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.
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.
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)
11th Meeting of Barents Environmental Ministers in Inari, Finland, December 2013
The VIII Habitat Contact Forum will gather nature conservation experts to Petrozavodsk in the end of September to disuss current themes of biodiversity and the forests, wetlands and coastal areas of the Barents region.
During two missions, in 2007 and 2012, Swedish journalist Tom Juslin traveled through the Nordic countries to find out how climate change affects people, animals and nature.