Polar Bears & Humans
Most of the Polar bear conservation projects today are only focusing on climate change and global warming. It is very important to protect the Arctic environment to secure the ecosystem with drifting ice for Arctic animals, but it is also important to protect the animals themselves. Polar bears have become the main symbol of global warming. Human removals (killing) of polar bears are rarely mentioned in these campaigns at all.
Many people have strong feelings about polar bears, hunting, native people's rights, and climate change issues. It is politically incorrect to question the Inuit or the polar bear management – especially questioning definitions like «sustainable harvest» and «subsistence harvest». However, it is important to look critically into these topics, to see if there is information that can prove a different reality than what most people, conservation organizations, and managers think.
The book
A big problem when working with polar bear conservation is the fact that information about polar bear hunting has been hidden, very limited, only available for shorter periods, or referred to as “sustainable” without any concerns. The main purpose of the Polar Bears & Humans initiative is to serve as «the missing link» of important information about the hunting and management of polar bears. The Polar Bears & Humans book was published in 2019. Read more
The Polar Bears & Humans book represents important information about polar bear hunting, population changes, trophy hunting, problem bears, and the skin trade. This information must be presented to governments, decision-makers, organizations, and the public, to secure better protection of polar bears, reduce the demand / stop the trade of polar bear skins and trophies, and work for alternative income for native settlements – like small-scale ecotourism. I've done many international talks about this topic, like for the UK parliament in 2020.
Intel and the Polar Bears & Humans project teamed up in July 2017 for a 5 days expedition to Svalbard testing what we hope will be the next generation of non-invasive technology for polar bear research. This first test was mainly to see how a drone equipped with IR thermal camera and high resolution camera can operate at 80 degree North. We also wanted to test if drones really are non-invasive, and can replace noisy and expensive helicopters in some areas.