Forest collaboration in the Barents region – Barents Forest Sector Task Force

Report from the BFSTF meeting in Oslo

The Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) is an intergovernmental forum for the Barents region that was established in 1993. Six countries, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Russia as well as the European Commission are members of BEAC. In addition there is a Barents Regional Council which involves regions within countries.

Established to facilitate collaboration in the region

For the most part the Barents area belongs to the temperate conifer zone with approximately 87 million hectares of forest. Forest related issues are dealt with by the Barents Forest Sector Task Force (BFSTF), which is a subgroup of the working group on economic co-operation. BFSTF was established to facilitate collaboration and sustainable development of forests and forestry in the region. The functions of forests are described in broad terms including economic, social and ecological aspects. The chairmanship/presidency of BFSTF rotates among its members.

Meetings are held twice a year

Meetings, which are attended by representatives from governments and forest agencies, are usually held twice a year. At present Russia holds the chairmanship/presidency. A BFSTF meeting was held in Oslo, Norway, 21-22 April. Important forest issues for the region were discussed and plans were made for finalising an action plan for BFSTF.

Author: Marcus C Öhman, Ministry for Rural Affairs

Photo: Per Angelstam