January/February 2012

Predictions on the speed and scope of Arctic sea-ice melt are indicating that an ice-free summer is not far away. However, there are a few regions where summer sea ice is anticipated to persist, if not permanently, than longer than most. As a crucial habitat for many Arctic animals, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has pinpointed these pockets for the creation of a protected Last Ice Area.

The proposed regions lie off the Northern tips of Greenland and Canada’s Ellesmere Island. WWF intends to work with government and local communities to create a conservation strategy for the areas, one that protects vital habitat while accommodating the priorities of the local people who depend on that habitat for their economic and cultural survival.

With polar bear conservation at the helm of their campaign, the WWF has teamed up with corporate giant and marketing engine Coca Cola to raise both awareness and funds for the initiative. Making an initial donation of $2 million dollars to the cause, the company is also printing white labels on 1.4 billion of its normally red soda cans to encourage consumers to make donations by visiting www.arctichome.com.

Is this a bold step in the right direction or is it just good marketing? Let us know what you think! Email us at: editor@arcticjournal.ca