factsheets aOn May 20, 2021, Iceland hosted the 12th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Reykjavík, Iceland and online. Foreign Ministers of the Arctic States and Heads of Delegation of the Permanent Participants reviewed activities and accomplishments to improve sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic completed under Iceland's two-year chairmanship.

Arctic States were joined by delegations Observer states and organizations as well as representatives from Arctic Council Working Groups and other Subsidiary Bodies.

CAFF will deliver the following products:

12th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Reykjavík, Iceland and online

Here you will find a list of CAFF/Arctic Council-related events at the IPY conference. Times and dates are set by conference organizers and are subject to change.


Monday April 23

Media event 13:00

The Arctic Species Trend Index

Room: media event

Join Anthon Frederiksen (Minister of Domestic Affairs, Nature and the Environment, Greenland), Gustav Lind (Senior Arctic Officials Chair), a Government of Canada representative, Mike GIll (Chair, CBMP), and Tom Barry(Executive Secretary of CAFF) as they present on the latest findings from a new analysis of the Arctic Species Trend Index, (ASTI) an index that illustrates overall spatial and temporal trends in fish, bird and mammal species. 

Data additions and extensions have improved the ASTI since its 2010 release. Scientists have since conducted in-depth analysis on the Arctic marine species, and additional spatial analysis.


Parallel session 13:30-15:00

2.4.4 Communities and Change: Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptation

Room: 524C

14h00 - Participation of the Russian Indigenous Peoples in the IPY Research Project

P.V. Sulyandziga1, T.Yu. Semenova2

1Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON), Russia2Russian Research Institute for Cultural and Natural Heritage, Moscow, Russia

Parallel Sessions 15:30-17:00

1.2.5 Indigenous and Local Knowledge (Research Methods/Technological Innovations)

Room: 520BC

16:45 - Arctic Indigenous and Local Knowledge and Expertise as Independent Data Sources for Capturing Socio-economic and Environmental Changes in the Bering Sea Sub Network (BSSN): Methods, Results and Their Application in Science and Policy

V. Gofman1, L. Alessa2, P. Cochran3, A. Kliskey2, M. Smith1

1Aleut International Association, Anchorage, Alaska, United States2Resilience and Adaptive Management Group, University of Alaska, Anchorage, AK, U3Alaska Native Science Commission, Anchorage, Alaska, United States

1.4.2 Human Health and Well-being, including Food Security

Room: 520EF

16:00 - Building a Framework on How to Assess Food Security in the Alaskan Arctic

C. Behe

1Inuit Circumpolar Council – Alaska, Anchorage United States of America

2.3.5 Impacts of Change and Development on Biodiversity and Polar Ecosystem Services

Room: 524C

15:30 CARMA-IPY Project Synthesis: Herd-Specific Vulnerabilities of Migratory Tundra Rangifer to Global Change

D. Russell1, A. Gunn2, R.G. White3, G. Kofinas4, S. Kutz5, C. Daniel6, P.H. Whitfield7

1Yukon College, Whitehorse Canada2Salt Spring Island Canada3University of Alaska, Fairbanks USA4University of Alaska, Fairbanks USA5University of Calgary, Calgary Alberta6ApexRMS, Ottawa Canada7Environment Canada, Vancouver Canada

Poster Sessions 17:00-19:00


Terrestrial Expert Monitoring Group: Developing a Plan for the Circumpolar Arctic


freshwaterpresentBiodiversity of Arctic Freshwaters: Developing the CAFF-CBMP Integrated Monitoring Plan



Closed Meeting 17:00-19:00

CBMP Terrestrial Expert Monitoring Group

Room: 512F

Tuesday April 24

Parallel sessions 10:00-12:00

2.3.5 Impacts of Change and Development on Biodiversity and Polar Ecosystem Services

Room: 520D

10:30 - Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) - Marine Plan Integrated Monitoring to Strengthen Decision-Making

J. Watkins1, K. Crane2, M. Gill3, G.R. Hindrum4

1Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa, Canada2National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington, USA3Environment Canada, Whitehorse, Canada4Directorate for Nature Management, Trondheim, Norway


 2.5.4 Accessing, Sharing and Preserving Data as a Legacy of IPY

Room: 524C

11:15 - Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI): Pan-Arctic Cooperation among Ten Mapping Agencies

M. Skedsmo1, F. Taylor2, O. Palmer3, M. Guðmundsson4

1Norwegian Mapping Authority, Tromsø, Norway2Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada3Lantmäteriet, Kiruna, Sweden4National Land Survey Iceland, Akranes, Iceland

The Arctic SDI is a pan-Arctic cooperative initiative among ten National Mapping Agencies from Canada, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States.

4.1.1 Communicating Polar Science

Room: 515AB

11:00 - Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA), Communication and Outreach

R. Shearer1, M.S. Olsen2, L-O. Reiersen3, S. Wilson3, J. Pawlak3, H. Thing4, L. Mathiasen5, J. Bendtsen5

1Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Ottawa, Canada2Danish Energy Agency, Copenhagen, Denmark3AMAP secretariat, Oslo, Norway4University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark5Alpha Film, Copenhagen, Denmark


3.2.2 Perceptions of Arctic Change

Room: 513EF

11:15 - The Relationship between Politics and Arctic Monitoring and Assessment - Changing Perspectives?

L.-O. Reiersen, S.J. Wilson

1Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) Secretariat, Oslo, Norway


2.4.5 Polar Governance, Policy, and Management

Room: 516D

11:45 - The Arctic Council - An Emerging Actor in Arctic Shipping Regulation? : Turning Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Recommendations
into Action

P. Graczyk1,2

1University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway2University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Plenary Panel: Adaptation to Change


Dr. Gustaf Lind (Sweden), Chair, Arctic Council and Swedish Ambassador for the Arctic

Mr. Jack Hébert (United States), President and CEO, Cold Climate Housing Research Centre

Mr. Duane Smith (Canada), President, Inuit Circumpolar Council of Canada.

Mr. Jon Edvard Sundness (Norway) CEO, Tschudi Shipping Company

MODERATOR : Mr. Andrew Revkin (United States) Journalist, NY Times and Senior Fellow, Pace University


Parallel Session 15:30-17:00



2.5.4 Accessing, Sharing and Perserving Data as a Legacy of IPY

Room: 524C

15:45 - Coordinating for Arctic Conservation: CBMP´s Distributed Biodiversity Montiroing Data Network



M. Svoboda1, K.F. Lárusson2, Ó. Erlingsdóttir2, M. Gill1, T. Barry2

1Environment Canada, Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program, 91780 Alaska Highway, Whitehorse, Canada2Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, Akureyri, Iceland


Closed Meeting 17:00-19:00


CBMP Terrestrial Expert Monitoring Group

Room: 512F


CBMP Marine Expert Monitoring and Implementation Meeting

Room: 512G


Wednesday April 25

Parallel Sessions 10:00-12:00


1.4.1 Natural Resource Exploration, Exploitation and Commercial Activities including Tourism (Arctic Development)

Room: 520D

10:30 - Key Drivers and Futures for Arctic Marine Use: Outcomes of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment

L. W. Brigham

1University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, USA


Parallel Sessions 13:30-15:00

2.4.4 Communities and Change: Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptation

Room: 524C

13:30 - Reindeer Herders' Vulnerability Network Study (EALÁT): From Knowledge to Action on Climate Change Adaptation

A. Oskal3,1, R.G. Corell1,5, S.D. Mathiesen1,2,3, J.M. Turi3,1, O.H. Magga4

1UArctic EALÁT Institute at ICR, Kautokeino, Norway2Norwegian School of Veterinary Science,Tromsø, Norway3International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry (ICR), Kautokeino, Norway4Sámi University College, Kautokeino, Norway5Global Environment and Technology Foundation,Washington DC, USA


Plenary Panel: Adaptation to Change


Dr. Mike J. Gill (Canada): Chair, Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Project and Head, Biodiversity and Species at Risk Section, Environment Canada

Mr. Mikael Thinghuus (Greenland): Group CEO, Royal Greenland Fishing Company

Dr. Paul Holthus (USA): Executive Director, World Ocean Council

Dr. Jacqueline McGlade (United Kingdom): Executive Director, European Environment Agency



Parallel Sessions 15:30-17:00



1.5.2 Polar Observing Systems and Remote Sensing

Room: 520BC

15:45 - Terrestrial Expert Monitoring Group: Developing a Plan for the Circumpolar Arctic

J. Payne1, T. Christensen2, M. Svoboda3, M. Gill4

1North Slope Science Initiative, Anchorage, Alaska, USA2Aarhus University, Aarhus C Denmark3Environment Canada, Whitehorse, YT, Canada4Chair, Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program, Whitehorse, YT, Canada



Closed Meeting 17:00-19:00


CBMP Marine Expert Monitoring and Implementation Meeting

Room: 512G


Thursday April 26

Parallel Sessions 13:30-15:00


3.1.5 Information to Support Decision-Making

Room: 514AB

14:15 - Coordinating for Arctic Conservation: Implementing Integrated Arctic Biodiversity Monitoring, Data Management and Reporting

M. Gill, M. Svoboda

1Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program, Whitehorse, Canada


Side event 17:00-19:00


CBMP Arctic Biodiversity Data Service (ABDS) launch, Seabird Information Network (SIN)


Room 510AC


Mike Gill and Michael Svoboda will present on the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program's development of the Arctic Biodiversity Data Service (ABDS), the interoperable, web-based system in development for displaying, accessing and managing various Arctic biodiversity data types and layers. The ABDS is a powerful new tool to gather, aggregate and disseminate biodiversity data, leading to more efficient and effective reporting to various user groups including scientists, natural resource managers, and policy makers.


The ABDS will be presented in the context of theSeabird Information Network's (SIN) Circumpolar Seabird Data Portal, an excellent an exciting example of the power of sharing biodiversity information through the web.


Arctic wetlands in a time of change: CAFF attends the NorBalWet meeting in Greenland

September 9, 2013 - Last week in Ilulissat, Greenland, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group of the Arctic Council provided an Arctic perspective to the Nordic-Baltic Wetlands Initiative (NorBalWet) conference, a regional initiative under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, to discuss northern wetlands and climate change.


Read more.



New cooperation for conservation of Arctic breeding birds migrating along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway

Loeffelstrandlaeufer m coral 20110623 Meynipylgino RU 58 singend 1June 10, 2013, Anchorage, Alaska - Today, the Secretariats of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and the Partnership for the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAFP) signed a Resolution of Cooperation to better coordinate efforts to promote and protect birds along a migratory flywaythat is home to over 50 million waterbirds. The East Asia-Australasian Flyway is a major waterbird migratory route. It extends from the Arctic Circle in Russia and Alaska, southwards through East and South-east Asia, to Australia and New Zealand in the south, encompassing 22 countries. The flyway contains the migratory passage of 33 globally threatened species as designated by IUCN. 

 Read More



Arctic Biodiversity Assessment released at Arctic Council Ministerial


Arctic Biodiversity Assessment Report for Policy Makers. Photo: Carsten Egevang



Kiruna, Sweden- May 15, 2013- The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council has released the “Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA),” a report containing the best available science informed by traditional ecological knowledge on the status and trends of Arctic biodiversity and accompanying policy recommendations for biodiversity conservation.




READ MORE or visit the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment website





Migratory Bird Day 2013

Bonn/Nairobi 10 May 2013 – The annual migration of an estimated 50 billion birds—  around 19 per cent of the world’s 10,000 bird species—is one of the world’s great natural wonders, yet the critical staging areas migratory birds need to complete these journeys are being degraded or are disappearing completely.


Read more


CAFF and CMS cooperate on Arctic migratory species conservation


The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the Arctic Council’s Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group (CAFF), have signed a resolution of cooperation, 29 April 2013 in Budapest, Hungary, to better integrate efforts to protect and conserve Arctic migratory species. The signing was kindly hosted by the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation in the margins of their 60th General Assembly.


Read more


CAFF documentary film wins award

The film "Status and Trends in Arctic Biodiversity" has won the 2013 documentary award of the annual Green Lens Environmental Film Festival in DeKalb, Illinois.


Read more


CBMP members win prestigious award

Mike Gill, chair of CAFF's Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) and Joseph Culp, Co-Chair of the CBMP's Freshwater Montioring Group have received the prestigious Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for their dedication to Arctic nature.


Read more


The 2012 Arctic Report Card released: 

The Arctic Council, through the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) and the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna’s (CAFF) Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme (CBMP), has contributed to the Arctic Report Card, an annual report released today by the National Oceanic and Atmoshperic Administration (NOAA) that monitors the often-quickly changing conditions in the Arctic.


Read more about the release and CAFF's summary of terrestrial and marine ecosystem highlights


Visit NOAA's Arctic Report Card site


2012 Arctic Report Card released: Highlights from terrestrial and marine ecosystem chapters


The latest Arctic Report Card (ARC), released December 2012 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with contributions from the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)’s Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP), highlights “profound and continuing changes” in the Arctic marine ecosystem, a greening of the Arctic, and some alarming trends in shorebird species, along with other stories of how Arctic wildlife are responding to environmental changes.


Read more about the release and CAFF's summary of terrestrial and marine ecosystem highlights


AFF looking for early career scientists

CAFF has teamed up with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) to provide early career scientists with an excellent opportunity to become involved in CAFF's Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP).


CAFF has asked APECS to nominate representatives to participate in the CBMP, an international network of scientists, government agencies, Indigenous organizations and conservation groups working together to harmonize and integrate efforts to monitor the Arctic's living resources.


APECS is asked to nominate representative’s to help implement the Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Plan within each of the following expert groups:

  • Plankton
  • Benthos
  • Seabirds
  • Marine mammals
  • Fish
  • Sea ice biota


The role of early career scientists would be to assist in the tasks of aggregating and analysing the data within each expert network which would then subsequently be published and presented in assessments with key findings to the Arctic Council.  Early career scientists would gain experience of working on an international level and also on bridging science and policy, gain experience and insight into how science can inform policy and muchmore.


If you are a PhD student or PostDoc working on one of the themes mentioned above and are interested in these great opportunities, then please email info EP_AT apecs EP_DOT is with a single PDF of a statement of interest, noting your research interests, experience and your CV by 10 November 2012.


Read more



CAFF signs new Resolution of Cooperation with Ramsar and the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement

Inge Thaulow, Greenland and Ramsar Secretary General Anada Tiéga signing the Resolution of Cooperationga

On July 12 the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna and the Ramsar Secretariat signed a Resolution of Cooperation, at the 11th Ramsar Conference of the Parties, in Bucharest, Romania, bringing the two organizations together to raise awareness and promote the importance of Arctic wetlands.


Read more









New analysis of the Arctic Species Trend Index: Released at IPY (April 23, 2012)





Want to know about CAFF and Arctic Council events at IPY 2012? Click here.






Arctic settles into new phase – warmer, greener, and less ice

Arctic Report Card 2011 Released

December 1, 2011



An international team of scientists who monitor the rapid changes in the Earth’s northern polar region say that the Arctic is entering a new state – one with warmer air and water temperatures, less summer sea ice and snow cover, and a changed ocean chemistry. This shift is also causing changes in the region’s life, both on land and in the sea, including less habitat for polar bears and walruses, but increased access to feeding areas for whales.


Among the 2011 highlights are:

  • Atmosphere: In 2011, the average annual near-surface air temperatures over much of the Arctic Ocean were approximately 2.5° F (1.5° C) greater than the 1981-2010 baseline period. 
  • Sea ice: Minimum Arctic sea ice area in September 2011 was the second lowest recorded by satellite since 1979. 
  • Ocean: Arctic Ocean temperature and salinity may be stabilizing after a period of warming and freshening.
  •  Acidification of sea water (“ocean acidification”) as a result of carbon dioxide absorption has also been documented in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. 
  • Land: Arctic tundra vegetation continues to increase and is associated with higher air temperatures over most of the Arctic land mass.




Contact CAFF with a Media Inquiry




The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council,is hosting a special side event discussing THE VIEW FROM UP HERE: ARCTIC BIODIVERSITY IN A WARMING WORLD at the upcoming 15th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), in Montreal.

The hour-long side event will be held on Wednesday November 9, at 18:15 in Room 3 (Level 1). Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

Event description:


The Arctic environment is experiencing unprecedented and rapid change from a variety of stressors that often interact in unpredictable ways. Understanding and responding to current and emerging concerns facing Arctic biodiversity requires coordinated circumpolar scientific information. Panelists from CAFF, the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, will discuss critical issues facing Arctic biodiversity and the Peoples of the North. They will describe CAFF´s circumpolar projects and priorities intended to help fill knowledge gaps and assist in a more immediate and effective policy response. 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Courtney Price, CAFF communications officer, at courtney EP_AT caff EP_DOT is, or Tom Barry, CAFF executive secretary, at tom EP_AT caff EP_DOT is


Arctic States

dk   ca   fi   is   no   ru   sw   usa

Permanent Participants

aac  raipon  icc   GCI Logo Vertical RGB 121x90  aia  saami_councile