Beijing has been knocking on the Arctic door for many years and has said it want a seat as observer to the Arctic Council where Norway is one of eight permanent members. All decisions in the Arctic Council must be made monotonous, so Norway’s resistance towards Chinese observation status means that the Arctic door is closed for Beijing.
In 2010, Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in a speech at the China Institute of International Studies Forum in Beijing that “China can make a valuable contribution in the Arctic Region.” Støre has earlier said China should be welcomed as observer to the Arctic Council as previously reported on BarentsObserver.
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.