Indsigt: Grønland opnår gode resultater under COP15 CITES vedrørende isbjørne

Grønland opnår gode resultater under COP15 CITES vedrørende isbjørne

Ved den tekniske behandling af USA’s forslag om oplistning af isbjørn fra Liste II til Liste I blev forslaget nedstemt med 62 nej-stemmer, 48 ja-stemmer samt 11 der stemte hverken for ja eller nej. Afstemningen kræver et flertal på 60 %.

Fredag d. 19. marts 2010
Amalie Jessen
Emnekreds: Fangst, Internationale konventioner.

Grønlands ihærdige arbejde for at undgå oplistning af isbjørn fra Washington-konventionen har givet et godt resultat i den første runde af behandlingen af USA’s forslag. Mødet finder sted i Doha, Qatar i forbindelse med det 15nde møde i CITES.

Ved den tekniske behandling af USA’s forslag om oplistning af isbjørn fra Liste II til Liste I blev forslaget nedstemt med 62 nej-stemmer, 48 ja-stemmer samt 11 der stemte hverken for ja eller nej. Afstemningen kræver et flertal på 60 %.

En oplistning til Liste I vil betyde et totalforbud mod eksport af alle isbjørneprodukter bortset fra dispensation til forskningsmæssige formål samt udførsel af personlige effekter.

P.t. er der frivilligt eksportstop i Grønland på grund af negativ bæredygtighedserklæring (Non-Detriment-Finding (NDF) på isbjørn pr. april 2008. Såfremt status ændrer sig til en positiv kan det overvejes om der skal indføres trofæjagt i udvalgte områder.

USA’s forslag skal behandles igen under Plenary – det afgørende møde i næste uge, hvor afgørelsen fra d. 18. marts enten genbekræftes eller der skal laves en ny afstemning med eventuelt nyt forslag fra USA, som beskrevet foroven.

Der er nemlig forlydende om at USA vil fremsætte et ændringsforslag som går ud på at beholde isbjørnen på Liste II, men med 0 eksportkvote. Dette forslag er langt mere restriktivt end det oprindelige forslag, idet alt vil blive forbudt inkl. trofæjagt.

Et ændret forslag vil møde en langt større massiv modstand fra øvrige isbjørnelande som Grønland, Nunavut/Canada, Alaska, Chukotka/Rusland og Svalbard/Norge samt andre lande der har stemt nej og dermed følger den biologiske vurdering.

Det skal til orientering meddeles, at medlem af landsstyret Ane Hansen har rundsendt et brev til alle danske ambassader i EU-lande, og fået en del reaktioner. Ligeledes har Departementets ved 2 lejligheder lavet velmodtagne præsentationer i EU-sammenhæng om isbjørne-sagen, hvoraf Naturinstituttet deltog ved EU’s SRG-mødet (EU’s videnskabelige arbejdsgruppe) i december 2009.

Demarchen har hjulpet således at EU-landene har stemt imod det amerikanske forslag. Hvis EU havde stemt ja, havde Grønland tabt sagen.

Grønlands talepunkt under behandlingen (kun på engelsk):
”Greenland’s position and concerns regarding proposal from USA to move polar bear from CITES Appendix II to Appendix I in short is that an up listing does not meet any criteria set in the CITES rules. This conclusion is also supported by the IUCN, after consultation with Polar Bear Specialists Group and the TRAFFIC.

The key points include the following:

First and foremost, it should be reiterated that the biological criteria for inclusion of polar bear on CITES Appendix I are not fulfilled. This assessment is shared by IUCN's Polar Specialists Group, Species Survival Commission, TRAFFIC and WWF. The contribution that CITES can make towards improvement of the conservation status is at best negligible if not negative and the efforts made by Canada and Greenland in implementing effective conservation measures have not been taken into account in the justification for support towards the proposal.
  • It is the general view of the Greenlandic Government that the position on proposals for amendments of the CITES appendices should be based on the conservation status of the species concerned. It should take account of the contribution that CITES controls can make towards improvement of the conservation status, while acknowledging the efforts of those countries that have implemented effective conservation measures.
  • The annual quotas in Greenland established since 2006 lie between 130 and 150 polar bears and are set in accordance with international agreements and on the basis of scientific advice.
  • In 2006 the total catch of polar bear was significantly reduced and has since been lower than the quota.
  • There are strict limitations on the hunting methods allowed.
  • The regulation on CITES export permits has been on place since 1983, where the Home Rule order has been revised and strengthened in 2004.
  • Greenland Government decided a voluntary export ban in April 2008 on all polar bear population in Greenland
  • Canada decided a voluntary export ban for Kane Basin and Baffin Bay population in 2009
  • Polar bear hunting is important for subsistence hunters in East and North West Greenland, where living conditions are particularly harsh and alternative sources of income are very limited.
  • All hunting is conducted by local hunters.
  • Only occupational hunters in possession of a polar bear hunting license for the specific quota year may hunt the species.
  • The meat is consumed locally. The skin is used either to make traditional trousers, clothes or in ornamental souvenirs. In light of the use of the catch, it is not possible to provide data on its economic value. However, for the individual hunter’s family the additional income can have significant importance given their low average annual income.


In conclusion,
Polar Bear DOES NOT fulfil the biological criteria for inclusion in Appendix I neither the amended proposal by keeping it in Appendix II but with 0 export quota with following short reasoned:
  1. No “marked ongoing decline”
  2. Projected future decline is NOT 50 %
  3. Population of polar bears are larger than 5.000, which are 25.000 polar bears,
  4. There are well established national and regional management measures.


Thank you for your attention