Organization, governance and sponsors

The Arctic Biodiversity Congress is being hosted and arranged by the the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working group of the Arctic Council in close co-operation with the Norwegian Environment Agency and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Organization committee

The Organization Committee consists of:

  • Risa Smith, Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Finn Kateras, Norwegian Environmenta Agency
  • Tom Barry, Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna International Secretariat
  • Courtney Price, Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna International Secretariat

The CAFF Management Board will be consulted in decisions involving the overall direction of the Congress, and will be instrumental in follow-up on possible findings and recommendations from the Congress. They will report to the Senior Arctic Officials on progress in development and outcomes of the Congress. 

Program Advisory Committee

The Program Advisory Committee includes a mix of qualified individuals who can contribute on key topics in Arctic biodiversity. The Program Avisory Committee will provide advice on key dimensions of program development including the inclusion and selection of scientific and policy relevant program content, indigenous peoples' perspectives, and linkages to other CAFF and other Arctic Council efforts. The final composition of the Program Advisory Committee is intended to reflect a balance in dimensions such as gender and geographical coverage (country as well as specific ecosystem insights). Stakeholders will be included in developing the Congress, and representatives from industry will participate in the organization of the business segment of the Congress.

The Program Advisory Committee currently consists of:

  • Hans Meltofte, Aarhus University
  • Rolf Anker Ims, University of Tromsø
  • Evgeny Syroechkovskiy, All-Russian Institute for Nature Conservation
  • Mike Gill, Environment Canada
  • Mark Marissink, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
  • Tom Christensen, Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program, Aarhus University
  • John Payne, Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program, North Slope Science Initiative
  • Carolina Behe, Inuit Circumpolar Council
  • Pitseolalaq Moss-Davies, Inuit Circumpolar Council
  • Alexander Shestakov, WWF Global Arctic Programme
  • Martin Sommerkorn, WWF Global Arctic Programme
  • Martha McConnell, IUCN Polar Program
  • Gerlis Fugmann, Association of Polar Early Career Scientists
  • Risa Smith, Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Chair, Environment Canada
  • Finn Katerås, Norwegian Environment Agency 
  • Tom Barry, Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna

Business Advisory Group

Representatives from industry provided advice and input into relevant areas of the Congress program:

  • Anne Jahr, Aloca Foundation
  • Tricia Napor, Alcoa Foundation
  • Paola Pedroni, Biodiversity and Ecosytem Services Working Group, the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA)
  • Ruth Romer, Biodiversity and Water, International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA)
  • Robert Blaauw, International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, Shell International
  • Gary Isaksen, International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, ExxonMobil

Congress Secretariat

  • Risa Smith, CAFF Chair, Congress Co-Chair, Environment Canada
  • Finn Katerås, Congress Co-Chair, Norwegian Environment Agency
  • Tom Barry, CAFF International Secretariat
  • Marthe Haugan, Norwegian Environment Agency
  • Courtney Price, CAFF International Secretariat
  • Kristin Sundal, Norwegian Environment Agency
  • Eva Björg Ægisdóttir, Norwegian Environment Agency
  • Kári Fannar Lárusson, CAFF International Secretariat
  • Olga Pálsdóttir, CAFF International Secretariat
  • Hólmgrímur Helgason, CAFF International Secretariat

 Congress Sponsors

The Arctic Biodiversity Congress is made possible by the support and assistance provided by congress sponsors. The primary sponsors of the Arctic Biodiversity Congress are the Ministry of the Environment Finland and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Arctic Biodiversity Congress will promote the conservation and sustainable use of Arctic biodiversity through dialogue among scientists, indigenous peoples, policy-makers, government officials, industry and civil society. It is of relevance to all who wish to make specific and significant contributions to the conservation of Arctic biodiversity.General funding for the congress is in place; however additional funding would give room for an improved program, enhanced participation and strengthened communication and outreach. We are therefore approaching industry and other stakeholders to sponsor specific activities. How can organizations contribute?Contributions are being sought for specific items and events under the following headings:If you or your organization are considering sponsorhip of the Arctic Biodiversity Congress, please contact Tom Barry: tom [AT] caff [DOT] is, (+354) 462-3350 to discuss possibilities.

Sponsorship package

Program support

Sponsors will be able to select their support to contribute to the following activities: keynote speaker attendance, facilitation for round table discussions, and side meetings organization and hosting, delegate attendance, facilitation for round table discussions, and conference information bag/package.

Travel support for delegate attendance

Sponsors will be able to select their support to contribute to travel and participation for the following groups: young scientists, indigenous peoples groups, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders.

Social events

Sponsors will be able to select their support to contribute to the following activities: cultural events and showcase, coffee breaks, and dinner/reception on December 3.

Technology and communication

Sponsors will be able to select their support to contribute to the following: simultaneous translation between English and Russian, website, Congress App, messaging system, and reporting to a wider global audience.

Outreach and public awareness

Sponsors will be able to select their support to contribute to the Through the Lens: Arctic biodiversity photo competition e.g. exhibition and display of winning images. Total sponsorship contributions of the above items will accumulate to be awarded the following categories of sponsors

  • Platinum: US $51,000-100,000
  • Gold: US $26,000-50,000
  • Silver: US $11,000-25,000
  • Bronze: US $5,000-10,000

 Download sponsorhsip package here

Why sponsor the Arctic Biodiversity Congress?

Before the Congress

Early confirmation of your interest and support for the Congress will ensure a high level of exposure. An extensive promotional campaign including advertisements, direct mail campaigns, email updates and social media exposure is being implemented, and the opportunity exists for your company to be represented as a bronze to platinum sponsor of the Congress in advance of the actual event. Where appropriate, sponsor logos will be used in communications materials including positioning on the Congress website.

During the Congress

The event will bring together key stakeholders across many disciplines and sectors to discuss key issues facing Arctic biodiversity. Sponsorship opportunities promote exposure of organizations amongst targeted scientific, policy and Indigenous attendants and an opportunity to exhibit information during the Congress. Various sponsored events and items will be clearly labelled with logos and recognition of sponsors. Sponsor representatives also have the opportunity while attending the Congress to network and engage with key individuals and organizations active in issues of Arctic biodiversity, conservation, governance and management.

After the Congress

Sponsors will have built recognition amongst Congress attendants and will continue to receive information from CAFF on both the Congress outcomes and future CAFF activities and projects. Sponsorship of the Congress will allow companies to engage in the work of CAFF, including discussions on biodiversity guidelines, biodiversity targets, goals, indicators and monitoring. The Congress is part of the implementation of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, and will be influential in shaping the future of sustainable use and conservation of Arctic biodiversity. 


To promote the conservation and sustainable use of Arctic biodiversity through dialogue among scientists, policy-makers, government officials, industry, civil society and indigenous peoples.



  • To present and discuss the main scientific findings in the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA);
  • To facilitate inter-disciplinary discussion, action and status updates on the ABA recommendations among scientists, government officials, policy makers, traditional knowledge holders, indigenous peoples and industry representatives;
  • To provide scientific, indigenous, policy, NGO, academia and industry audiences the opportunity to collaborate around the themes of the ABA;
  • To advise the Arctic Council's Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) on national and international implementation of the ABA recommendations and on development of an ABA Implementation Plan for the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in 2015;
  • To highlight the work of CAFF and the Arctic Council in circumpolar biodiversity conservation and sustainable development; and
  • To mainstream biodiversity and ecosystem services ensuring that the recommendations of the ABA are implemented by not just government, but many organizations and people, and across sectors.


The Arctic Council is a high level intergovernmental forum which promotes cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of the Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic. Member States are Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States of America. In addition, six indigenous peoples’ organizations have been granted status as Permanent Participants in the Arctic Council. Canada holds the chairmanship of the Arctic Council for 2013-2015.

The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) is the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, and its mandate is to address the conservation of Arctic biodiversity, to communicate its findings to the governments and residents of the Arctic, and help to promote practices which ensure the sustainability of the Arctic’s living resources. Canada holds the chairmanship of CAFF for 2013-2015, with Norway acting as vice-Chair.

CAFF presented the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) at the Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council in Kiruna, Sweden, in May 2013. The ABA report contains the best available science informed by traditional ecological knowledge on the status and trends of Arctic biodiversity and accompanying policy recommendations for biodiversity conservation. The key findings of the ABA deal with the significance of climate change as the most serious underlying driver of overall change in biodiversity, the necessity of taking an ecosystem-based approach to management, and the importance of mainstreaming biodiversity by making it integral to other policy fields, for example, in development, plans and operations.

The Ministerial Meeting in Kiruna welcomed the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA), the first Arctic-wide comprehensive assessment of status and emerging trends in Arctic biodiversity, approved its recommendations encouraged Arctic States to follow up on its recommendations, and instructed Senior Arctic Officials (SAO) to ensure that a plan for further work under the Arctic Council to support and implement its recommendations is developed, and that a progress report is delivered to the next ministerial meeting (scheduled for 2015). CAFF will report to the SAOs on progress and deliverables related to implementation and an implementation plan, and related tasks are included in the CAFF Work Plan for 2013-15. Canada and Norway are lead countries on developing an implementation plan for the recommendations from the ABA.

There are also important linkages between ABA efforts and the further development and implementation of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP), CAFF’s cornerstone program. The findings in the ABA will also contribute to other Arctic Council work related to protecting the Arctic environment and to sustainable development based on Arctic ecosystems. This includes Arctic Council activities such as the project on Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic (AACA) and international fora such as the Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 being developed by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The ABA will be used as a basis for developing thematic biodiversity reports and for specific items in CAFF’s Work Plan for 2013-2015.

CAFF has concluded that a larger public event can contribute to present ABA findings in more depth to key audiences and to strengthen the knowledge basis for implementation of ABA recommendations. Such science-policy interface events have also been arranged around previous Arctic Council assessments, for example the conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification which was held in Bergen, Norway, in May 2013.

Find out more about the Arctic Biodiversity Congress


   logo 2  
Nordic Council of Ministers Converted small  nefco logo2 web Small    Equinor PRIMARY logo RGB RED small  
        ELY LA02 Logo EN V1 CMYK small 
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Join our LinkedIn Group
Check us out on Google+
Follow Us on Instagam
Follow Us on Flickr