Climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution are serious challenges to the environment, societies and communities of the Barents region. The responsibility of the Working Group on Environment (WGE) is to promote environmental cooperation in the region to deal with these environmental challenges.

Barents Environment Ministers Meeting, Luleå, Sweden, February 2020.
Photo: Gunilla Strömberg/Government Offices of Sweden

Important framework agreements for the cooperation are the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its sustainable development goals, the Paris Agreement and other global environmental conventions and acts. Priority areas for cooperation are climate change, environmental hot spots, nature protection, water issues and regional level cooperation. The work of the group is guided by biennial ministerial declarations and the priorities set out by each chair in a work programme.

The Working Group on Environment has two subgroups:

Subgroup on Hot Spots Exclusion (SHE)

Subgroup on Nature and Water (SNW)

WGE Chairmanship 2020-2023 is held by Finland. Finland aims to boost the transition into a carbon neutral circular economy, promote biodiversity protection and find means to reduce the use of black carbon.

Read more about the Finnish Chairmanship of the WGE in the Work Programme in English and Russian.

Join Barents Biodiversity Initiative promoted by Finland!

Update of the Action Plan on Climate Change for the Barents Cooperation (APCC), in English

Adopted in the XVIII BEAC Ministerial Meeting in Tromsø in October 2021

Update of the APCC, in Russian





Indigenous peoples' representative to the WGE

Secretary to the WGE

More WGE members on the pages of the WGE Subgroups on Nature and Water and Hot Spots Exclusion.