The Working Group on Environment meeting in Tromsø 28.2.-1.3.201
The Working Group on Environment (WGE) is one of the most active and productive Barents Working Groups. WGE had its meeting in Tromsø 28.2-1.3.2017.
The work of the WGE is implemented mainly through its subgroups. The Subgroup on Hot Spots Exclusion (SHE) works with 42 environmental hot spots in the North-West Russia. The hot spots are of different nature; some are industrial sites and some are more extensive issues such as air quality. Some of the hot spots have already been excluded from the list due to the improvement of the situation, and some are in the process of being excluded. The SHE group works in cooperation with NEFCO. The SHE group continued the work straight away after the WGE meeting in Tromsø by travelling to Murmansk, where the group had a meeting concerning the hot spots in the Murmansk Region.
The Subgroup on Nature protection and Water issues works with conservation of natural environment and with water management. The subgroup has several on-going projects. Climate change challenges, ecosystem services, environmental enlightment and transboundary ecosystems are their priority projects.
The director of the Arctic Council Secretariat Magnús Jóhannesson was also present in the meeting and synergies between the Arctic Council working groups and the Barents WGE were warmly welcomed. Other issues discussed were the Barents 2050 project, updating the Climate Change Action Plan and the upcoming environmental ministerial meeting. The meeting in Tromsø included also a visit to Remiks, a waste handling company.
The two days passed fast with important topics to discuss in sunny Tromsø.