The Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Natural Resources Center (Luke) are launching a new project aimed at raising awareness of harmful alien species and the threat they pose to the sensitive and unique Arctic nature of the Barents region in Finland, Sweden and Norway. In addition, the project promotes international cooperation in the management of alien species.

The project is the largest project to be implemented during the Finnish Barents Presidency period. It will be implemented under Finnish leadership in 2022-2024. The project supports the goal of the Finnish Presidency in safeguarding biodiversity in the Barents region.

The biggest threat to the biodiversity of the Arctic is climate change, which will allow more and more alien species to form viable stocks as they spread to the area. Growing interest in the Arctic has also increased the risk of the spread of alien species as tourism and traffic have increased in the Barents region.

The project will be implemented with the Baltic Sea, Barents and Arctic Cooperation Fund (IBA funding) managed by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project supports the UN Agenda2030 goals for sustainable development to safeguard biodiversity and prevent and reduce the impact of harmful alien species on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.