Environmentalists concerned over lifting of ban on polar bear hunting

Environmentalists concerned over lifting of ban on polar bear hunting

2 December 2010

The expected lifting of the 55-year-old ban on polar bear hunting in the remote Russian region of Chukotka has raised concern among environmentalists.


In June 2010, the Russian-American commission agreed to issue a quota on polar bear hunting to equalize the rights for indigenous peoples of the state of Alaska, where such hunting is permitted, and the people of Chukotka in Russia. A number of scientists and non-governmental environmental organisations are currently drawing up an open appeal to Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin urging them to uphold the ban on hunting these threatened animals.


According to experts, the lifting of the ban will cancel out all the efforts that have been made to preserve the polar bear population.


Polar bear supporters have created a movement to defend the polar bear, with the goal of taking action to restore the polar bear population. The movement’s chief demands include upholding the ban on hunting the threatened species, introducing a moratorium on issuing quotas for polar bear hunting in the Chukotka Autonomous Area and taking decisive action to tighten the control of animal poaching in Russia’s Arctic territories.


The petition to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in support of the polar bear has been signed by some 500 people, including a number of Russian scientists.