After my first few months in office I am already full of
impressions of the Barents Region. Even though I had some time to
prepare before I started as the Head of the International Barents
Secretariat in January, it was difficult to imagine what was in store.
To start, I discovered that it was not as dark in January and February
as I had thought, nor was it as cold as I imagined it to be. Even though
Kirkenes is very far north, the travel connections were better than I
expected, with an impressive 11 airports in Finnmark, a county with only
about 75 000 inhabitants.
I have already done a lot of travelling as I try to learn as
much as possible about the region and our network. My first trip was to
Tromsø for the Arctic Frontiers Conference in January. If I had any
doubt about the extent of political interest in the Barents region, it
was gone from the very start. With royalty and prime ministers coming
together to discuss our questions it became easier to go on with the
daily work. The high political level at the Kirkenes Conference the
following week only confirmed my first impressions.
Anyone who has studied the BEAC organizational chart
understands that there are a lot of people to meet and get to know. Our
working groups alone count for more than a hundred people. Further,
there are two boards, many sister organisations, and counterparts in
four countries. I will continue to meet as many of you as possible
during the first year.
It is only five months to the next ministerial meeting in Oulu.
The Finnish chairmanship is preparing for that meeting and the
conclusion of their two-year term. Moreover, the incoming Russian
delegation has started to prepare for their forthcoming tenure. Many
working groups will be planning their next meetings in a month ahead
and you can follow our activity on our website.
In this issue of Barents Saga you will meet people who have
worked for many years with the Barents environmental co-operation. Maria
Dronova and Tatyana Tyupenko will guide you through the last 20 years
in the Barents region. You will learn about Barents Hot Spots, the Pulp
and Paper Mill in Arkhangelsk, and a host of issues from nature
conservation, climate change topics such as black carbon and regional
adaptive strategies, and more.
Have a nice time reading.
Head of the International Barents Secretariat
BEAC WGE Chair Maria Dronova goes through the present status of Barents environmental co-operation.
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Tuuli Ojala from IBS gives an introduction to the Action Plan on Climate Change for Barents co-operation.
Read more >>
Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill has taken steps to decrease its climate effect among the pioneering companies in this field in Russia. The Chief Engineer of APPM, Mr. Viktor Zhitnukhin tells about the work to address the greenhouse gas emissions in the company.
Jari Pasanen from the Centre for Economic
Development, Transport and the Environment of Lapland chaired the Barents Regional Council Working Group
on Environment years 2013 and 2014.