Monday, January 19, 2009

Polar bear conference underway in Winnipeg

No common ground at first polar bear summit

Or so says the Globe & Mail in this article.

WINNIPEG -- They gathered in the spirit of piliriqatigiingniq - Inuktitut for seeking a common goal - but panel members at the federal government's first polar bear roundtable were hardly speaking with a single voice yesterday.

At issue was the health of Canada's 13 polar bear populations. On one side, researchers told federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice that the bears could be virtually extinct in a century. On the other, Inuit leaders spoke of bear populations doubling over the past 50 years, proliferating to the point of becoming a pest in many northern communities....

Most in attendance agreed on two main issues: a need to mesh Inuit knowledge with scientific research and acknowledgment that climate change is the polar bear's No. 1 threat because it is shrinking the seasonal ice cover that comprises the animal's winter feeding grounds.
So there was some common ground after all.

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