC-A6: Communicate key messages to the public.

 

Implementation approach

The Polar Bear Range States will be responsible for carrying out Action CCC-A4, while Actions CCC-A5 and CCC-A6 will be completed in cooperation with the organizations that are members of the Climate Change Communications Working Group.


Polar Bear threats linked to Objective-2 and how the Objective’s Actions will address them 

Climate change and extent and composition of sea ice: The Circumpolar Action Plan (CAP) identifies climate change and the associated reductions in the extent and composition of sea ice to be the greatest threat to polar bear persistence. Climate change represents a global challenge which needs to be resolved in the international arena.  Therefore, work to communicate to the public, policy makers, and legislators around the world the importance of mitigating Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to polar bear conservation is a Polar Bear Range States responsibility, and will provide an important contribution toward achieving the vision of the Circumpolar Action Plan.

Levels of the Threats: 

Climate change and extent and composition of sea ice: High


Expected impact/ outcome of the Objective-2 workplan 

Expected outcome of CCC-A4:

  1. The number of visitors to the PBRS website, and the number of notifications posted on the PBRS website which showcase the communications opportunities that the PBRS have used to share the key messages of the Strategy, will increase.
  2. The key messages (and the associated individual messages) of the Climate Change Communications Strategy are reaching an audience external to the Polar Bear Range States.

Expected outcome of CCC-A5: It is anticipated that these partnerships will help the key messages of the Strategy reach a wider audience than would have reached if these partnerships were not entered into.

Expected outcome of CCC-A6: The key messages of the Climate Change Communications Strategy are shared through a variety of forums and reach a variety of different audiences.


How the progress toward the Objective-2 will be evaluated:

Performance metrics

Baseline in 2020

Status by October 2023

Expected status by 2025

1. There is an increased awareness in the general public — both locally and globally — about the impacts of climate change on polar bears, due to insights and information provided by the Range States as it relates to their cooperation on polar bear conservation.   

 

Indicator: Traffic to the PBRS website.

Numbers of visitors to the RS website in … 

April 2021:  
387 visitors
17 direct visitors (29.9%)
270 via search engines (70.1%) 

April 2022:  
3636 visitors
718 direct visitors (19.7%)
 
2918 via search engines (80.3%) 

Once the Climate Change Communications Strategy has been posted on the PBRS website, it is likely that traffic to the PBRS website will increase.

 It is anticipated that the work associated with CCC-A4, CCC-A5 and CCC-A6 during the 2023-2025 CAP Implementation Period will result in increased traffic to the PBRS website.                                    

2. Increase awareness among decision makers about the impacts of climate change on polar bears, due to insights and information provided by the Range States as it relates to their cooperation on polar bear conservation.   

Indicator: Survey sent to decision makers and stakeholders

Preliminary idea to measure a baseline: A survey sent to decision makers to gauge their level of awareness of the impacts of climate change on polar bears. Could ask where they get their information on the impacts of climate change on polar bears.                

Once the Climate Change Communications Strategy has been posted to the PBRS website, and the key messages in the Strategy have been shared in different fora, it is anticipated that decision makers will have an increased awareness of the impacts of climate change on polar bears.

 As the PBRS enters into partnerships with external organizations, and as the key messages of the Strategy are communicated during the 2023 – 2025 Implementation Period, it is anticipated that decision makers will have an increased awareness of the impacts of climate change on polar bears.

3. Misinformation regarding the impacts of climate change on polar bears among the public, policy makers, and legislators is reduced. 

Indicator: Survey sent to decision makers and stakeholders

Preliminary idea to measure a baseline: A survey sent to decision makers to gauge their level of awareness of the impacts of climate change on polar bears. Could ask where they get their information on the impacts of climate change on polar bears. 

One of the goals of the Climate Change Communications Strategy is to dispel misinformation regarding climate change (e.g., climate change impacts Arctic wildlife only, not people living in the Arctic). Posting the Strategy on the PBRS website and sharing the Strategy’s key messages in different fora will help reach this goal.

 It is anticipated that there will be less misinformation regarding climate change and polar bears once this Objective is complete in 2025.

4. Number of strategic communication partnerships where climate change communications messages have been developed by Range States and delivered to target audience(s). 

Indicator: Number of strategic communication partnerships where climate change communications messages have been developed by Range States and delivered to target audience(s).

When the Range States’ work on climate change communications began, there were no partnerships between the Range States and external organizations that were specifically geared towards climate change communications.

The external organizations that were members of the Climate Change Communications Working Group have begun to share the key messages of the Climate Change Communications Strategy. 

 The external organizations that were members of the Climate Change Communications Working Group have continued to share the key messages of the Climate Change Communications Strategy.

 


Liaison with other CAP-Objectives  

There was some liaison with CAP Objective 3 (Essential Habitat) during CAP 2020-23, however, no liaison with other Objectives is anticipated at this time.

Liaison with external bodies

(i.e. organizations, communities, stakeholders, expert groups, etc.)

Work on Objective 2 during CAP 2023-25 will be undertaken with members of the Climate Change Communications Working Group, which includes Non-Government Organizations (such as World Wildlife Fund), Indigenous organizations (such as Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, the Alaska Nannut Co-Management Council), Zoos (such as the Saint Louis Zoo), and others.


Expected dissemination of Deliverables and Outcome

(i.e., to general public, policy makers, legislators etc.)

The main goal of Objective 2 is to communicate climate change communication messages to members of the public, policy makers and legislators around the world. This could be achieved through dissemination of products both by the Range States, and by the organizations that are members of the Climate Change Communications Working Group. Dissemination may occur:

    • Using the Polar Bear Range States website,
    • Via social media
    • Using the websites of the organizations that are members of the Climate Change Communications Working Group
    • Through relevant conferences or meetings (such as the Polar Bear Range States Meeting of the Parties, Arctic Net, etc.)

Potential Challenges and how they will be addressed (mitigation actions)[1]

Indigenous organizations do not always have enough capacity to participate in all working groups, and this was the case with some Indigenous organizations that were not able to participate on the Climate Change Communications Working Group during CAP 2020-23. These same capacity issues may prove to be a challenge again during CAP 2023-25. This can be mitigated to an extent by offering side meetings with Indigenous partners at their convenience to seek their feedback, ideas, etc. on the climate change communications work underway and then bringing that feedback, ideas, etc. back to the Climate Change Communications Working Group on behalf of the Indigenous organizations.

[1] The level of challenge is estimated by multiplying the level of likelihood (scale 1-5) by the negative impact it may have (scale 1-5). Minor: 1-10, Moderate: 11-15; Severe: 16-25.


Member state contacts

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