Information for Observers attending the 5th Meeting of the Parties

1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears
Technical Meeting of the Polar Bear Range States
Role of Invited Experts, Observers and Media
2015 Meeting, Ilulissat, Greenland



1. Invited Experts

In addition to parties’ official delegations, the International Union for Conservation of

Nature/Species Survival Commission Polar Bear Specialist Group (IUCN/SSC PBSG) has been invited to attend the meeting as invited experts in their capacity as the scientific advisors to the Range States.


2. Observers

Participation is also welcomed by other stakeholders with an interest in polar bear conservation, including Indigenous peoples, local communities, conservation groups and industry.  This may include:


- Inter-governmental organizations, global and regional;

- Indigenous peoples of the Arctic;

- Multilateral Environmental Agreements secretariats;

- Non-governmental organizations, global and regional;


Observers granted Observer status shall be invited to the meeting and accredited in accordance with the following provisions:


(a) At least 21 days before the meeting, all parties to the Agreement approve a list of Observers working from the list of entities that have been nominated or applied for Observer status.  Given the logistics of traveling to Greenland, the Heads of Delegation will be asked to approve a list of Observers in July, well in advance of the meeting to facilitate travel of those approved. 


(b) At least 7 days prior to the meeting, Observers should provide in writing to the Host Country the names of individuals in their respective delegation and designated point of contact.


Observer status entails that,


(a) Observers may be present for: (1) Opening of the Conference; (2) Consideration of reports, including the Country updates, review of bilateral efforts, and scientific presentations; and (3) Close of the meeting.


(b) Observers may submit relevant documents to the meeting as information, and may provide appropriate information material at venues appointed by the organizers. 


(c) Observer designated points of contact may be invited to make statements at the discretion of the Chair.  Such statements must be provided, in writing, in advance.


The Host Country shall provide for all accredited Observers granted Observer status timely access of all appropriate records, documents and reports.


[A list of approved Observers is provided as Annex A.]


3. Media

Similar to Observers, media may be invited to attend (1) Opening of the Conference; (2)  Consideration of reports, including the Country updates, review of bilateral efforts, and scientific presentations; and (3) Close of the meeting.


Media requests will be handled by the Host Country.


Code of Conduct for Observers at the Polar Bear Range States Meetings


The Range States welcome the attendance of NGOs and observers at its meetings but such attendance carries certain responsibilities.  It is the duty of each NGO or observer to behave with due and proper respect for the meeting proceedings and to all representatives of the Contracting Governments to the 1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears and to abide by this code of conduct.  Disruptive behavior and/or failure to conform to this code of conduct may result in observer status being removed.


A copy of this code of conduct will be issued to each NGO and observer at the beginning of each meeting.


Mobile telephones

Mobile telephones shall be switched off or put in ‘silent’ mode before entry of the observer into the meeting room.


Use of recording equipment

The use of audio and/or visual recording equipment is only permitted in accordance with the agreed to rules by the Range States Heads of Delegations, provided that such recording is carried out unobtrusively and without disturbance to the meeting. 



Quotations from, or use of draft documents is prohibited. 

NGOs and observers may make ‘for information’ documents available to participants using tables designated for this purpose.  All documents must indicate which organization is responsible for them.  Documents that do not meet this requirement will be removed.


While ‘for-information’ documents will not be reviewed before being placed on the designated tables,   organizations distributing such documents  (including member states) remain responsible for their content.  These documents shall not contain statements that defame any participating organization or person, or cause serious offence to any government.


Behavior and demonstrations

Behavior of representatives of NGOs shall not be disruptive to the proceedings of the meeting. The Chair of the proceedings may ask anyone disrupting the meeting to leave the room.


Complaints Differences in views and philosophy are natural and should be respected.  Any participant shall refrain from measures, including verbal, written, or physical attacks designed to deter the exercise of the rights of others to hold and express different views.