CAFF is the biodiversity working group of theArctic Council and consists of National Representatives assigned by each of the eight Arctic Council Member States, representatives of Indigenous Peoples' organizations that are Permanent Participants to the Council, and Arctic Council observer countries and organizations. The CAFF Working Group operates by the Arctic Council Rules of Procedures.
CAFF serves as a vehicle to cooperate on species and habitat management and utilization, to share information on management techniques and regulatory regimes, and to facilitate more knowledgeable decision-making. It provides a mechanism to develop common responses on issues of importance for the Arctic ecosystem such as development and economic pressures, conservation opportunities and political commitments.
CAFF's mandate is to address the conservation of Arctic biodiversity, and to communicate its findings to the governments and residents of the Arctic, helping to promote practices which ensure the sustainability of the Arctic’s living resources. It does so through various monitoring, assessment and expert group activities.
CAFF’s projects provide data for informed decision making to resolve challenges arising from trying to conserve the natural environment and permit regional growth. This work is based upon cooperation between all Arctic countries, indigenous organizations, international conventions and organizations, and is guided by the CAFF Strategic Plan for the Conservation of Arctic Biological Diversity and biennial Work Plans.
To successfully conserve the natural environment and allow for economic development, comprehensive baseline data is require, including the status and trends of Arctic biodiversity, habitats and ecosystem health. CAFF is developing the framework and tools necessary to create a baseline of current knowledge, and to provide dynamic assessments over time. This evolving, sustainable and responsive approach can produce more regular, timely and flexible analyses.