Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

CAFF Board meets in Unalaska

Japan joined 9 other countries and 3 indigenous people’s organizations in a meeting of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, held in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska September 4-5.

During the meeting the CAFF Board examined the products of its working groups which included the status reports from its monitoring plan initiative, a work plan from CBird (a working group in which Japan is also a participant), a development plan from its newly formed invasive species groups, and a progress report and workplan from its migratory flyways group. Japan had an opportunity to show-case its seabird research on St. Lawrence Island and to meet with other researchers from Alaska. The Qawalangin tribe of Unalaska were gracious hosts; they held a welcome potluck and shared the islands wildlife, World War II, and Russian history with meeting participants.

Alexis Will (NIPR / a member of Theme 6)

Most of the CAFF meeting participants, representing 10 countries and 3 indigenous people’s organizations, posed for a group photo outside of the Dutch Harbor airport.

The pink salmon or humpies were spawning, drawing eagles, fishing enthusiasts and tourists to the Iliuliuk River which runs through the middle of Unalaska.

Unusually calm and sunny weather made sitting inside for all-day meetings a challenge. Efficient work allowed from some evening fishing, bird-watching and whale-viewing.

A dawn trip up Mt. Ballyhoo gave meeting participants a chance to explore WWII infrastructure and enjoy the sunrise.