The BPAN project was discussed in a meeting of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council’s Working Group on Environment, which was held in Arkhangelsk on December 8-10, 2014.
Henna Haapala from the Ministry of the Environment of Finland presented plans for continuation of the BPAN work for the next years.
“In 2015-2017, the BPAN follow-up work will focus on the protection of old-growth forests and coastal ecosystems. Activities will include a workshop on coastal protected areas”, said Haapala.
The BPAN project, which started in 2011, is an initiative of the Nature Protection Subgroup of the BEAC Working Group on Environment. The project is implemented by nature conservation authorities, scientific institutes and nature conservation NGOs in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Northwest Russia.
The meeting participants agreed that the successful results of the BPAN project in 2011-2014 have shown a need to continue co-operation for strengthening the protected area network in the Barents Region.
Mats-Rune Bergström, Director at the County Administrative Board of Västerbotten, described BPAN as the current flagship of the nature protection subgroup’s activities. “BPAN is two things – a project and a network”, he said, underlining the importance of cross-border networks.
“BPAN – it’s not just a project, it already sounds like a slogan”, said Maria Dronova, WGE chair and representative of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
Arkhangelsk Region hosted the meeting of the BEAC Working Group on Environment. Sergey Shevelyov, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry of Arkhangelsk Region, expressed optimism about the future of nature protection cooperation in the Barents Region.
“A model for transboundary cooperation in northern Europe was proposed for more that 20 years ago. At present, Barents cooperation is succesful and it continues to grow. The main factor in cooperation is an effort towards improving the state of environment in the Barents Region and conservation of unique nature of northern Europe.”
Russia holds the chairmanship of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council’s Working Group on Environment in 2014-2015.
BEAC Working Group on Environment
BEAC WGE working programme 2014-2015