These proceedings provide an overview of the ongoing research and management activities on polar bears in the circumpolar arctic. Together with the previous 12 proceedings, they provide an historic record of international efforts in protecting polar bears from over-harvest and document more recent concerns of threats arising from increased human activities in both the Arctic and in regions far beyond the realm of polar bears. More proactive management is needed to address limitations in the knowledge of population dynamics. New information indicates that the greatest future challenges to polar bear conservation may be ecological change in the Arctic due to climate change and pollution. The complex, global nature of the issues requires international cooperation and development of diverse, new approaches to address them.