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Nature conservation co-operation in the Barents Region

The Nature Protection Subgroup of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council's (BEAC) Working Group on Environment coordinates and implements co-operation on biodiversity and habitat conservation in the Barents Region. Barents Region covers the administrative regions of northern Finland, Sweden and Norway as well as northwest Russia.

Finland, Sweden and Norway have for a long time carried out their own bilateral nature conservation projects in northwest Russia. To enhance and co-ordinate the co-operation, the International Contact Forum on Habitat Conservation in the Barents Region (also known as the Habitat Contact Forum, HCF) was established in 1999. The HCF is a part of the activities of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council Working Group on Environment, with meetings every second year. The next HCF meeting will be organized in 2017 in Finland.


Barents Protected Area Network

The Barents Region boasts one of the largest intact forest ecosystems remaining on Earth, threatened by increasing exploitation of natural resources and climate change. The BPAN project promotes the establishment of a representative network of protected areas in the Barents Region with special emphasis on forests and mires. The first project phase (2011-2014) analyzed and harmonized the unified information on protected area network, and promoted development of the protected area network by inventories of high conservation value areas and communication. All the results are available on the BPAN webpages.

The BPAN project is being implemented by nature conservation authorities, scientific institutes and nature conservation NGOs in Finland, Sweden, Norway and northwest Russia and coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE.  

Barents protected area network includes established and planned protected areas.

Leaflet of the BPAN project (pdf)

Barents Protected Area Network - Recommendations for Strengthening the Protected Area Network in the Barents Region (pdf)

Barents Protected Area Network - Рекомендации по усовершенствованию системы особо охраняемых природных территорий Баренц-региона (pdf)

Barents Protected Area Network - Rekommendationer för att stärka och utveckla nätverket av skyddade områden i Barentsregionen (pdf)



Be enchanted by northern nature in a photography exhibition, introducing the unique nature of the Barents Region! 2015-04-16
A photography exhibition featuring Barents Region’s nature opens today in Oulu. The exhibition is part of international cooperation on nature conservation in the Barents Region.
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Published 2013-05-07 at 14:54, updated 2016-09-28 at 16:04
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