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. Norway chairs the WGE in 2016-2017 after the Russian chairmanship in 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.
Subgroups of the WGE
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)
WGE meeting at Svanhovd in Norway, March 2016.