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The eastern territories of Norway and Finland share a border with Russia along the Grense-Jacobselv, Paz and Voriema Rivers. In total there are 117 kilometres of Norwegian-Russian border where two Norwegian and five Russian hydropower plants are located. Such three-party control over the frontiers requires a special approach and cooperation. Therefore, the regulation of water regime is the result of united efforts and negotiations between the countries.

National parks and wild nature reserves constitute the specially protected areas. More than 10 years ago, these territories were part of the Pasvik-Inari tripartite transboundary natural park, within which Pasvik is a strictly protected Russian nature reserve. 

Despite years of cooperation and special attention towards nature, rivers and their catchment areas, ecologists believe that there is plenty of work to be done. 

‘Cross-border dialogue and multi-purpose planning in the basins of the Paz and Voriema Rivers’ is the name of the official project, which was initiated by the ecologists and aims to improve the environment in favour of the locals living in those areas as well as the general economy in that region. 

There has been a series of negotiations in the countries held in April and May this year. Currently it is in the stage of gathering suggestions in order to compose a general plan for the next nine years. The final document is expected to be composed by the end of 2020 and will cover different areas, such as reducing the burden on the atmosphere, terrestrial ecosystems, reducing wastewater discharges, developing environmentally friendly tourism and even measures to prevent coastal erosion. Hence, control over even the tiniest changes in the environment of these bordering territories is extremely robust. 

Pasvik Nature Reserve has become the partner of this international project from the Russian side, which has also involved local governmental entities and authorities together with the rather influential nickel and palladium mining and smelting company Nornickel. Having several plants and Kola MMC, Nornickel tries to participate in many events related to the environment in the northern regions of Russia.

Generally, the Kolarctic project (2014–2020) is part of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), the objective of which is supporting the development of common welfare and good neighbourliness between the EU countries and their neighbours. Funding is realized on a parity basis both from the EU and from each participating country.

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