21 November 2011In a guest article for the Biodiversity Policy and Practice website, Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working group Executive Secretary Tom Barry outlines the work that CAFF is doing to support Arctic biodiversity. As Barry states in his article, some of this work is being done in conjunction with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)."Spanning over one-sixth of the planet, the Arctic has some of the most captivating and inspiring species, landscapes and cultures on Earth. Life here has adapted to some of the most challenging and harsh environments in which to survive. This “challenge to survive” is increasing in scope and urgency as the Arctic faces a suite of new and rapidly developing stressors. Climate change is emerging as the most far-reaching stressor on Arctic biodiversity, although contaminants, habitat change, industrial development, and unsustainable harvest levels continue to have impacts as well. Warranting the attention of the international community, Arctic biodiversity was discussed at the 15th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), where the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, was invited, through COP Decision X/13, to provide information and assessments to the SBSTTA. Recognizing the report provided by CAFF (UNEP/CBD/SBSSTA/15/14), and the statement given by the CAFF representative at SBSTTA (available from the Report of Working Group II), SBSTTA’s Working Group Two decided on a series of recommendations for the Conference of the Parties, which recognize the importance of Arctic biodiversity in a global context and highlight the need for continued collaboration between the CBD and CAFF for the conservation and sustainable use of the Arctic’s living resources."