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Has International Law Failed The Polar Bear?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the complex legal arrangements that govern human relationships with polar bears and polar bear habitat and therefore the conservation of polar bears. It discusses the relevant domestic, transnational and international norms that structure the human/bear relationship. The chapter focuses on the Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears (ACPB) but also considers the interaction between the ACPB and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It reviews polar bear biology and the implications of climate change for polar bears. The chapter examines the ACPB, looking first at the background to the agreement and the general prohibition on harvesting. It also examines the habitat protection provision of the Agreement and the recent interpretation of that provision offered by the meeting of the parties in March 2009.

Keywords: ACPB; climate change; human/bear relationship; polar bears; UNFCCC



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