The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) cooperates in a variety of international settings.
The Arctic Council
As one of the six Working Groups of the Arctic Council, CAFF contributes to the Arctic Council process.
CAFF produces progress reports on its projects and activities to Senior Arctic Officials, Deputy Ministers and Ministers.
Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs) are representatives of member states and Permanent Participants that act as a focal point for Arctic Council activities. SAOs receive and discuss reports from working groups and make recommendations to the Arctic Council on project proposals. Arctic Council Ministerial decisions are made on a consensus basis by Arctic state Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and are adopted as Declarations.
The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD)
Although the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has not adopted a specific programme of work on Arctic biodiversity, the issue is, nevertheless, reflected in many aspects of the Convention’s work. This is particularly true when considering the importance of Arctic wildlife to indigenous and local communities and the threats posed to Arctic wildlife from climate change.
In recognition of many mutual objectives and activities, in 2010 CAFF signed a Resolution of Cooperation with the CBD, which encourages the two organizations to provide and use information and opportunities to promote the importance of Arctic biodiversity. This has led to many welcomed opportunities for information sharing, including the contribution of Arctic specific information into the 3rd Global Biodiversity Outlook.
In October 2010, at the 10th Conference of the Parties of the CBD in Nagoya, Japan, decision X/13 on new and emerging issues invited the Arctic Council to provide relevant information and assessments to the CBD's Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) on the topic of Arctic biodiversity, in particular, information generated through CAFF's Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP).
At the conclusion of its 15th Meeting, SBSTTA adopted the recommendations pertaining to Arctic biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/REC/XV/7) that welcomed CAFF's report, noted its key findings, welcomed the implementation of the CBMP, requested that the CBD Executive Secretary make Parties aware of biodiveristy-related information and reports generated by the Arctic Council, including those of the CBMP and the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, and requested that the CBD Executive Secretary make use of data generated by the Arctic Council as appropriate in the preparation of the Global Biodiversity Outlook. To read the entire suite of SBSTTA recommendations, please access the document here.
At COP 11, in Hyderabad India, October 8-19, 2012, the Conference of the Parties adopted decisions 31-41 on the "Collaboration on Arctic biodiversity."
Below is an excerpt from the advanced unedited COP 11 decisions document (Decision XI/6.D page 52-53):
Recalling the Resolution of Cooperation between the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group of the Arctic Council, encourages continued collaboration between the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Working Group, including with regard to monitoring and assessing status and trends, and to stressors on biodiversity;
31. Welcomes the report on Arctic biodiversity prepared by the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group of the Arctic Council for the fifteenth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/15/14) and notes in particular its key findings that:
(a) The Arctic plays host to a vast array of biodiversity, including many globally significant populations of fauna and flora;
(b) A significant proportion of Arctic species are migratory; such populations are thus shared by numerous non-Arctic Parties and other Governments whose cooperation is needed for their conservation;
(c) Arctic ecosystems provide essential services, including for the livelihoods of indigenous and local communities;
(d) Cimate change is emerging as the most far-reachign and significant stressor on Arctic biodiversity;
(e) Changes in Arctic biodiversity have global repercussions, since Arctic ecosystem processes play a key role in the physical, chemical and biological balanace of the planet;
(f) The conservation and sustainable use of Arctic biodiversity contributes to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2012;
32. Invites relevant non-Arctic Parties, other Governments, international organizations and relevant multilateral environmental agreements and processes, that either play host to migratory Arctic species for part of their life-cycle and/or collate imformation abotu the stateus of sucj species, to collaborate with the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group of the Arctic Council by inter alia, contributing to the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme, within its available capacity, and also with relevant multilateral environmental agreements concerned with the conservation of migratory Arctic species, and to share their data on monitoring and/or assessing such species;
33. Welcomes progress in implementing the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group of the Arctic Council's Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme, including in terms of the more rapid detection and communication of significant biodiversity-relted trends and pressures affecting the Arctic environment;
34. Encourages the development of further Arctic ecosystem resilience assessments and reports;
35. Welcomes the work carried out by the working groups of the Arctic Council on the identification of ecologically and biologically significant areas in the Arctic, and encourages them to continue this work in cooperation with adjacent regional conventions and commissions including the OSPAR Convention and the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission;
36. Encourages the working groups of the Arctic Council to advance the work of identifying Arctic areas of high ecological and cultural significance;
37. Urges Parties and invites other Governments and relevant organizations, as appropriate, to promote the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and relevant programmes of work under the Convention in relation to the Arctic environment;
38. Invites Parties and other Governments to make available, through their national clearing house mechanisms, as appropriate, data and information generated by research and monitoring activities in the Arctic, including those that contribute to the Circumpolar Biodiveristy Monitoring Programme, the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment and other relevant Arctic Council assessments, and to make full use of them in their reports under the Convention on Biological Diversity and other conventions, where relevant;
39. Requests the Executive Secretary to make available to Parties the biodiversity-related information and reports generated by the Arctic Coucnil, including from the Circumpolar Biodiversity Montioring Programme, the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment and other relevant Arctic Council assessments;
40. Also requests the Executive Secretary to make use, as appropriate, of data and information generated by the Arctic Council, inter alia, in the preparation of the Global Biodiversity Outlook;
41. Appreciating the Arctic Council's collaboration with indigenous peoples of the Arctic, encourages Parties and invites other Governments and relevant organizations to ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities in research projects and programmes on Arctic biodiversity;
In addition, CAFF has presented many well-received side events, both at CBD conventions and SBSTTA meetings. Presentations can be accessed below.
- "Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010: Selected indicators of Change" report release: 10th COP CBD, Nagoya, Japan, October, 2010 (read the CAFF and CBD joint press release)
- "The View from Up Here: Arctic Biodiversity in a Warming World": 15th Meeting of the SBSTTA, Montreal, Canada November 9, 2011
The Ramsar Convention
In July 2012, CAFF signed a Resolution of Cooperation with the Secretariat if the Ramsar Convention at the 11th Convention of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention. The Resolution of Cooperation recognizes the mutual importance of Arctic wetlands to both organizations, and highlights potential opportunities to collectively build and share knowledge, create awareness and enhance capacity for understanding change in these important ecosystems.
CAFF also presented a side event at the 11th Ramsar Convention. Presentation can be accessed here:
- "For Peat's Sake: Arctic Wetlands in a Warming World": 11th Ramsar COP, Bucharest, Romania, July 12, 2010
The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA)
CAFF has a Resolution of Cooperation (July 2012) with both the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and its parent convention, the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Access the CAFF/AEWA Resolution of Cooperation here and the CAFF/CMS Resolution of Cooperation here.