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Ramsar, Arctic Council Conservation Programme Discuss Cooperation

Ramsar14 March 2013: The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention) has reported on the recent meeting of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) programme of the Arctic Council. CAFF's main activity is the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) focusing on terrestrial, freshwater and marine biodiversity.

The meeting, which took place from 11-14 February 2013, in Yakutsk, Siberia, Russian Federation, addressed cooperation between CAFF and the Ramsar Secretariat, in the context of the resolution of cooperation signed by the Secretariat with CAFF during the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention (COP 11), in Bucharest, Romania.

Over 60 per cent of the terrestrial area of the Arctic Council is wetland, with 68 designated Ramsar Sites. The cooperation between the two bodies should enhance knowledge of the changes in the fragile and unique Arctic ecosystems and their services. In addition, one of Ramsar's regional initiatives, the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership, focuses on waterbird migration from the Arctic to faraway places around the globe. In the next few months, CAFF is scheduled to publish the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment.

The Arctic Council is a high level intergovernmental forum established in 1996 to promote cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States (Canada, Finland, Denmark with Greenland and the Faroes, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the US), with the involvement of different Arctic indigenous communities, on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic region. [Ramsar Press Release] [Arctic Council Website] [CAFF Website] [Resolution of Cooperation During COP11]