Wednesday, 19 October 2011 14:32

New chair of CAFF

New chairman of CAFF Evgeny Syroechkovskiy New chairman of CAFF Evgeny Syroechkovskiy IPS

The incoming chairman of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working group under the Arctic Council, Evgeny Syroechkovskiy, presented himself to the members of the working group when chairing a series of meetings held recently in Moscow, Russia.

The appointment of Mr. Syroechkovskiy, deputy director of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, should make for a smooth transition, as he is an internationally well-reputed ornithologist, just as is the person that he is replacing as chair of CAFF, the Icelandic Eivar Petersen.

On Monday, October 3, two steering committee meetings took place on the premises of the Ministry of Natural Resources right next to the Barrikadnaya metro station, one for the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA), the other one for the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme (CBMP).

As for the ABA process, chief scientific writer, Dr. Hans Meltofte, reported on how the scientific report that is scheduled to appear in 2013 is coming along. According to Dr. Meltofte, a good number of chapters have been drafted and submitted, however, almost just as many chapters are troubling and still haven’t been delivered.

As for the CBMP, its chairman, Mike Gill, gave a meticulous update on how work is progressing with respect to consolidating the CBMP steering committee itself, and with respect to bootstrapping activities of the various expert groups and species and community monitoring sub-programs that eventually will make up the CBMP.

On the following days, Mr. Syroechkovskiy chaired the CAFF Board meeting. The CBMP once again featured prominently on the agenda, this time, though, in a somewhat broader setting. Mr. Gill presented various terms of reference for the CBMP inventory projects, and asked the board members to approve the drafts. The Board members agreed on giving themselves time until the end of the month to consider approving the terms of reference.

With regard to the question of how to engage the Permanent Participants of the Arctic Council in the CBMP inventory projects, Mr. Gill announced that he was preparing to set up a telephone conference with representatives of the Permanent Participants to find out on which basis they might take part in the work.

During the same Moscow days, another Arctic Council working group, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) was having one of its regular meetings in the conference room of the nearby Marco Polo Hotel. This was also where, in the afternoon of Wednesday 5, the two Arctic Council working groups had a joint meeting.

On the agenda of the joint meeting was, among other things, to discuss taking part in each group’s main initiatives, first and foremost the Arctic Change Assessment (ACA), as well as in other initiatives under the auspices of the Arctic Council such as the Arctic Resilience Report (ARR) conducted by the incoming Swedish chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

In this way, the two working groups practised what according to Arctic Council chair Gustaf Lind will be the new model for Arctic Council meetings during the Swedish 2011-13 chairmanship, viz., less plenary, and more break-up into parallel sessions.

The model had indeed already been tested during the ”Arctic week” late September with the partial overlap of 4 meetings in two Scandinavian capitols: In Stockholm, Sweden, the ARR scoping workshop, the Task Force on Institutional Issues meeting, and the Arctic Council Working Group Chairs meeting; in Oslo, Norway, the ACA scoping workshop.

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Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat
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