Photo credit: Mads Ole KristiasenPhoto credit: Mads Ole Kristiasen

The 2013 Declaration of the Responsible Ministers of the Polar Bear Ranges States recognizes “the importance and value of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in informing management decisions and the need for the range states to develop a common understanding of what constitutes Traditional Ecological Knowledge and how it should be used in polar bear management decisions.” Subsequently, during the creation of the Circumpolar Action Plan (CAP) the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) working group was formed and tasked with all CAP actions which are related to Traditional Ecological Knowledge activities. As part of the 2015-2017 2-year implementation plan of the CAP, the TEK working group established a Range States definition of TEK, and a Compendium of Existing Guidelines for the Use of TEK in Decision Making. The TEK working group also manages the Range States TEK Acquisition Schedule (Appendix VI), which outlines planned, ongoing and completed TEK studies in each Range State as an ongoing action through the years of the CAP.