Background information

muinainen_ranta.jpgThe list of Hot Spots was defined in a report by the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) in collaboration with the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) in 2003. Barents Environmental Hot Spots are major polluters and/or ecological risk issues. The experts have foreseen a potential for environmentally significant investment projects in these objects. 

In 2005, the Ministers of Еnvironment of the four Barents countries - Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden - defined the goal to start launching investment projects in all of the 42 Barents environmental Hot Spots by 2013 with the aim of eliminating these Hot Spots. In 2010, a procedure for exclusion of the Environmental Hot Spots from the list was presented to the Ministers of Environment. 

The exclusion projects improve water supply and sewage systems of towns and villages, improve wastewater treatment and waste management, promote energy saving and reduce airborne  emissions. 

The hot spots are situated in the Russian part of the Barents region that comprises Arkhangelsk and Murmansk Oblasts, Nenets Autonomous Okrug, and the Republics of Karelia and Komi.

Eight steps exclusion procedure

The exclusion procedure consists of eight steps implying examination of the environmental status of each hot spot. The status of the hot spots is examined by the federal and regional authorities of the Russian Federation. Based on the status assessment and the assessment of actions already carried out, the hot spot owner elaborates and carry out actions necessary to remove the hot spot from the list.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation with the Federal environmental and nature management supervision service are responsible for the overall implementation of the Exclusion Procedure. The practical operation is done by the five regional Hot spot Exclusion Groups (HEGs), established in Karelia, Komi, Arkhangelsk, Murmansk and Nenets. These groups are comprised by regional environmental authorities.

The BEAC Working Group on Environment’s subgroup on Hot Spot Exclusion coordinates the work for Hot Spot exclusion. The Nordic Environment Finance Corporation NEFCO manаges a special financial tool, the Barents Hot Spot Facility, to launch projects at the Hot Spots.