The economic development in the High North requires good transport solutions across national borders. Experts from the four countries have now started studying transport challenges and cross-border transport routes on roads, railway, sea and air transport.
National transport plans, strategic studies and bilateral studies have identified a need for a more integrated approach to the transport system across borders in the Barents region. A joint plan is a natural step to follow up the different studies and plans. The expert group will come up with a suggestion to a joint transport plan for long-term development of the infrastructure in the Barents Region.
The international expert group Joint Barents Transport Plan is led by Torbjørn Naimak, Head of Norwegian Public Roads Administration’s Northern Region. “We have now started work in the international group and are on a tight schedule. All the countries have their mind set on doing a good job”, Naimak says in a press release.
The group will formulate general strategies on how an effective, sustainable and robust transport system should be developed. They will pinpoint bottle necks and barriers for border crossing transport, both on technical and administrative nature and point out the main directions for development of infrastructure on the basis of predicted transport volumes in the border crossing Corridors.
A declaration will be presented for the transport ministers to sign, based on advice from the expert group.
The Barents Region has some of the last largest areas of intact natural woodlands in Europe. Scientists, bureaucrats and environmentalists from all four Barents countries cooperate on preserving the forest, but an international initiative is needed.
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.