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

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 Sustainable Consumption (CPESC)

Subgroup on Hot Spots Exclusion (SHE)

Subgroup on Nature Protection

Subgroup on Water Issues

Climate change



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)

Audun Garberg Minister Finland Ville Niinistø IP representative Anna Prakhova Minister Sweden Lena Ek Vice Min Russia Rinat Gizatulin.jpg
Barents Ministers of Environment, 8-9 November 2011, Umeå 
Audun Garberg (NOR), Ville Ninistö (FIN), Anna Prakhova (Indigenous Peoples' representative), Lena Ek (SWE) and Rinat Gizatulin (RUS)