The Arctic is a formidable landscape and one of the largest, most valuable and pristine natural places on Earth. The area also is home to a diversity of human cultures and highly adapted species, including walrus, narwhal, beluga whale, caribou and polar bear.
This cold landscape – which spans eight countries, including the United States – is also one of the most important areas for keeping the Earth’s climate system stable and a key indicator of the state of global well-being. Major ecological changes are taking place here at a faster and more dramatic rate than anywhere else in the world. Warmer temperatures are rapidly melting summer sea ice, which will likely all but disappear within a generation. The survival of ice-dependent species like the polar bear hinges on our ability to protect their last viable habitats.
“The Last Ice Area”
To address this challenge, WWF seeks to work with local indigenous people and governments to create the most appropriate management plan for an area in Canada and Greenland that is home to a natural “safety net” of ice which scientists believe may persist longer than the ice anywhere else. We refer to this place—which covers approximately 500,000 square miles, or twice the size of Texas—as the “Last Ice Area.” This management plan could fill many needs, such as:
- Conserving habitat for Arctic ice-dependent species
- Protecting the cultural heritage of local people
- Improving livelihoods
We are not planning to move polar bears or any other animals to the area. We think that some populations of ice dependent animals will likely move themselves to the area naturally.
"Arctic Home" Campaign
In 2011, WWF and Coca-Cola launched Arctic Home—a campaign to raise awareness of and funds for protecting the polar bear. To create and implement the plan, The Coca-Cola Company is helping raise awareness and funds—including a $2 million donation over the next five years. The campaign is a first step to help provide the financial resources needed to protect the polar bear’s Arctic habitat.
Thanks to your donations, which were matched by Coca-Cola for a total of almost $1.8 million, WWF has made progress in creating a place in the Arctic where polar bears and local communities can thrive.
Arctic Home 2012 is now underway, with Coca-Cola once again matching up to $1 million in donations through February 15, 2013.
As part of the campaign and as a symbol of its commitment, The Coca-Cola Company has created two new special-edition 12-ounce cans featuring the iconic mother bear and her two cubs. The polar bears will also be featured on 20-ounce, 24-ounce and 1-liter bottles of Coca-Cola.
“Arctic Home” builds upon an existing partnership between WWF and The Coca-Cola Company focused on freshwater conservation. Together, Coca-Cola and WWF are working to conserve freshwater resources around the world, use water more efficiently, and hold down carbon emissions in Coca-Cola’s manufacturing operations. Additionally, we’re working to promote sustainable agriculture in The Coca-Cola Company’s supply chain. By combining strengths and resources, Coca-Cola and WWF are able to go beyond what each organization could achieve on its own.