The Circumpolar Action Plan’s (CAP) comprehensive list of actions and commitments (Annex III) span a timeframe of 10 years. Due to the difficulty of allocating resources and responsibilities to plan activities in detail for the full 10-year period, the list of actions in the CAP serve as a strategic framework for each two-year implementation plan. The first 2-year CAP Implementation Plan was developed for 2015-2017.

The shorter duration of these implementation plans make it easier for the Range States to carry out collaborative actions that align with national activities, priorities and strategies. The two-year plans serve as the implementation schedule of the CAP, and allow the Range States to ensure progress, flexibility and efficiency in their circumpolar cooperation.

The two-year implementation plans (developed by the CAP Implementation Team) are presented for agreement biennially at the Meetings of the Parties (MoP) to the Agreement. Progress on the 2015-2017 2-Year Implementation Plan was reported in November 2017 and is summarized below. The full report can be found here and links to individual reports can be found below and here.

Download the 2 year action plan 2015-2017  

Download the Progress Report of CAP Actions 2015-2017

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Action 63

Explore methods for improving the design of improving polar bear population studies

IUCN/SSC PBSG to develop recommendations for improving the design of population studies/assessments in order to increase the efficiency of how resources are utilized.

Progress has been made in current 2-year cycle; will be carried into next 2-year cycle.

Download more details: Action 63

Action 61

Establish baselines for measurement of action plan performance

The CAP IT will develop baseline values for all the agreed indicators of the performance measurement system of the plan. It is important to note that this concerns baseline values of the indicators of success of the CAP, not scientific baselines values pertaining to specific research or monitoring activities in the plan. These baseline values will document the current situation for the targets or activities that the different actions in the plan address and serve as the starting point for measuring progress.

Task expected to be completed before the 2018 MoP.

Download more details: Action 61

Action 60

Biennial reviews based on Table 4 of the CAP

The CAP Implementation Team (IT) will develop a biennial report which will include national updates as well as a progress report on actions related to the Plan. The reports will be posted on the website shortly before each Range States Biennial Meeting of the Parties MoP.

Task partially complete Dec. 1, 2017, remaining task for current 2-year cycle expected to be approved at the 2018 MoP; will be carried into next 2-year cycle and through 2025.

Download more details: Action 60

Action 55 and 59

Communications plan & communications strategy for promoting polar bear conservation during a changing climate

Action 55: The Range States Comms WG will develop a communications plan for the CAP

Action 59: The Comms WG will create a report which strategically identifies appropriate messages regarding climate change threats to polar bear bears and the means to communicate these messages to the global audience.

Task for current 2-year cycle complete; will be carried into next 2-year cycle and through 2025.

Download more details: Action 55 and 59

Action 53

Maintenance of website established for 2015 Range State meeting and establishment of a permanent Range State website

A Range States Communications Working Group (Comms WG) will be created to develop a website and long-term funding plan for the related costs. The existing website for the 2015 Range States Biennial Meeting of the Parties (MoP) will be maintained until a permanent solution is in place. The permanent website will be in place on December 1, 2017.

Task will be partially complete Dec. 1, 2017; will be carried into next 2-year cycle and through 2025.

Download more details: Action 53

Action 35

Establishment of a Range State definition of TEK and guidelines for the use of TEK in management decisions

A TEK Working Group (Canada, Greenland, United States and Russia) will be formed and will work to establish an agreed-upon definition of TEK. The TEK Working Group (WG) will then work to establish guidelines for the Range States for including TEK in management decisions. The TEK WG will consider legal requirements in each Range States and the language of the Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears.

Task for current 2-year cycle expected to be approved at the 2018 MoP; task may be carried into next 2-year cycle and through 2025.

Download more details: Action 35

Action 34

Obtaining Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) for each subpopulation

Subject to priorities each Range State will compile TEK for each subpopulation as per the CAP Acquisition Schedule (Appendix VI).

Task for current 2-year cycle expected to be approved at the 2018 MoP; will be carried into next 2-year cycle and through 2025.

Download more details: Action 34

Action 33

Annual population assessments for each of the polar bear subpopulations

Population assessments of all 19 subpopulations will be conducted on an annual basis for each of the subpopulations. If there is no new information the assessment for an individual subpopulation may remain unchanged from the previous year. The assessment reports will be made generally available in a timely manner.

Progress has been made in current 2-year cycle; will be carried into next 2-year cycle and through 2025.

Download more details: Action 33

Action 29

Determination of population size estimates as per the Inventory Schedule

Subject to priorities, each Range State will conduct population assessments as per the CAP Inventory Schedule (Appendix V).

Progress has been made in current 2-year cycle; will be carried into next 2-year cycle and through 2025.

Download more details: Action 29

Action 27

Inter-jurisdictional collaboration in support of consistent research methods and data sets for polar bears

Researchers from the Range States will endeavor to develop and apply, where appropriate, common research techniques and data reporting. This will be achieved, for example, through the IUCN/SSC PBSG, exchange among research personnel of the Range States, and other forums.

Progress has been made in current 2-year cycle; will be carried into next 2-year cycle and through 2025.

Download more details: Action 27

Action 19

Establish working relationships with tourism organizations

Each Range State will identify key tourism operators and engage in discussions with them about their current practices to minimize the impacts of their activities on polar bears and the risk to humans of tourism in areas where polar bears are present.

Progress made in current 2-year cycle; will be combined with action #20 and carried into next 2-year cycle.

Action 18

Determine priority research needs considering the monitoring framework, national mandates and funding options

IUCN/SSC PBSG to consider all the science-related actions in the CAP and to prioritize them into two and ten year actions with a report back to the Range States for their consideration. The report will include possible funding sources and applications will have been made, where appropriate.

Progress has been made in current 2-year cycle; will be carried into next 2-year cycle.

Download more details: Action 18

Action 17

Operations, Protocols, and Procedures of the Range States

Explore and develop options for making the operations of the Range States more standardized and/or formal. A working group will be created to develop options for consideration by the Range States in 2017. Options should include a full range from formally adopting rules of procedure and protocols to consideration of a Secretariat, and associated costs and funding options to implement the CAP.

Progress has been made in current 2-year cycle; options will be presented at the 2018 MoP.

Download more details: Action 17

Action 13

Assess the adequacy of existing oil and contaminant spill emergency response plans to protect essential polar bear habitat, and prevent polar bears from being exposed to oil

Each Range State will compile existing national literature. Russia will amalgamate all of the information into a circumpolar summary.

Progress has been made; expect to be completed before the 2018 Meeting of the Parties (MoP).

Download more details: Action 13

Action 12

Polar Bear Range States’ Trade Working Group recommendations

Implement the six recommendations adopted by the Range States based on completion of the Trade Working Group project International Cooperation for Better Enforcement, Reporting and Data for Polar Bears to fulfill the statements set forth in the Declaration of the Responsible Ministers of the Polar Bear Range States to counter threat of poaching and illegal trade and to strengthen international cooperation to improve the clarity of legal trade data.

Partially complete in current 2-year cycle; will be carried into next 2-year cycle.

Download more details: Action 12

Action 7

Develop strategies for responding to the potential for large numbers of bears stranded on shore near communities and human developments and consider the consequences including those for human safety and transmission of disease between bears

A report will be prepared which summarizes the existing information on strategies for addressing large numbers of bears stranded on shore near communities and human developments, and the risks to human safety. The report will, if possible, identify the geographic areas where the likelihood of such events is higher.

Ongoing for current 2-year cycle; will be carried into next 2-year cycle.  

Download more details: Action 7

Action 3

Define and identify essential polar bear habitat and document change over time

Range States will determine the status of the identification of essential habitat for polar bear in the 19 subpopulations. Additionally, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission (IUCN/SSC) Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) will:

  1. Develop a suite of broad sea-ice metrics that characterize essential polar bear habitat, examine changes over time based on past observations, and project changes into the future.
  2. 
A peer-reviewed paper describing results.

  3. An outline for future work and a suggested work plan that would include identification of essential terrestrial habitat.

Progress made in current 2-year cycle; ongoing into next 2-year cycle (pending funding).  

Download more details: Action 3

Action 22

Continue to support the work of the Range States Conflict Working Group (CWG)

Reduce the risk of injury and mortality to humans and bears as a result of their interactions by:

a. continuing to support the work of the Range States CWG;
b. implementing and making available to all Range States the Polar Bear-Human Information Management System (PBHIMS);
c. developing and implementing appropriate data-sharing agreements among the range states and making the data available to Range State management authorities;
d. entering all available data on human-bear interactions into the PBHIMS database on an ongoing basis; and,
e. developing best management practices (BMPs) on tools and techniques for use in preventing and mitigating human–bear conflicts

Partially complete in current 2-year cycle; will be carried into next 2-year cycle.

Download more details: Action 22