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:

Friends of Sustainable Production and Consumption (FOSPAC)

Subgroup on Nature and Water (SNW)

ARCHIVE MATERIAL: Subgroup on Hot Spots Exclusion

Since October 2023, the Working Group on Environment (WGE) has been led by Finland, Norway and Sweden sharing the responsibilities of the chair. The Subgroups follow the interim chairship principle adopted by the WGE.

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

Read about the Finnish Chairmanship of the WGE in the Work Programme 2020-2023 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

Barents Regional Youth Council's (BRYC) representative to the WGE

More WGE members on the pages of the WGE Subgroups on Sustainable Production and Consumption and Nature and Water.