Nature protection and water Issues

Working Group on Environment

Subgroup on Nature and Water (SNW)

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The Nature Protection Subgroup and the Subgroup on Water Issues have been merged into Subgroup on on Nature and Water (SNW)

 Contacts of the Subgroup on Nature and Water (SNW)

Documents of the Subgroup on Nature and Water (contains documents of the merged subgroups)


Information on the Subgroup on Nature and Water (SNW)

Areas of particular importance for biodiversity should be protected through ecologically representative networks of protected areas. There are still gaps in the network of protected areas in the Barents Region.

The Barents Protected Area Network (BPAN) is a major initiative of the NPS.Its main aim is to safeguard biodiversity and maintain the ecosystem services of the region. In December 2017 its second phase, which focused on forests that are especially important for biodiversity, ended. The project on high conservation value forests compiled extensive data on these forests, and the results can be used when further developing the protected area network of the Barents Region. 

The Subgroup on Nature and Water organizes biennially the Habitat Contact Forum – an international contact forum for habitat conservation – which gathers authorities, scientists and civil society representatives to discuss and exchange on current issues concerning forest and wetland conservation in the Barents region. 

The Subrgoup on Nature and Water of the BEAC Working Group on Environment (WGE) coordinates and implements cooperation related to water management and monitoring. The main areas of work are improvement of drinking water quality and sustainable management and use of transboundary water resources. Due to hazardous pollutants, access to clean drinking water still remains a challenge in 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.

One of the subgroup's initiatives, Cross-border Dialogue and Multi-Use Planning in the Pasvik and Grense Jakobselv catchements, was recently approved for funding by the Kolarctic CBC programme. The project aims to identify, prioritize and coordinate future envinronmental measures regarding the management of Pasvik and Grense Jakobselv river basins. The two rivers are located in the Norwegian, Russian and Finnish border region and are exposed to pollution from industrial and economic activities. The project results in a new joint Programme of Measures for the years 2020-2030.

One of the most significant projects of the recent years under the subgroup has been the Kolarctic Salmon project, an initiative to develop the knowledge-based management of the Atlantic Salmon stocks in Northern Norway, White Sea area, North-West Russia abd Finland. The project brought together the scientists, authorities, local fishermen and commercial actors and resulted as the most comprehensive biological sample collection and genetic data set for the Atlantic salmon so far. The salmon's home river and migration patterns were identified, which led to better knowledge-base in environmental monitoring and management of mixed-stock fisheries. 

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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