For immediate release (April 24, 2015) Iqaluit, Canada 

Actions for Arctic Biodiversity: Implementing the Recommendations of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment 2013-2021 will be the defining guide for how the Arctic Council addresses the pressures facing the Arctic’s living resources.

“This is a massive accomplishment for us and for Arctic wildlife," says Tom Barry, Executive Secretary of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council. "We have set in motion a comprehensive plan as to how CAFF, the Arctic Council and the wider global community can ensure we conserve Arctic species and ecosystems for future generations.”

Actions for Arctic Biodiversity provides a path forward to implement complex and interconnected recommendations of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, approved by the Arctic Council Ministers in 2013 at the start of the Canadian chairmanship period of the Arctic Council. Actions to implement 10 of the 17 recommendations have already since then. Actions to address all recommendations will be underway within four years. While previously initiated actions will continue, additional focus will be on:

Phase 1, 2013-2015

  • short-lived climate forcers, ecosystem-based management, mainstreaming biodiversity, addressing stressors on biodiversity, in particular oil spills, stressors on migratory species, improving knowledge and public awareness, in particular, improving access to data, integrating traditional knowledge, evaluating ecosystem services and communication and outreach tools, and safeguarding important marine areas

Phase 2: 2015-2017

  • mainstreaming biodiversity, reducing stressors on migratory birds, ecosystem services evaluation and communications and outreach, adaptation to climate change, addressing stressors on biodiversity, in particular, migratory species, invasive species and pollution, safeguarding critical areas and improving knowledge and public awareness, in particular, monitoring and traditional and local knowledge and indicator development

Phase 3: 2017-2019

  • safeguarding biodiversity under changing conditions, cumulative effects, improving knowledge and public awareness including contributing to the Convention on Biological Diversity assessment on achievement of the United Nations’ Aichi Biodiversity Targets and convening the second Arctic Biodiversity Congress.

Phase 4: 2019-2021

  • completing projects, implementing strategies and plans developed in early phases, evaluating progress, and designing follow-up.

This eight-year Action Plan has been informed by the results of the Arctic Biodiversity Congress, the largest event in the history of the Arctic Council, and discussions with Arctic Council countries, Permanent Participants, Working Groups, Task Forces, and Observers. 


Access all CAFF Arctic Council Ministerial Deliverables here



Tom Barry, +354 861-9824, tom EP_AT caff EP_DOT is

Executive Secretary, Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna


Courtney Price, +354 821-3609, courtney EP_AT caff EP_DOT is

Communications Officer, Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna  

Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)

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:

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: 

Arctic States

dk   ca   fi   is   no   ru   sw   usa

Permanent Participants

aac  raipon  icc   GCI Logo Vertical RGB 121x90  aia  saami_councile