Nature protection and water Issues

Working Group on Environment

Subgroup on Nature and Water (SNW)

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Contacts of the Subgroup on Nature and Water (SNW)

Documents of the Subgroup on Nature and Water (and it’s predecessors)


The Subgroup on Nature and Water (SNW) is a subgroup of the Working Group on Environment. SNW covers a wide array of themes: biodiversity conservation, protected areas, sustainable forestry management, sustainable management of water resources and water use, transboundary water bodies, mitigation and adaptation to climate change and ecosystem approach. Work of the Subgroup is largely project-based.

SNW also organizes the Habitat Contact Forum, that gathers the representatives of authorities, scientific institutions and civil society to discuss and exchange on current issues concerning forest and wetland conservation in the Barents region. SNW also works with other working groups, especially the Regional Working Group on Environment and the Working Group of Indigenous People.

One of the most extensive projects of the SNW has been the Barents Protected Area Network (BPAN). The project produced an overview of the characteristics and representativeness of the protected area network in the Barents Region in 2011-2014. A second phase was launched in 2015, and included studies on high conservation value forests (HCVFs) and coastal areas. Furthermore, the aim of the project was to deliver updates on the protected area coverage in the study area, and to relate the progress of establishing protected areas to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The report “Protected areas and high conservation value forests in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region – Sweden, Finland and Russia” compiled extensive data on these forests, and the results can be used when further developing the protected area network of the Barents Region.

The Subrgoup coordinates and implements cooperation related to water management and monitoring. Due to waste waters and hazardous pollutants, access to clean drinking water still remains a challenge in (some parts of the) North-West Russia. The management of transboundary waterways in the Barents region has been developed further with several targeted projects. Transboundary cooperation on wider environmental monitoring, such as the Pasvik Monitoring Program is also supported in the subgroup work.

The Subgroup on Nature and Water is chaired by Finland 2020-2023. See the Work Programme in English and Russian.


Past events and projects

  • 2011-2014: Forestry impact and water management in Torne International River Basin
  • 2011-2012: EU water framework directive information project in Kola Peninsula
  • 2012-2013: Water Management Initiative in Arkhangelsk and other Barents regions
  • 2012-2014: Trilateral cooperation on Environmental Challenges in the Joint Border Area
  • 2011-2014: Trilateral cooperation on our common resource the Atlantic salmon in the Barents region
  • 2011-2013: Ground water supply in Sortavala district
  • 2010: Water Management Conference

Project funding in Barents

The IBS has gathered information for all Barents relevant funding sources - more information below!

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Internship at the IBS

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