During the first week of November, people all over the world will observe Polar Bear Week. The timing of this annual holiday is not arbitrary — it falls during the annual polar bear migration in the town of Churchill, located in northern Manitoba, Canada, along Hudson Bay.
To learn more about Polar Bear Week 2021, and for a few exciting ways you can celebrate these iconic Arctic animals, keep reading.
Polar Bear Week is all about protecting these important animals.
Polar Bear Week is presented by Polar Bears International, a conservation organization with a goal of protecting polar bears and their habitats. In alignment with its goal of protecting the Arctic creatures, Polar Bears International is also committed to fighting the climate crisis, which is a large part of the polar bear’s demise in recent decades.
“Polar bears have captured the human imagination and become icons of climate change,” Polar Bears International Chief Scientist, Dr. Steven Amstrup, told Green Matters in a statement.
“During this year’s migration, world leaders will be discussing the future of our planet at COP26. We must act swiftly and collectively,” Dr. Amstrup continued. “If greenhouse gas emissions continue as-is, the trajectory polar bears are on is not a good one… we predict most will disappear by the end of this century. But it is clear that we have time to protect polar bears, in turn benefitting the rest of life on earth, including ourselves.”
Between rising global temperatures (and therefore melting sea ice) and Arctic drilling, polar bears need our help more than ever — here are a few ways you can get observe Polar Bear Week, plus organizations you can donate to.
Tune into the polar bear live cam.
Polar Bears International has a livestream of the polar bears migrating in Churchill, Canada, all throughout Polar Bear Week (and in the days leading up to it, too — it’s already live, as of Oct. 28). The livestream is free to watch via explore.org.
As explained by Polar Bears International, an important part of the migration is the polar bears’ stop in Churchill, where they eagerly await cold enough weather for sea ice to freeze. Once it does, they are able to get out onto the water and hunt for seals, after not having eaten for a while.
Watch Kishi Bashi’s concert from Polar Bear Point
On Oct. 27, famous singer and violin player Kishi Bashi, a former member of the bands of Montreal and Jupiter One, performed a live-streamed concert from Polar Bear Point on the shores of Hudson Bay. The concert is now available to watch on Polar Bears International’s YouTube channel.
Donate to protect polar bears and their habitats.
Polar Bears International, which we mentioned above, has a 94.62 percent rating on Charity Navigator. The charity uses donations to help protect polar bears, the sea ice that is integral to their survival, and preserve the climate that has allowed humans to flourish. You can also symbolically adopt a polar bear from Polar Bears International — in exchange for your donation, you’ll receive an adoption kit with some bear-y cute swag.
Additionally, international environmental charity Greenpeace uses donations to help a variety of causes, and the Australian division of Greenpeace’s website has a specific donation page to help polar bears.