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Canadian Polar Bear Pride Can Drive Positive Change At Home And In The North

Coca-Cola Canada and World Wildlife Fund Partner to Raise Awareness and Funds to Protect the Polar Bear and its Habitat: The Last Ice Area

TORONTO, Jan. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Polar bear pride runs strong and free from coast-to-coast. According to a recent poll by Coca-Cola Canada, 61 per cent of Canadians consider the polar bear to be a symbol of national pride. To help make a positive impact on this important northern species, Coca-Cola Canada is once again joining with WWF to make #everyactionmatter.

For the second year, Coca-Cola Canada and WWF Canada are teaming up to support Arctic Home, a five year commitment focused on conserving polar bears and their habitat. As part of this effort, WWF is working with Northern peoples to develop a plan for the Last Ice Area, an area of summer sea ice high in the Arctic that is expected to be the most resilient as the Arctic warms. The Last Ice Area could cover close to 1.4 million square kilometers - twice the size of Manitoba. With strong conservation planning, the region can offer both polar bears and local communities a healthy future.

"We are proud to continue our commitment to Arctic Home and build on the success of last year's campaign to support the Last Ice Area," said Nicola Kettlitz, President of Coca-Cola Ltd. "We want Canadians to know that every action matters when it comes to climate change, and that by working together we can ensure there is a place where polar bears and Northern communities will thrive for generations to come."

In addition to the $2 million Coca-Cola has committed over the next five years to polar bear conservation, 5 per cent of the proceeds from specially marked 12- and 15-packs in Canada, up to $235,000, will be donated to Arctic Home. This investment will continue to help advance research and build relationships to understand the impacts of climate change on Arctic habitats.

Arctic Home Funds at Work

Since launching the campaign in October 2011, WWF has invested more than $2 million into conservation programs and research, such as surveying polar bear population sizes and trends, mapping polar bear denning sites and better understanding the sea-ice ecosystem. Funding is also being used to refine modeling processes to help predict future ice conditions, organize workshops with local communities and governments, and generate more support and awareness for conservation.

WWF's work in the Arctic seeks to combine local traditional knowledge with new science and research. Arctic Home will help advance WWF's vision for an Arctic with stable ecosystems, viable populations of wildlife and a sustainable use of natural resources.

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