Consensus Agreement Reached on Management Plan for Polar Bears in the NWT

Date: 
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Northwest Territories (NWT) Conference of Management Authorities (CMA), established under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act to manage and recover species at risk in the NWT, has reached consensus to adopt the Inuvialuit Settlement Region Polar Bear Joint Management Plan and the Framework for Action for Management of Polar Bears in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

These documents were developed through extensive collaboration between management partners and consultations with affected communities and jurisdictions with responsibilities for polar bear management in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR).

Polar bears were added to the NWT List of Species at Risk on February 27, 2014 as a species of special concern.

The Inuvialuit Settlement Region Polar Bear Joint Management Plan describes management objectives for polar bears in the entire ISR, including both the NWT and Yukon.

Management of polar bears in the ISR is jurisdictionally complex and the plan is intended to facilitate an integrated and common approach accross all jurisdictions. To facilitate this process, a companion document, the Framework for Action for Management of Polar Bears in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region was developed, which outlines recommended actions and areas where further work should be directed.

The adoption of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region Polar Bear Joint Management Plan and the Framework for Action for Management of Polar Bears in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region fulfills CMA responsibilities under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act to complete a management plan for polar bears.

The signed consensus agreement articulating this adoption was provided to the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources on March 27, 2017. The Minister is required to publish this agreement, as well as the Inuvialuit Settlement Region Polar Bear Joint Management Plan and the Framework for Action for Management of Polar Bears in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, within three months.

The CMA now has until March 27, 2018 to develop a consensus agreement on the implementation of the management plan and framework for action.

This 'implementation agreement' will outline how the Management Authorities for polar bears in the NWT plan on implementing the management plan and framework for action.

Additional species information and supporting documentation are available at: http://www.nwtspeciesatrisk.ca/CMA/SarList

Background:

  • The CMA was established under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act to make decisions on listing, conservation, management, and recovery of species that may be at risk of disappearing from the NWT.
  • Wildlife management authority in the NWT is shared among the Government of the Northwest Territories (through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources), wildlife co-management boards established under settled land claim agreements, and the Tlicho Government.
  • The CMA brings together all of these organizations (called 'Management Authorities') to make decisions on listing, conserving, managing, and recovering species that may be at risk of disppearing from the NWT.
  • All CMA decisions are made by consensus.