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.

SNW Meetings and Projects:

  • March 2021: SNW Virtual Meeting
  • November 2020: SNW Webinar on Sustainable Nature Tourism
  • September 2020, SNW Video Meeting
  • June, 2020: SNW Video Meeting

  • 2020-2023: Impacts of the climate change on the biodiversity in the Barents Region
    – from knowledge to mitigation and adaptation (BARIMS)
  • 2020-2024: Drivers and Feedbacks of Changes in Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity
  • Ongoing: Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme (CBMP)
  • 2020-2021: Conserving our Atlantic salmon as a sustainable resource for people in
    the North (CoASal)
  • 2020-2022: Prospering native brown trout and local fishing professions (PRO TROUT)
  • 2020-2021: Sea Co-operation for Management of the Bothnian Bay (SeaCOMBO)
  • 2020: Invasive Species in the Barents Region
  • 2019-2022: Phenomena of Arctic Nature (PAN)
  • 2019-2021: Salmonid Fish and Freshwater Pearl Mussel - Ecosystem Services and
    Biodiversity in the Green Belt of Fennoscandia (SALMUS)
  • 2019-2022: Data sources for Species in the Barents region
  • 2019-2021: Ecological Restoration of Arctic Rivers (ReArc)
  • 2019-2022: Environmental planning, Measures and Restauration Actions in
    regulated water systems (EMRA)
  • 2019-2022: Clean drinking water and healthy environment for Sortavala (WESO)
  • 2019-2022: Tana River II
  • 2018-2021: Collaborative Data and Information Exchange Network for Managing
    Invasive Alien Species (DIAS)
  • 2018-2020: Cross-border dialogue and Multi-Use Planning in the Pasvik and Grense
    Jakobselv catchments (MUP)
  • 2015-2022: Salmon Peoples of Arctic Rivers
  • 2011-2017: Barents Protected Area Network (BPAN)

Older projects

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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