Coca-Cola and WWF have launched a lovely Europe-wide campaign this month to drive awareness and funds to help protect the home of polar bear mums and their families in the Arctic. New research for the campaign reveals that the imminent threat to their habitat continues to be vastly underestimated, with over two-thirds of those polled in the UK saying they think it would take longer than 100 years for all the ice to melt in the Arctic, whereas recent scientific research has stated that it could happen as early as the middle of this century.
To mark the start of the campaign, hundreds of animal loving UK families joined forces to create an incredible piece of live art - we were invited along actually but sadly I was working (having a job gets in the way of so many great blogger opportunities !) but you can see how they got on below. Mister Maker eat your heart out !
The Arctic Home partnership was first launched in 2013 as Coca-Cola committed €1 million to help support essential research into the Last Ice Area, an area of over 1.4sq km in the Arctic. The sum also assisted with developing plans to map critical polar bear habitats and improve conservation planning, as well as helping to fund the 2013 International Polar Bear Conservation Forum – a summit which brought together government representatives from the five polar bear range states, Canada, Russia, Norway, Denmark and the US - to agree how best to protect the future of the polar bear in the face of an ever diminishing habitat and new threats. The five states committed to a list of actions designed to help conserve the global population of polar bears.
In this second year of the campaign, the focus is on the plight of the polar bear mums, trying to find a safe place to give birth and raise their cubs. Polar bears give birth in snow caves called maternity dens. These dens, built on land or on the ice, are essential to ensuring that a polar bear mum is able to successfully raise her cubs, which are born blind and hairless and completely dependent on their mum for food and warmth. As a result of climate change, sea ice is now forming later in the autumn, resulting in pregnant bears being faced with new and difficult choices, such as being forced to swim vast distances to reach land, or to explore unknown territories in order to find a suitable denning site.
Liz Lowe, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Great Britain said: “We’re delighted to continue our partnership with WWF to bring the campaign back for a second year and do even more to raise awareness and funds to help ensure that polar bear mothers have a safe place to raise their cubs. The polar bear has been an iconic part of our advertising for over 90 years and so their future is a cause close to our hearts - we want to work together with WWF to ensure a safe habitat for them for many more years to come.”
Glyn Davies, Executive Director of Global Programmes, WWF-UK said: “Arctic Home is now entering its second year, and WWF and Coca-Cola want to re-energise the campaign and reconnect with audiences across Europe, to make them aware of the struggle faced by polar bears, and help create a positive future for polar bear mothers and their families. Climate change is having extreme impacts on the Arctic, which is warming at twice the global average. To safeguard the species, therefore, we need to learn more about climate change impacts, and how polar bears’ habitat is changing as a result. All funds raised through the WWF and Coca-Cola Arctic Home programme will be put directly towards WWF’s Arctic conservation work.”
Arctic Home is now calling for people to visit www.arctichome.co.uk to learn more about the struggle faced by polar bear families, share their support and make a donation. This year across Europe Coca-Cola will match all donations made to the campaign up to €1million.
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