Nature conservation co-operation in the Barents Region

Subgroup on Nature and Water 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. Finnish Chairship in the BEAC Working Group on Environment and its subgroups is in 2020-2022.

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.

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. The second phase (2015-2017) mapped high conservation value forests and coastal protected areas in the Barents Region. All the results are available on the BPAN webpages.

The BPAN project was 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)

Impacts of climate change on biodiversity in the Barents Region

The aim of the BARIMS project (2020-2023) is to enhance regional co-operation in the light of sustainable development and safeguarding biodiversity in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region. Project will estimate areas with significant biodiversity values, and discuss the means for safeguarding nature values and ecosystem functioning as a part of mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. Finnish Environment Institute coordinates the project.

Forest biodiversity protection in the Barents Region in 2020 and beyond: assessing the status and paving the way for mainstreaming biodiversity into forestry

Boreal forests of the Barents Region stretch through Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, who are all Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Under the CBD, Aichi Biodiversity Targets expired in 2020. The project took stock of the progress made to achieve Aichi Target 11 (17% of the terrestrial and inland water areas conserved by 2020) in the boreal forest zone of the Barents Region. As the biodiversity needs to be protected also outside protected areas, the project launched a dialogue with the forestry sector in the Barents Region and sought to establish common ground to mainstream biodiversity in the forestry sector. The analysis results are available in the publication Changes in the protected area network and forest biodiversity protection in the Barents Region 2013–2020 (

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.
Read more
Published 2013-05-07 at 14:54, updated 2023-05-22 at 10:03
Target group: