The group is partly funded by their Norwegian co-partner, but says they will not cease receiving funding from abroad.
“I think we will not cease to receive funding from abroad. We will look for other opportunities in this difficult matter,” says Director of Kola Ecological Center (KEC), Yura Ivanov to BarentsObserver.
The organization is actively working with environmental questions on the Kola Peninsula.
Norwegian partner Kola Ecological Centre has a long history of cooperation with the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature, including a joint program promoting safe decommissioning of older reactors at nuclear power plants in Russia.
“There are few environmental organizations that want to sign up. What implications this new law will have for the organizations are still very unclear, both in regard to those who will sign up and those who doesn’t,” says head of international department, Yngvild Lorentzen.
The law saying that Russian NGOs, that receive funding from abroad and are involved in political activity, will have to register as “Foreign Agents” was passed by the parliament this summer and later sign by President Vladimir Putin. It enters force from next Wednesday.
No political activity “In early October, our organization held a council meeting on this issue. Our Council decided that we will not register as a “Foreign Agent” because we do not participate in political activities, and we do not conduct political activities. Or organization protects and preserves nature. And we are equal partners with the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature in our joint projects, especially because we are neighbors and we have a common border,” says Yura Ivanov.
“We collaborate on difficult environmental problems, and not doing anyone’s bidding.”
Project funding from Norway A part of the funding to Kola Environmental Center comes from the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature that again gets this as project funding from Norwegian authorities.
“The majority of the budget [is transferred from the Norwegian partner], after the Swedes stopped financing Russia. KEC has some income from Nordic Council of Ministers, membership fees, support etc., but this is little compared with the support from us”, says Yngvild Lorentzen.
She says the project support from them comes from both the Norwegian Ministry of Environment and the Foreign Ministry
Already got a indirect warning Yura Ivanov says he already have got some hints that his organization is under watch. In early November, when Yura was in St. Petersburg for a conference, he was contacted by an anonymous man and they agreed to meet at the entrance of a subway station.
“He asked me if I knew the new law on NGOs, and then said that supposedly he had a list of regional NGOs that will have a lot of tests and challenges after the NGO law enters force. He said that in the Murmansk region there are two NGOs, our Kola Ecological Centre and Nature and Youth,” says Yura Ivanov.
Director of Kola Ecological Centre Yura Ivanov.
Representatives of Kola Ecological Centre, Green World and Norwegian Society for Conservation of Nature at a meeting in St. Petersburg in early November. Yura Ivanov and Yngvild Lorentzen are the two to the left.
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.