Working Group on Environment (WGE)    

The Barents Region is becoming a strategic region for the Europe. Its natural resources and new transportation routes will change the global map on resource use and transportation. Until today, the Barents Region is proud of its clean environment, large intact natural areas and unique indigenous culture in Europe. An important challenge, thus, for the prosperity of the region is to promote responsible, sustainable and environmentally sound economic activities.

The Working Group on Environment was established in 1999 and the chairmanship rotates between Sweden, Finland, Russia and Norway. Russia chairs the WGE in 2014-2015 after the Finnish chairmanship 2012-2013.

Working programme of the WGE 2014-2015

WGE Activity report 2012-2013 

WGE Communication strategy 2014-2015

The WGE is expected to cover a wide spectrum of issues and to be able to deal with both strong priorities of the Barents Cooperation and major environmental challenges. The work is therefore organized in sub groups and prioritized themes. The Regional Working Group on Environment carries out co-operation projects between the regions in the Barents region and works in close co-operation with the WGE and its subgroups.

Subgroup on Cleaner Production and Environmentally Sound Consumption (CPESC)

Subgroup on Hot Spots Exclusion (SHE)

Subgroup on Nature Protection

Subgroup on Water Issues

Climate change



Working group meeting, Naryan-Mar, 15-16 June 2015 

Working group meeting, Arkhangelsk 8-10.12.2014

Working group meeting, Petrozavodsk 8.-9.4.2014


The environmental cooperation of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council started with a meeting between the Ministers of Environment in Bodø 1994. Since then the ministers meet every second year (Ministerial Meetings page)


2013-12-04 EnvMinisterSessionInari-1.jpg
11th Meeting of Barents Environmental Ministers in Inari, Finland, December 2013

Calendar of Events
BPAN photography exhibition “Barents – Nature has no borders”
An exhibition presented by the Barents Protected Area Network (BPAN). Venue: Komi Republic Ecological Centre, Syktyvkar

Place: Syktyvkar, Komi Republic, Russia
BPAN photography exhibition “Barents – Nature has no borders”
An exhibition presented by the Barents Protected Area Network (BPAN). Venue: Finnish Environment Institute, Mechelininkatu 34A, Helsinki

Place: Helsinki, Finland
The Global Cleantech Summit 2015 / Cleantech Innovations in Minerals Production
The Arctic/Barents focused seminar "Cleantech Innovations in Minerals Production" will be organized during the summit.

Place: Helsinki, Finland
8th International Barents Region Habitat Contact Forum
International Contact Forum for Habitat Conservation is organized under the BEAC WGE Subgroup on Nature Protection every second year. It gathers the representatives of authorities, scientific institutions and civil society to discuss current themes forest and wetland conservation. The Forum will focus on issues of nature conservation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (BEAR).

Place: Petrozavodsk, Karelia, Russia