Washington, DC – Joseph Hosmer, President, Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation), announced today that SCI Foundation will represent the sustainable use community in a bilateral Polar Bear Stakeholder Forum at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia. Both the U.S. and Canadian government will be present as well as representatives from non-governmental organizations such as World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Humane Society (HSUS) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The forum seeks to foster a collaborative and cooperative discussion on the future of polar bear management. Canada and the U.S. government will explain their polar bear management frameworks and review the latest polar bear science. Attending conservation organizations will offer a wide range of views on issues such as the status of the polar bear, harvest, and the importance of the polar bear to aboriginals.
“This forum is a fantastic opportunity for Canada to explain how their management of polar bears is science-based and the approved harvest for local subsistence communities is sustainable,” SCI Foundation’s Deputy Director of Conservation, Matt Eckert said. “Polar bears are strongly valued by Inuit and First Nations peoples, who rely on polar bears as a part of their economy and cultural traditions.”
Eckert will present SCI Foundation’s perspectives of harvest, trade, and new conservation approaches at the forum and bring insight to the tremendous value of polar bear as a renewable natural resource.
“This forum is much like SCI Foundation’s African Wildlife Consultative Forum, where governments and stakeholders convene and discuss conservation issues and seek management solutions, SCI Foundation President, Joe Hosmer said. “SCI Foundation is grateful to participate in such an influential forum and is confident that the importance of sustainable use management will be recognized.”
This is the first time in many years that an open dialogue has been facilitated among top wildlife specialists on the best approaches to further polar bear conservation. This discussion could result in new opportunities and explore novel ways to address challenges facing polar bear management.