Erlend Tellnes and Ina Bjørnrå from Greenpeace at Arctic Frontiers in Tromsø. Photo: Morten Brugård
Ina Bjørnrå from Greenpeace stresses the fact that a melting Arctic is alarming. The recent focus on the Arctic revolves around the opportunities arising as polar ice retracts, rather than the challenges climate changes are causing.
“The fast paced changes in the Arctic must not be seen as an open invitation to increased profits for the oil and gas industry. It’s an alarm that urges us to strain even harder to counteract the current climate changes, and protect animals and environments that are threaten by these changes”, Bjørnrå says.
Norway and the Arctic Council recently signed a Host Country Agreement which places a permanent Secretariat in Tromsø. Erlend Tellnes hopes that this will mark the beginning of an era where the Arctic Council focuses on pressing environmental matters.
“The climate changes more rapidly in the Arctic than anywhere else. The Arctic Council has had a temporary secretariat for six years without being able to focus on the environmental threats in the region. We congratulate them on a new, permanent secretariat and hope that this contributes new efforts on the subject”, Bjørnrå states.
The company is closing down its biggest mine in the Kola Peninsula following plummeting raw material prices. Consequences will be dramatic for Zapolyarny, the industrial town located along the border to Norway.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.