Regional Working Group on Environment

The mandate of the Regional Working Group on Environment (RWGE) is to work as a consultative body on environmental issues to the Working Group of Environment (WGE). There is close co-operation between the RWGE and the WGE. The WGE may also submit suggestions and give mandates to the RWGE on implementation of special projects. The RWGE and WGE may initiate environmental projects within the Barents Region. Once in two years the Chair of the RWGE is reporting to the Ministers of the Environment of Russia, Norway, Sweden and Finland on the Ministerial Conference about the results of the RWGE’s activity during the last two years. 

Water quality and biodiversity in the Barents Region have been the highlighted areas of action of the RWGE. The overall goal is to strengthen and coordinate multilateral co-operation in the Barents region. This will be done by project implementation and information exchange on several environmental topics. There are many environmental projects carried out by the organisations, which are taking part in the Barents environmental co-operation, such as projects on forestry impacts on surface waters, Atlantic salmon resources and climate change.

Efforts to improve the environmental situation in the area around the Pechenganikel industrial complex are also addressed in the framework of the RWGE. The Pechenganikel industrial complex is the main threat to the aquatic and terrestrial environments in the Finnish, Norwegian, and Russian border area. Regional authorities in the counties of Finnmark, Lapland, and Murmansk have in collaboration with research institutes in the Barents Region completed a «Pasvik program». The objective of the «Pasvik program» was to develop and implement an environmental monitoring and assessment program in the border areas. Nineteen institutions in the Barents Region have participated in the program. The long-term objective of the project is to ensure that the monitoring data covering the state of the environment is reliable, comparable and available to authorities, environmental experts and local people in the border areas.

North-Western Russia, Department of Rozprirodnadzor (Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources) holds the RWGE chairmanship 2015-2017.

Past projects:

TEC - Trilateral cooperation on Environmental Challenges in the Joint Border Area 

List of Environmental projects, implemented in the Barents region since 1995 (updated 2013)


Vasily Fedorov (Chair)
Deputy Director, Department of Rosprirodnadzor of North-West Russia
Liteyny pr. 39, 191014 St. Petersburg, Russia
Tel. +7 812 579 84 93

Tatiana Tyupenko 
Expert, Syktyvkar State University
Tel. +8 9128697497

Jari Pasanen
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Lapland
Tel. +358 405187484

Jonas Liimatta
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for North Ostrobothnia
 +358 50 396 7494

Tatu Turunen
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Kainuu 
Tel. +358 29 502 3500

Jouni Ponnikas 
Regional Council of Kainuu 
Tel.+358 0 861 5541

Rolf Magnus Johansson
County Administration of Norrbotten
Tel. +46 10 225 5321

Mats-Rune Bergström
County Administration of Västerbotten
Tel: + 46 90 107352, +46 70 621 7352

Bente Christiansen
County Administration of Finnmark
Tel. +47 78 950 373

Asbjørg Fyhn
County Administration of Troms
Phone: +47 77 788 165

Roar Høgsæt
County Administration of Nordland
Phone: +47 75 53 15 62

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