This 1973 agreement between the governments of Canada, Denmark, Norway, USSR, and the United States recognizes the responsibilities of the circumpolar countries for coordination of actions to protect polar bears. The agreement commits the signatories to manage polar bear populations in accordance with sound conservation practices; prohibits hunting, killing, and capturing bears except for limited purposes and by limited methods, and commits all parties to protect the ecosystems of polar bears, especially denning and feeding areas and migration corridors. The agreement was signed by the United States on November 15, 1973, ratified on September 30, 1976, and entered into force in this country on November 1, 1976.
Multilateral Conservation of Polar Bears Agreement done at Oslo November 15, 1973;
Ratification advised by the Senate of the United States of America September
Ratified by the President of the United States of America September 30, 1976;
Ratification of the United States of America deposited with the Government of
Norway November 1, 1976;
Proclaimed by the President of the United States of America November 26, 1976;
Entered into force with respect to the United States of America November 1,
November 1, 1976.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AGREEMENT ON THE CONSERVATION OF POLAR BEARS
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears was open for signature at Oslo from November 15, 1973 to March 31, 1974, and was signed on behalf of the United States of America on November 15, 1973, a certified copy of which Agreement, in the English and Russian languages, is hereto annexed;
The Senate of the United States of America by its resolution of September 15, 1976, two-thirds of the Senators present concurring therein, gave its advice and consent to the ratification of the Agreement;
The President of the United States of America ratified the Agreement on September 30, 1976, in pursuance of the advice and consent of the Senate;
The United States of America deposited its instrument of ratification on November 1, 1976, in accordance with the provisions of Article X of the Agreement;
The Agreement entered into force for the United States of America on November 1, 1976;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States of America, proclaim and make public the Agreement, to the end that it shall be observed and fulfilled with good faith on and after November 1, 1976, by the United States of America and by the citizens of the United States of America and all other persons subject to the jurisdiction thereof.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have signed this proclamation and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the city of Washington this twenty-sixth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred seventy-six and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred first.
GERALD R. FORD
By the President:
CHARLES W ROBINSON
Acting Secretary of State
AGREEMENT ON THE CONSERVATION OF POLAR BEARS
THE GOVERNMENTS of Canada, Denmark, Norway, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the United States of America,
RECOGNIZING the special responsibilities and special interests of the States of the Arctic Region in relation to the protection of the fauna and flora of the Arctic Region;
RECOGNIZING that the polar bear is a significant resource of the Arctic Region which requires additional protection;
HAVING DECIDED that such protection should be achieved through co-ordinated national measures taken by the States of the Arctic Region;
DESIRING to take immediate action to bring further conservation and management measures into effect;
HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
1. The taking of polar bears shall be prohibited except as provided in Article III.
2. For the purpose of this Agreement, the term "taking" includes hunting, killing and capturing.
Each Contracting Party shall take appropriate action to protect the ecosystems of which polar bears are a part, with special attention to habitat components such as denning and feeding sites and migration patterns, and shall manage polar bear populations in accordance with sound conservation practices based on the best available scientific data.
1. Subject to the provisions of Articles II and IV, any Contracting Party may allow the taking of polar bears when such taking is carried out:
(a) for bona fide scientific purposes; or
(b) by that Party for conservation purposes; or
(c) to prevent serious disturbance of the management of other living resources, subject to forfeiture to that Party of the skins and other items of value resulting from such taking; or
(d) by local people using traditional methods in the exercise of their traditional rights and in accordance with the laws of that Party; or
(e) wherever polar bears have or might have been subject to taking by traditional means by its nationals.
2. The skins and other items of value resulting from taking under sub-paragraphs (b) and (c) of paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be available for commercial purposes.
The use of aircraft and large motorized vessels for the purpose of taking polar bears shall be prohibited, except where the application of such prohibition would be inconsistent with domestic laws.
A Contracting Party shall prohibit the exportation from, the importation and delivery into, and traffic within, its territory of polar bears or any part or product thereof taken in violation of this Agreement.
1. Each Contracting Party shall enact and enforce such legislation and other measures as may be necessary for the purpose of giving effect to this Agreement.
2. Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent a Contracting Party from maintaining or amending existing legislation or other measures or establishing new measures on the taking of polar bears so as to provide more stringent controls than those required under the provisions of this Agreement.
The Contracting Parties shall conduct national research programmes on polar bears, particularly research relating to the conservation and management of the species. They shall as appropriate coordinate such research with research carried out by other Parties, consult with other Parties on the management of migrating polar bear populations, and exchange information on research and management programmes, research results and data on bears taken.
Each Contracting Party shall take action as appropriate to promote compliance with the provisions of this Agreement by nationals of States not party to this Agreement.
The Contracting Parties shall continue to consult with one another with the object of giving further protection to polar bears.
1. This Agreement shall be open for signature at Oslo by the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Norway, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America until 31st March 1974.
2. This Agreement shall be subject to ratification or approval by the signatory Governments. Instruments of ratification or approval shall be deposited with the Government of Norway as soon as possible.
3. This Agreement shall be open for accession by the Governments referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article. Instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Depositary Government.
4. This Agreement shall enter into force ninety days after the deposit of the third instrument of ratification, approval or accession. Thereafter, it shall enter into force for a signatory or acceding Government on the date of deposit of its instrument of ratification, approval or accession.
5. This Agreement shall remain in force initially for a period of five years from its date of entry into force, and unless any Contracting Party during that period requests the termination of the Agreement at the end of that period, it shall continue in force thereafter.
6. On the request addressed to the Depositary Government by any of the Governments referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, consultations shall be conducted with a view to convening a meeting of representatives of the five Governments to consider the revision or amendment of this Agreement.
7. Any Party may denounce this Agreement by written notification to the Depositary Government at any time after five years from the date of entry into force of this Agreement. The denunciation shall take effect twelve months after the Depositary Government has received the notification.
8. The Depositary Government shall notify the Governments referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article of the deposit of instruments of ratification, approval or accession, of the entry into force of this Agreement and of the receipt of notifications of denunciation and any other communications from a Contracting Party specifically provided for in this Agreement.
9. The original of this Agreement shall be deposited with the Government of Norway which shall deliver certified copies thereof to each of the Governments referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article.
10. The Depositary Government shall transmit certified copies of this Agreement to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration and publication in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations. [FN1]
FN1. TS 993; 59 Stat. 1052.
End of Footnote(s).
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized by their Governments, have signed this Agreement.
DONE at Oslo, in the English and Russian languages, each text being equally authentic, this fifteenth day of November, 1973.
I hereby certify that this is a true copy of the original document deposited in the archives of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Head of Division
Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.