The new Climate, Environment and Hot Spot Adviser of International Barents Secretariat is Maria Dianova. She succeeds Tuuli Ojala, who moved from Kirkenes for another mission.
Maria Dianova’s previous work was in St. Petersburg, where she worked in the Nordic Council of Ministers Information Office. Originally, however, she is a native of Barents region, as her home city is Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Republic of Karelia.
“I graduated from Petrozavodsk State University with my major in Scandinavian Philology. In addition, I got a diploma in tourism management. After graduation, I started working in the International Department of the University, administrating programmes for both Russian and foreign students. My interest in international cooperation became stronger, and in 2007, I joined the Nordic Council of Ministers Information Office in St. Petersburg. There I was responsible for environmental and energy cooperation, as well as climate issues and urban planning”, tells Maria about her previous career.
It was in during her work in the Nordic Council of Ministers when Maria Dianova started to work with the Barents-related issues too.
“One of the tasks in the job was coordinating the Council of Ministers’ activities with various international organizations and with other regional councils, including BEAC. The Barents cooperation seemed to me dynamic and constructive, and after working eight and half years at the NCM, I decided to apply for the position of Climate, Environment and Hot Spots Adviser at the IBS. Before moving to Kirkenes, I had been here once before, and I got a feeling it was a friendly place, with nice people, beautiful Northern nature and lots of international activities.”
Looking towards the future
Maria Dianova started working for the IBS at the beginning of November. Her start in the work was a speedy one, as already at the end of November the meeting of Environment ministers of the Barents Region was organized in Sortavala. The news of the meeting are addressed in another article of this BarentSaga.
Also the upcoming year will be quite busy one, as there are lots of projects in the environmental and climate sectors of the Barents cooperation.
“I am involved in the development of several projects devoted to climate change issues and Nordic-Russian municipal cooperation in the field of environment, and this work will be continued. These project ideas are being elaborated by national and regional stakeholders as well as international organizations, such as Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) that partly supports this position at the IBS. And for sure, some more interesting projects will be initiated under the Norwegian Chairmanship in the BEAC Working Group on Environment in 2016-2017”, Maria explains.
Before the work in 2016, there are the winter holidays. Any greetings for BarentSaga readers?
“I wish all BarentSaga readers very nice and relaxing Christmas and New Year holidays, as well as safe and sustainable environment in the Barents Region!”
Interview by Ilkka Tiensuu