Meeting participants. Photo: Eugene CheahDecember 2018Over 85 participants from 20 countries and over 60 organizations flocked to the Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI) East Asian-Australasian Flyway Implementation Workshop in Hainan, P.R. China December 5-8, 2018 ahead of the East Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership 10th Meeting of the Parties. This was the firstworkshop of an Arctic Council Working Group held in P.R. China, after the country became an Observer to the Arctic Council in 2013.

Observers are encouraged to make relevant contributions through their engagement in the Arctic Council Working Groups, and AMBI is of particular interest to P.R. China. "The Chinese government has attached great importance to conservation of migratory birds and their habitat,” said Lu Jun, Director of the National Bird Banding Centre of China. “Migratory birds have no nationalities, and their migration is not limited by national boundaries. Keeping migratory birds safe is the responsibility of every country along the flyway. We are willing to collaborate with the Arctic Council and other countries along the flyway to guarantee the safety of migratory birds.”

The Arctic Council’s Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), in partnership with the Department of Wildlife Conservation, National Forestry and Grassland Administration of the P.R. China, the Forestry Department of Hainan Province and the National Bird Banding Center of China, held the workshop to advance work on the issues of habitat conservation and illegal hunting of migratory birds along the flyway.

“Bird migration is unique phenomena and is the shared heritage of all our countries, so it is so natural we work together on this,” said Evgeny Syroechkovskiy, Chair of AMBI and representative of the Russian Federation Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. “AMBI is focusing on addressing key threats to birds and their habitat on the flyway, which need urgent attention.”

The meeting brought together government representatives from environment and natural resources departments as well as foreign affairs departments in addition to key conservation organizations in the region. The workshop had representation from the Finnish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the US representation to the Arctic Council, the US Chairmanship of CAFF, the Arctic Athabaskan Council, the Norwegian Environment Agency, the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Department of Wildlife Conservation of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, P.R.China, the Chiangiang County Government, the National Bird Banding Centre of China, as well as Forestry Departments and/or Nature Reserves from Hainan, Guangdong, Jiangsu Hebei and Liaoning Provinces in P.R. China, academia from Beijing, Fudan, Nanjing, other Arctic Council Observer states including the Singapore National Parks Board, the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, the Republic of Korea’s National Institute of Ecology, and representatives from the Convention of Migratory Species and Department of Conservation of New Zealand, and others from organizations in India, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Myanmar.

During the meeting AMBI consulted with countries and organizations to finalize its draft 2019-2023 Work Plan for submission to the Arctic Council.

“Finland is pleased that this important AMBI event in China is organized during our Chairmanship in the Arctic Council,” said Tuuli Ojala of the Finnish Arctic Council Chairmanship team at the event. “The growing engagement of Observers is valuable for the Arctic Council’s work and its international role. In case of the AMBI project, we could say that the engagement of the Observers is indispensable.”

“The U.S. is pleased to see such excellent collaboration with Observer countries and organizations, it is an example for the entire Arctic Council on how we should work,” Julie Gourley, U.S. Senior Arctic Official said in her speech at the event. “I ask the countries represented here and by the Arctic Council to take seriously the recommendations of our experts in this area as they help guide and inform the critical decisions that need to be made to conserve Arctic birds now and for future generations.”

The meeting also highlighted the work of governments and organizations to advance conservation issues such as habitat protection and restoration, the development and implementation of species and habitat management strategies, and efforts to better understand and reduce illegal killing and hunting as they pertain to AMBI priority species including the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Red Knot, Great Knot and others. It also showcased key activities and products that have helped advance conservation in the region.

“The time is now, not years from now, to work collectively to identify the management actions needed to conserve Arctic migratory birds. Under the U.S. Chairmanship of CAFF, we have prioritized AMBI to demonstrate work based on a Flyway approach that advances, conservation, informs decision making and inspires people”, said Cindi Jacobson, U.S. Chair of CAFF. “There is a great urgency then for countries and organizations to implement these actions before it is too late.”

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. One such assessment, the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (2013) noted that “Many Arctic migratory species are threatened by overharvest and habitat alteration outside the Arctic, especially birds along the East Asian flyway,” and launched AMBI as a response in 2015. Since then AMBI has been working with Arctic governments, in particular, Russia, Canada, U.S and Norway, as well as Arctic Council observer states in Asia, in particular Singapore, Japan, P.R. China, Republic of Korea and India, and other partners, to improve the status and secure the long-term sustainability of declining Arctic breeding migratory bird populations along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and three other global flyways. In 2013 CAFF and EAAFP signed a Resolution of Cooperation in to better coordinate efforts to promote and protect birds along a migratory flyway, and CAFF is an Intergovernmental Partner to the EAAFP.

AMBI is grateful to the Chinese hosts and to all participants for their continued cooperation on the project. Following the publication of its new Work Plan 2019-2023 (anticipated in mid 2019). AMBI looks forward to continuing working with ever-expanding numbers of partners to advance common goals for Arctic-breeding migratory bird conservation.

Contact: Courtney Price, AMBI Global Coordinator, CAFF Communications Manager: Courtney EP_AT caff EP_DOT is

Rovaniemi, Finland —Over 500 scientists, Indigenous peoples, policy-makers, government officials, industry, students, civil society and more descend on Rovaniemi, Finland for a week of events associated with the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)’s Arctic Biodiversity Congress, 2018.

CAFF, the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment, Finland, is organizing the Congress to promote the conservation and sustainable use of Arctic biodiversity.

The event welcomes participants from 25 countries and addresses key issues and approaches to Arctic biodiversity conservation and protection, including perspectives from the worlds of science, business, arts, culture, and politics in 54 sessions across 4 days. Additional events focus on specific focus areas and include the Arctic Environment Ministers’ Meeting, Arctic Youth Summit, and close to 20 side meetings.

Key Congress speakers include:

  • Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Finland
  • Tiina Sanila-Aikio, President of the Sámi Parliament of Finland
  • Aleksi Härkönen, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council
  • Sergei Zimov, North-East Scientific Station of Pacific Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Dalee Sambo Dorough, Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council
  • Melanie Virtue, Head of CMS Aquatic Species Team, Convention on Migratory Species
  • Alexander Shestakov, Head of Division, Scientific and Policy Support, Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Martha Rojas Urrego, Secretary General, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
  • Hannele Pokka, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment, Finland
  • Sarah Conner and Usha Amin, BBC Natural History Unit, makers of Frozen Planet

For a full program and more information please visit the Arctic Biodiversity Congress website. Daily summary reports will be published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Earth Negotiation Bulletin.

Follow the events online

To follow the Arctic Environment Week in Rovaniemi on Twitter use:

#ABACongress

#ArcticEnv2018

#ArcticYouth

 

Contact:

Courtney Price

CAFF Communications Manager

+354 686 3261

Courtney EP_AT caff EP_DOT is

Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna

CAFF is the biodiversity working group of the Arctic 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. 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. For more information: www.caff.is

Arctic Council

The Arctic Council is a high level intergovernmental forum to provide a means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of the Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic.  Arctic Council Member States are Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States of America. In addition to the Member States, the Arctic Council has the category of Permanent Participants who include the Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC), Aleut International Association (AIA), Gwich'in Council International (GGI), Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) and the Saami Council (SC). For more information: www.arctic-council.org 

CAFF-IASC Fellows in 2018 Erica Oberndorfur and Thomas LamerisThomas Lameris and Erica Oberndorfer are the inaugural CAFF-IASC Fellows!

The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) welcome Thomas Lameris and Erica Oberndorfer to the inaugural CAFF-IASC Fellowship in 2018.

CAFF and IASC have teamed up to provide Fellows with an opportunity to identify an area of interest and expertise, participate in and contribute to CAFF’s work, and produce at least one peer-reviewed publication and/or deliverable report to the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials.

The selection process was organized in cooperation with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), who managed the applications and coordinated the work of independent, volunteer reviewers to evaluate and recommend the highest quality candidates. The final selection was made in consultation with CAFF and IASC.

Lameris and Oberndorfer will begin their Fellowship by attending the CAFF Board Meeting February 6-8, 2018 in Fairbanks, Alaska. After this initial introduction, they will delve into their respective projects and continue with appropriate meeting(s), and advance the work of the groups on which they will focus. In addition, they are expected to contribute to the program of the Arctic Biodiversity Congress, 2018.

Lameris will focus his activities on CAFF’s Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI) and Oberndorfer will focus on CAFF’s Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program’s (CBMP) Terrestrial work.

Lameris is a bird ecologist, mainly focusing on the impacts of climate warming on phenology and reproduction of Arctic migratory birds. During his MSc at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands (2013), he studied the effects of anthropogenic land use changes on breeding birds. He shifted in focus to climate warming effects during his PhD where he studied barnacle geese that migrate from wintering grounds in Western Europe to breeding grounds in Arctic Russia. He is currently finishing up his PhD thesis, and starting his post-doc work on the effects of climate warming on the growth of red knots that breed in the Russian Arctic.

Oberndorfer received her PhD from Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) in 2016 and is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Labrador Institute in Happy Valley-Goose Bay (Labrador, Canada), where she lives. Her work is guided by plant mentors in the Inuit Community of Makkovik (Nunatsiavut), with a view to understanding how plants are integrated into daily life in the region and how plant communities express the ecological legacy of cultural practices in Labrador. She is currently working on the Makkovik Plant Book, a community book focused on the teachings of Makkovimiut plant mentors.

CAFF and IASC welcome Lameris and Oberndorfer and thank APECS for helping to promote the Fellowship and securing the successful candidates.

Photo: Jan van de KammThe Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, is seeking a coordinator to organize the work in the African Eurasian Flyway under the Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI). The African Eurasian (AFEU) Flyway Committee Coordinator is a 100% role designed to be taken on by someone familiar with bird conservation in the region and who has experience in working with diverse stakeholder groups. This position will be divided between 60% focussed on AFEU flyway and 40% focussed on AMBI issues across the flyways, and will be based at the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat located in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate the AFEU committee and a multi-stakeholder planning team as necessary
  • Develop a flyway ‘crosswalk’ for the AFEU region
  • Develop an AMBI AFEU Implementation Strategy
  • Work with AMBI Chair, Coordinator and CAFF Secretariat to coordinate activities within AMBI
  • Liaison with partners in the region to help facilitate projects as directed by the flyway committee
  • Travel to relevant meetings to represent AMBI interests
  • Assist in organizing AMBI events in the region
  • Fundraise for both AMBI and the coordinator position

Qualifications:

The following specifies the qualifications, experience and expertise required:

General Qualifications

  • Ability to communicate proficiently in English. Proficiency in other languages spoken in the flyway are beneficial, but not mandatory.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others in a cross cultural environment.
  • Familiarity with issues of Arctic migratory bird conservation in the flyway.
  • A working understanding of the Arctic Council and CAFF, including roles and objectives
  • Experience and ability to host meetings, manage documentation, develop information flow and management of a team.
  • Experience in writing scientific summaries and reports.
  • Location within the relevant Flyway preferred, but not mandatory.
  • Ability to travel to relevant meeting at international locations.

General Professional Experience

  • Previous experience working to advance global migratory species and/or conservation initiatives.
  • Advanced degree in relevant field including conservation, biology, communications, international relations, governance, etc.
  • Recent experience developing international conservation teams.
  • Knowledge of the indigenous peoples in the flyway and experience working with indigenous peoples groups
  • Recent experience managing a cross cultural team.

Assignment Specific Professional Experience

  • Familiarity with AMBI Work Plan and objectives.
  • In-depth knowledge of policy framework in the flyway as it pertains to conservation, migratory species, development, human well-being and other fields of relevance to conservation.

Timeframe of commitment –  May 2018 to May 2019, with the possibility of an extension.  You will be expected to travel internationally to up to three meetings during this timeframe, including attending the Arctic Biodiversity Congress in October 2018 in Finland.

Location: The position will be based at the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat located in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

Pay – The AFEU Coordinator will be an individual consultant to be contracted directly or through a legally incorporated company. The compensation for this position is €60,000 for 12 months 1.0 FTE.

AMBI - The Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI) is a project designed to improve the status and secure the long-term sustainability of declining Arctic breeding migratory bird populations. Arctic-breeding birds use many different flyways to move from Arctic breeding grounds to overwintering or stopover sites at lower latitudes. Many bird populations are declining at an unprecedented rate for variety of reasons: http://www.caff.is/arctic-migratory-birds-initiative-ambi.

AFEU - The AMBI AFEU Committee consists of representatives from Norway, BirdLife International, the African Eurasian Waters Agreement (AEWA), and the CAFF Secretariat. The AMBI African Eurasian Flyway (https://www.caff.is/arctic-migratory-birds-initiative-ambi/african-eurasian-flyway) covers priority conservation issues and actions relating to migratory Arctic-breeding birds from with a focus on habitat conservation and preventing unsustainable harvest. Supporting the protection of habitat in West Africa for migratory bird species is a major focus of the work under the AEF. Other priorities include ensuring sustainable populations of Lesser White-fronted Geese are protected in collaboration with the AEWA secretariat.

To apply for this position, apply with you CV (max 4 pages) and a letter of interest outlining why your skills match the position.

Deadline for submission April 15, 2018 by 24:00 GMT. All applications should be sent to Tom Barry, the Executive Secretary at the CAFF International Secretariat via tom EP_AT caff EP_DOT is.

Great knot. Photo: ken 2.0/Flickr.comThe Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, is seeking a coordinator to organize the work in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway under the Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI). The East Asian-Australasian Flyway Committee Coordinator is a 100% role that is expected to be filled by someone familiar with bird conservation in the EAAF region and who has experience in working with diverse stakeholder groups.

Tasks:

  • Coordinate the EAAF committee and a multi-stakeholder planning team as necessary
  • Develop a flyway ‘crosswalk’ for EAAF objectives and actions with those identified in complementary migratory bird agreements, conservation plans and development initiatives in the respective regions
  • Develop an AMBI EAAF Implementation Strategy
  • Work with AMBI Chair, Coordinator and CAFF Secretariat to coordinate activities within AMBI
  • Liaison with partners in the region to help facilitate projects as directed by the flyway committee
  • Travel to relevant meetings to represent AMBI interests
  • Assist in organizing AMBI events in the region
  • Fund raise for both AMBI and the coordinator position

Qualifications:

The following specifies the qualifications, experience and expertise required:

General Qualifications

  • Ability to communicate proficiently in English. Proficiency in other languages spoken in the flyway are beneficial, but not mandatory.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others in a cross cultural environment.
  • Familiarity with issues of Arctic migratory bird conservation in the flyway.
  • A working understanding of the Arctic Council and CAFF, including roles and objectives
  • Experience and ability to host meetings, manage documentation, develop information flow and management of a team.
  • Experience in writing scientific summaries and reports.
  • Location within the relevant Flyway preferred, but not mandatory.
  • Ability to travel to relevant meeting at international locations.

General Professional Experience

  • Previous experience working to advance global migratory species and/or conservation initiatives.
  • Advanced degree in relevant field including conservation, biology, communications, international relations, governance, etc.
  • Recent experience developing international conservation teams.
  • Recent experience managing a cross cultural team.

Assignment Specific Professional Experience

  • Familiarity with AMBI Work Plan and objectives.
  • In depth knowledge of policy framework in the flyway as it pertains to conservation, migratory species, development, human well-being and other fields of relevance to conservation.

Timeframe of commitment – February 2018 to February 2019, with the possibility of an extension. You will be expected to travel internationally to approximately three meetings during this timeframe, including attending the Arctic Biodiversity Congress in November 2018 in Finland.

Pay – The Coordinator will be an individual consultant to be contracted directly or through a legally incorporated company. The compensation for this position is €45,000 for one year with a 100% full time position.

AMBI - The Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI) is a project designed to improve the status and secure the long-term sustainability of declining Arctic breeding migratory bird populations. Arctic-breeding birds use many different flyways to move from Arctic breeding grounds to overwintering or stopover sites at lower latitudes. Many bird populations are declining at an unprecedented rate for variety of reasons: http://www.caff.is/arctic-migratory-birds-initiative-ambi.

EAAF - The East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) is a migratory corridor that stretches from the Russian Far East and Alaska, southwards through East Asia and Southeast Asia, to Australia and New Zealand, encompassing 22 countries and supporting over 50 million migratory birds from over 250 populations, including 33 globally threatened and 30 near-threatened species. The current EAAF Working Group is comprised of representatives from Russia, USA, China, Japan, Singapore, Republic of Korea, BirdLife International, and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership: http://www.caff.is/arctic-migratory-birds-initiative-ambi/east-asian-australasian-flyway.

To apply for this position, apply with you CV (max 4 pages) and a letter of interest outlining why your skills match the position.

Deadline for submission by February 8 24:00 GMT. All applications should be sent to Tom Barry, the Executive Secretary at the CAFF International Secretariat tom EP_AT caff EP_DOT is.


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