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The Arctic Biodiversity Assessment another wake up call for action

Montreal 27 May 2010. The Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) is another evidence of the
need for urgent and collaborative action to preserve biodiversity in this fragile and vital region of
our planet, recognized as an important barometer of the world’s environment.

The report Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010: Indicators of change is the first report arising out of
the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment. The report synthesizes scientific findings on status and
trends for selected biodiversity in the Arctic and is produced by the Conservation of Arctic Flora
and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group under the Arctic Council. The report is based on twentytwo
indicators and provides a snapshot of the trends being observed in Arctic biodiversity today.
The report, launched in Copenhagen, indicates that although the majority of Arctic species
examined are currently stable or increasing, some species of importance to Arctic people or
species of global significance are declining. Changes in arctic biodiversity have global
repercussions and are further creating challenges for people living in the Arctic.

“The conclusions of this assessment of the far north echo the findings from Global Biodiversity
Outlook 3 a few weeks ago. The trends for biodiversity loss are alarming and the consequences
for human communities, severe” said Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary to the United
Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

“This is why the secretariat has joined forces and signed an MOU with the Conservation of
Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group (CAFF). The strengthening of such collaboration is
essential for achieving the post-2010 biodiversity strategy to be submitted to the New York
Biodiversity Summit and decided in October at the he Nagoya Biodiversity Summit.” he said.
The ABA is the Arctic Council’s response to global conservation needs. While there is a clear
concern for the future of Arctic nature, this applies even more to global biodiversity. In 2002, the Conference of the Parties to the CBD established a target, “to achieve, by 2010, a significant
reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional, and national levels as a
contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth”. Subsequently, the 2010
Biodiversity Target was endorsed by the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002) and
the United Nations General Assembly.

The recent Arctic Council Ministerial meeting noted that the Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010
report is an Arctic Council contribution to the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity
in 2010. CAFF, through the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment process, contributed to the CBD´s
3rd Global Biodiversity Outlook to measure progress towards the 2010 Biodiversity Target.
The Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010: Indicators of change report can be accessed and
downloaded at www.arcticbiodiversity.is
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Notes to Editors:
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in
December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the
conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the
equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 193 Parties, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders
including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community.

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, a supplementary treaty to the Convention, seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 157 countries and the European Union are party to the Protocol.

The Secretariat of the Convention and its Cartagena Protocol is located in Montreal.

For more information visit www.cbd.int
The Conservation of Arctic Flora & Fauna Working Group (www.caff.is)
CAFF is the permanent Working Group of the Arctic Council which deals with Biodiversity. Its
mandate is to Address the conservation of Arctic Biodiversity, and communicate the findings to
the governments and residents of the Arctic, helping to promote practices which ensure the
sustainability of the Arctic’s living resources and monitor, assess, report on and protect
Biodiversity in the Arctic. CAFFs management board is comprised of the 8 Arctic countries and
Indigenous Peoples organisations.

The 2010 International Year of Biodiversity
The United Nations proclaimed 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity, and people all
over the world are working to safeguard this irreplaceable natural wealth and reduce biodiversity
loss. This is vital for current and future human well being. The International Year of Biodiversity
is a unique opportunity to increase understanding of the vital role that biodiversity plays in
sustaining life on Earth. Visit www.cbd.int/2010 to find out more Also visit the facebook page:
www.facebook.com/iyb2010

Further information on the report can be found by email: aba@caff.is or contacting Tom at +354
462 3350.

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