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Report on CAFF Board Meeting

Reported by: Masaki UCHIDA (NIPR)
Related research program: Land

The Conservation of Arctic Fauna and Flora (CAFF) board online meeting was held from 6 to 8 September 2021. This meeting was the first meeting after Finland became the chair country. The number of participants varied from day to day but was around 45.

Topics discussed included the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP), Arctic biodiversity dashboard, Marine invasive alien species in Arctic waters, Climate change impacts on Arctic ecosystems and associated climate feedbacks (AMAP-CAFF), Scoping for resilience and management of Arctic wetlands, Arctic Migratory Bird Initiative (AMBI), Actions for Arctic biodiversity: 2023-2030 and so on. Several projects were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was apparent that they were responding flexibly by changing their plans. In addition, as Chair, Finland announced plans to produce six short videos during her term as Chair.

As for the CAFF work plan 2021-2023, three proposals, AMAP/CAFF climate impact assessment, marine invasive alien species in Arctic waters, and overview of potential other effective area-based conservation measures in the marine Arctic, were discussed.
CAFF has organized a biodiversity congress every four years since 2014. The next Congress was scheduled to take place in Russia in 2022, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on preparations for the Congress.

This time, Russia expressed its interest in holding the Congress in the Yamal Peninsula in 2022. It was decided that the Chair, the Secretariat, and the Russian representative would actively exchange information and consider holding the Congress in Russia. Lastly, the Finnish Chair informed that she planned to hold the next meeting in Finland, but that Finland has relaxed COVID-19 domestic travel restrictions within the country and that hotels were almost fully booked for the next six months. The chairperson will check whether it would be possible to book accommodation for participants.

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