Barents efforts for biodiversity conservation

The most significant threats to biodiversity in the Barents Region are habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation as well as the rapidly changing climate. Increasing and too often unsustainable use of natural resources creates problems to the natural environment and ecosystems. However, in the Barents region there is still a unique possibility to reach the global goals of the Convention of Biological Diversity to secure a broad, representative and effectively managed network of protected areas. Such areas are a mainstay of biodiversity conservation, which also makes positive contributions to people’s livelihoods and ecosystem services, particularly at the regional and local level.

The WGE Subgroup on Nature Protection (NPS) unites experts from all regions in the Barents area, meets regularly and discusses the on-going and planned environmental projects. One of the main achievements of the NPS group is the implementation of the well-known Barents Protected Areas Network (BPAN) project, which is presented in brief in the infobox below. The results and recommendations of the project and positive feedback from regions have encouraged further development of the second phase of the project and dissemination of its results.

To give an input to the conservation of our common natural heritage, the pristine boreal forests, NPS has initiated the work on a strategy for protecting the last pristine boreal forests in the Barents region. Habitat Contact Forum (HCF) is a long-term traditional platform for co-operation. Its next meeting will take place in Petrozavodsk (Republic of Karelia) in September 2015. The NPS group together with the Organizing Committee of the HCF formulates the agenda and invites all interested parties, including decision makers, scientists, researches and students for participation.

Although the members of the NPS represent different countries and regions of the Barents alliance, they are united by one goal - to preserve and enhance the natural wealth of the Barents region, since nature knows no boundaries.

Tatyana Tyupenko, Chair of the BEAC WGE Subgroup on Nature Protection, Republic of Komi


​Planned Khibiny National Park in the Kola Peninsula is home
to rare and endangered species. Photo: Anna Kuhmonen

Barents Protected Area Network BPAN

"Nature has no borders"

Anna Kuhmonen, Finnish Environment Institute

See also:

20 years of Barents co-operation for the protection of the environment

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