Barents Protected Area Network-BPAN


Barents Protected Area Network - BPAN

The BPAN project promotes and supports the establishment of a representative network of protected areas in the Barents Region. Biologically diverse and well-connected protected area network is an important tool for biodiversity conservation and for adaption and mitigation of climate change. It also supports natural ecosystems and maintains ecosystem services.

Map 1. Barents Protected Area Network with existing and planned protected areas and BPAN pilot sites on high conservation value areas.

The BPAN project provides compiled information and thematic maps for the decision makers, authorities and general public. The project evaluates and analyzes the protected area network, and gives recommendations for its development.

The Barents Region is a uniform area, with large wilderness territories connecting northern parts of Finland, Sweden, Norway and northwest Russia. The unique and vulnerable natural ecosystems of the Barents Region represent natural heritage of global significance.

Planned nature reserve Såkevaratj, Sweden. (Photo: Frédéric Forsmark)

The biggest threats to the boreal and arctic nature of the Barents Region are habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as climate change. Due to increasing and often unsustainable use of natural resources – gas, oil, minerals, forests, peatlands and water resources – threats to the remaining wilderness areas continue to grow.

BPAN pilot projects

Five regional pilot projects have been implemented in the high conservation value areas of northwest Russia (see map 1). All of them are under threat of human activities. The aim of the pilot projects is to support the establishment and development of protected areas in sites important also in the international scale.

Pilot project site in the Arkhangelsk Region is Europe’s largest old-growth spruce forest (1 million ha) in the watershed of Dvina and Pinega Rivers. (Photo: Denis Dobrynin/ WWF Russia)

Pilot project activities include field studies and environmental monitoring, conducting public consultations and ecological impact assessments, as well as providing information and raising awareness.

Also three pilot projects to enhance communication on nature conservation questions with larger audience were carried out in northwest Russia.

Komi Republic prepared a film about protected areas, On the trail of the northern winds. (Photo: Communicational agency Travel Around the Komi Republic)

Background - Convention on Biological Diversity 

The BPAN project contributes to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to halt the rate of biodiversity loss by 2020. As part of the Programme of Work on Protected Areas of the CBD, the Parties have set a conservation target of 17% of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10% of marine and coastal areas by 2020.

The BPAN project is being implemented by nature conservation authorities, scientific institutes and nature conservation NGOs in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Northwest Russia. The project is an initiative as well as a key biodiversity project of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council’s Working Group on Environment.

The results of work in 2011-2013 will be presented to the Environment Ministers of the Barents Region on 4-5 December, 2013.

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