There should not be issued any licenses in the southeastern part of the Norwegian Barents Sea before the preparedness systems for the area are sufficiently developed, the agency says in a press release.
The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is currently holding a hearing on drilling in the waters, which until the summer of 2011 were part of the Norwegian-Russian disputed zone.
“This area is located far north and has a tough climate with dangerous icing on installations and equipment”, the agency says in its input to the hearing. “Drifting ice and sudden weather changes, as well as little infrastructure, can make cleanup operations of acute spills difficult and partly impossible”, agency leader Ellen Hambro says. A spill in the area would most likely drift into Russian waters, but are unlikely to reach coastal areas, data from the agency indicate.
The environmental watchdog also argues that this part of the Barents Sea is of major importance for regional fish stocks and that the polar ice brim some years stretches into the area, thus making it available for polar bear, seal and walrus.
The agency also criticizes the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for an “unnecessarily quick” assessment process. More time should be set aside for studies of the area and the results of seismic studies should be made available before the consequence study, the authority underlines.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
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.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.