About CAFF

CAFF is the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council.

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 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 projects provide data for informed decision making to resolve challenges arising from trying to conserve the natural environment and permit regional growth. To successfully conserve the natural environment and allow for economic development, comprehensive baseline data is required, 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.

CAFF's work is based upon cooperation between all Arctic States, Permanent Participants, Observers, and international conventions and other organizations, and is guided by the CAFF's Actions for Arctic Biodiversity strategic plan and biennial Work Plans.

Learn more about CAFF's approach.


CAFF Management Board

The CAFF Managemeny Board consists of National Representatives assigned by each of the eight Arctic Council Member States and six Permanent Participants to the Council. CAFF operates by the Arctic Council Rules of Procedures.

Arctic States

Permanent Participants


CAFF enjoys participation from Observer States and organizations. Observers are guided by the Arctic Council Observer Manual for Subsidiary Bodies.

Observer states

Observer organizations

CAFF International Secretariat

CAFF activities are coordinated via an international secretariat in Akureyri, Iceland.

CAFF Founding documents

thumb CAFF Communications Strategy
thumb Strategic Plan for the Conservation of Arctic Biological Diversity
thumb Cooperative Strategy for the Conservation of Biological Diversity
thumb CAFF Framework Document
thumb CAFF Expert Group Charters (CFG, CPAN and CBird)
thumb CAFF Operating Guidelines