Civil society and media freedom on agenda as Norway takes over chair of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council

By Thomas Nilsen

Norway will be chairing the Barents Euro-Arctic Council in 2019-2021. Sweden’s new foreign minister, Ann Linde, handed over the responsibility to her Norwegian colleague at the council’s bi-annual meeting in Umeå on Thursday.

To the Barents Observer, Ine Eriksen Søreide says NGOs, media and indigenous peoples can expect strengthened support.

“Norway is very focused on the conditions for civil society in the Barents Region. Supporting and strengthening civil society will be important during the chairmanship period,” the foreign minister assures.

Eriksen Søreide looks with concern to what happens with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the Russian side of the border in the Barents region.

PAME Website on Arctic Shipping Activity

Editor’s note: “The Arctic Council’s Working Group on the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) launched a comprehensive Arctic shipping activity database on February 7, 2019.”  PAME published the following press release about its site:

“The launch is a significant milestone in PAME’s work to improve knowledge of historical Arctic ship traffic activity and various factors that affect such activity, such as sea ice extent, meteorological and oceanographic conditions, and international regulations. The database will allow authorized users to analyze vessel traffic patterns, fuel use, and air emissions, among other economic and environmental conditions.