CAFF PROGRESS REPORT. ARCTIC COUNCIL MINISTERIAL MEETING.
Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)
The Conservation of Arctic Flora & Fauna Working Group (CAFF) is the Biodiversity Working group of the Arctic Council. It is guided by the CAFF Strategic Plan for the Conservation of Arctic Biological Diversity and biennial Work Plans. CAFFs mandate is to address the conservation of Arctic biodiversity, and to communicate the findings to the governments and residents of the Arctic, helping to promote practices which ensure the sustainability of the Arctic’s living resources. This document summarizes the current status of CAFF projects and activities during the 2008 – 2009 ministerial period. In order to successfully conserve the natural environment and allow for economic development requires baseline data and status and trend analysis of Arctic biodiversity, habitats and ecosystem health. CAFF’s projects provide data for informed decision making in resolving conflicts which are now arising in trying to both conserve the natural environment and permit regional growth. The common priorities agreed upon for the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish Chairmanship period of the Arctic Council are concerned with climate change, integrated resource management, the International Polar Year, Indigenous peoples, local living conditions and management issues. CAFFs work over the past two years reflects the emphasis placed on these priorities. CAFFs Arctic Biodiversity Assessment and the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program, the Bering Sea Sub Network, ECORA and the work of its expert groups on Seabirds and Flora are important contributions towards understanding the impacts of climate change on: • Nature and biodiversity (management issues) • The adaptability and sustainable use of all living resources in the Arctic. CAFF has also placed a strong focus on the International Polar Year (IPY) both through benefiting from IPY generated research and contributing to IPY legacy. As requested by the Senior Arctic Officials CAFF is actively cooperating with other Working Groups to help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Arctic Council