Barents Forest Sector (WGBFS)

The forest sector is an important part of the economic, social and environmental development in the Barents region. The Working Group on Barents Forest Sector (WGBFS) (previous, The Barents Forest Sector Network, BFSN) is a Working Group under the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) established in May 2000.

The aim of the WGBFS is to promote sustainable management and utilization of forest resources and ecosystem services in line with the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests as well as the Paris Agreement, to follow and timely contribute to BEAC activities, to advocate a balanced and coherent view on forests as well as on products and services they provide. Activities of the WGBFS facilitate knowledge transfer and sharing on scientific results and best practices.


BFSN meeting in Umeå, June 2018

The scope of the working group is, to follow and timely contribute to initiatives that are related to forests and the forest sector in the Barents region, to share relevant information and, when needed, to launch and implement activities with a view to promoting the priority areas of WGBFS. The key principle of WGBFS is to facilitate collaboration in flexible and cost-efficient manner. Participants are expected to actively be engaged in the work of the WGBFS.

The WGBFS strives to increase the interaction with Barents working groups and strengthen cooperation, when appropriate and relevant to the WGBFS priority areas of cooperation, with other organizations, forums and platforms. By this, the WGBFS aims to find synergies as well as to strengthen the cooperation between regional actors in the member countries. The WGBFS will also contribute to raise the profile of the Barents region forestry at the international level. 

Norway holds the chairmanship for both the Barents Euro-Arctic Council and BFSN for 2019-2021. The chairmanship priorities can be found in this presentation


Barents Forest Forum 

Barents Forest Forum is a cooperation platform for stakeholders in the forest sector situated in the Barents region. Proceedings from the 2019 Forum can be found by following this link >>  

BFSN inititated work on a report on Bioeconomy in the Northern Europe at the Barents Forest Forum in Umeå in 2019. A web-version of the report is now available here. Link to the pdf file.

See information on previous conferences:


WGBFS Contacts:



Anne Delphin (Chair)
Senior Adviser
Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Tel: +47 22 24 91 6

Knut Øistad (Coordinator/Focal Point)
Senior Advisor - Division of Forest and Forest Resources
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO)
Tel: +47 90537767



Lars Andersson
Senior Adviser / International Coordinator
Swedish Forest Agency
Tel. +46 54555721

Kristina Nilson
Senior Adviser 
Swedish Forest Agency
Tel. +46 95253954

Rosario Garcia Gil
Vice Dean for Internationalization 
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Tel: +46 730962240


Mr. Vladimir Dmitriev (Country Representative)
Head of the Department of Science and Advanced Development
Federal Forestry Agency

Ms. Maria Sokolenko  (Focal Point)
Deputy Head of analytical unit, Department of Protocol
FSBI “Roslesinforg”
Tel: +7 916 609 53 89

Ms. Natalia Demidova (Focal Point)
Deputy Director
Northern Research Institute of Forestry 
Tel: +7 8182 612679


Sanna Paanukoski 
Senior Specialist, Preparedness Secretary
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Tel: +358 295162449

Pasi Poikonen
Research Scientist
Natural Resources Institute Finland
Tel: +358 295325188

Jyrki Haataja
Senior Expert on Regional Development
Finnish Forest Centre
Tel: +358 44 7100 851


Project funding in Barents

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