Agreement with Russian Federation concerning Polar Bear PopulationSenate Consideration of Treaty Document 107-10
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[Senate Treaty Document 107-10] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] 107th Congress Treaty Doc. SENATE 2d Session 107-10 _______________________________________________________________________ AGREEMENT WITH RUSSIAN FEDERATION CONCERNING POLAR BEAR POPULATION __________ MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitting AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION ON THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE ALASKA-CHUKOTKA POLAR BEAR POPULATION DONE AT WASHINGTON ON OCTOBER 16, 2000 July 11, 2002.--Agreement was read the first time, and together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate __________ U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 99-118 WASHINGTON : 2002 LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL ---------- The White House, July 11, 2002. To the Senate of the United States: With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation on the Conservation and Management of the Alaska-Chukotka Polar Bear Population done at Washington on October 16, 2000 (the ``U.S.-Russia Agreement''). I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to that Agreement. The U.S.-Russia Agreement provides legal protections for this population of polar bears in addition to those found in the Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears done at Oslo, November 13, 1973 (the ``1973 Agreement''), which was a significant, early step in the international conservation of polar bears. The 1973 Agreement is a multilateral treaty to which the United States and Russia are parties. (The other parties are Norway, Canada, and Denmark.) The 1973 Agreement provides authority for the maintenance of a subsistence harvest of polar bears and provides for habitat conservation. The proposed U.S.-Russia Agreement, which would operate as a free-standing treaty separate from the 1973 Agreement, is the culmination of a 8-year effort. The U.S.-Russia Agreement builds on the 1973 Agreement to establish a common legal, scientific, and administrative frame work for the conservation and management of the Alaska-Chukotka polar bear population, which is shared by the United States and the Russian Federation. For example, the U.S.-Russia Agreement provides a definition of ``sustainable harvest'' that will help the United States and Russia to implement polar bear conservation measures while safeguarding the interests of native people. In addition, the U.S.-Russia Agreement establishes the U.S.-Russia Polar Bear Commission, which would function as the bilateral managing authority to make scientific determinations, establish taking limits, and carry out other responsibilities under the terms of the U.S.-Russia Agreement. The proposed U.S.-Russia Agreement would strengthen the conservation of our shared polar bear population through a coordinated sustainable harvest management program. Early ratification of the U.S.-Russia Agreement by the United States will reinforce our leadership role in international conservation of marine mammals and will encourage similar conservation action by other countries. I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to this Agreement and give its advice and consent to ratification. George W. Bush. LETTER OF SUBMITTAL ---------- Department of State, Washington, June 5, 2002. The President, The White House. The President: I have the honor to submit to you, with a view to its transmittal to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification, the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation on the Conservation and Management of the Alaska- Chukotka Polar Bear Population done at Washington on October 16, 2000 (the ``U.S.-Russia Agreement''). The U.S.-Russia Agreement is designed to afford protections to this polar bear population in addition to those provided by the multilateral Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears done at Oslo, November 15, 1973, (the ``1973 Agreement''), an agreement to which the United States and Russia are parties. (The other parties are Norway, Canada and Denmark.) The U.S.- Russia Agreement will establish a common legal, scientific and administrative framework for the conservation and management of the Alaska-Chukotka polar bear population, which is shared by the United States and the Russian Federation. Unified and binding protection is needed to ensure that the taking of polar bears by native people in Alaska and the Chukotka region and other activities do not adversely affect this polar bear population. The 1973 Agreement allows the taking of polar bears for subsistence purposes by native people, as does our domestic legislation--the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)--in respect to Alaska natives. The U.S.-Russia Agreement advances the 1973 Agreement in several ways. For example, it provides a definition of ``sustainable harvest'' that will help the United States and Russia to implement polar bear conservation measures. In addition, the U.S.-Russia Agreement establishes the ``U.S.-Russia Polar Bear Commission,'' which would function as the bilateral managing authority to make scientific determinations, establish harvest limits and carry out other responsibilities under the terms of the bilateral agreement. The Agreement would strengthen the capability of our countries to implement coordinated conservation measures for our shared polar bear population. The United States would implement habitat components of the proposed U.S.-Russia Agreement through existing provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and other Federal statutes. Although the U.S.-Russia Agreement is consistent with current practice, some legislative amendments and new authorities will be necessary to ensure its implementation. We are working with other interested federal agencies to identify appropriate legislation that will be submitted separately to Congress. The proposed U.S.-Russia Agreement will enter into force 30 days after the date on which the United States and Russia have exchanged written notification through diplomatic channels that they have completed their respective domestic legal procedures necessary to bring the U.S.-Russia Agreement into force. The United States will present the U.S. instrument of ratification, but will do so only after the necessary legislation is in place. Enclosed for the information of the Senate is an article- by-article analysis of the U.S.-Russia Agreement. The Department of Interior concurs in my recommendation that the U.S.-Russia Agreement be submitted to the Senate for advice and consent to its ratification. I recommend that the U.S.-Russia Agreement be transmitted to the Senate for its early and favorable consideration, and for advice and consent to its ratification. Respectfully submitted, Colin L. Powell. Enclosure: As stated.