Anadyr Hosts Polar ‘Universe of the Polar Bear’ Conference

The 5th International Research-to-Practice Conference ‘Universe of the Polar Bear’ took place in Anadyr as part of the plan of events of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023. During the Conference, the participants discussed the results of scientific studies of the Chukotka–Alaska polar bear population. The Roscongress Foundation manages the events of Russia’s chairmanship.

The Conference aims to study the state of the polar bear population, issues concerning the protection of this species, which is included in the Red List of Threatened Species, as well as the experience of how Indigenous Peoples peacefully coexist with the Arctic’s top predator.

Experts reviewed studies of the coast of the Chukchi Sea and Wrangel Island, which were first conducted in 2022 using unmanned aerial vehicles. Thanks to high-resolution photographs, the researchers obtained data about the habitats of polar bears, the ecological state of the coast, and environmental damage that has accumulated over the years.

The Conference participants also discussed the work of Bear Patrols in the Chukotka Autonomous District. In particular, the experts took a look at the existing personal protective equipment for residents of settlements where humans and polar bears could potentially meet and noted the need to improve such equipment. This initiative was supported by Chukotka Autonomous District Senator Anna Otke, who will present this proposal in the Federation Council.

The resolution adopted following the ‘Universe of the Polar Bear’ Conference will include all the results of the experts’ work as well as practical proposals from the participants. The event is organized by the Government of the Chukotka Autonomous District. This region has hosted the conference since 2017.

During its chairmanship of the Arctic Council, Russia pays special attention to coordinated measures to protect, preserve, and restore the Arctic environment, conduct climate studies, strengthen environmental security, including the prevention of environmental emergencies, as well as the sustainable use of the Arctic region’s natural resources for the environmental and socioeconomic well-being of the present and future generations of people living in the region. In particular, Russia pays close attention to the conservation and restoration of the diversity of Arctic flora and fauna as well as the protection of biological species and their habitats.