KYUK published an article titled, “Global Team Of Indigenous Leaders Work With Scientists To Monitor Climate Change’s Impact.” The article reads in part as follows;
“Yesterday, a global team of indigenous leaders, scientists, and wildlife managers gathered at Bethel’s Cultural Center to discuss climate change’s growing impact on the Arctic’s plants and animals.
The working group on the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, or CAFF, is a group that monitors circumpolar biodiversity. It tracks the health of shorebirds, polar bears, and native plants, then recommends sustainable practices to Arctic countries. Representatives from eight different countries are attending the meeting, along with advisors from several indigenous organizations.
‘We’re here to ensure that indigenous voices are at the table’, said Carolina Behe, an advisor for the Inuit Circumpolar Council, or ICC. ‘We have to have indigenous knowledge and science there. With only the science, we’re not getting a full picture’.
According to Behe, indigenous organizations played a pivotal role in starting the Arctic Council, CAFF’s parent organization, which is a coalition of Arctic countries and indigenous groups that work on Arctic policy issues. The group is supported by Sami from Nordic countries, and reindeer herders from Russia. Today, CAFF Secretariat Tom Barry says that the group makes an effort to meet in predominantly indigenous areas throughout the Arctic.
‘They have a direct input into the decision making that we do’, he said. ‘What happens in one part of the Arctic doesn’t happen alone. This enables us to tackle these challenges together’.
He added that this week’s meeting in Bethel is the first Arctic Council-related event to ever be held in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.”