The Research Council strengthens research on the environment and resources of the Barents Sea

In light of this the Research Council of Norway has issued a call for proposals for projects to strengthen knowledge-based, integrated management of the Barents Sea.

Illustration: Colorbox

 

This is the first call issued under the new Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific Collaboration (2011) between the Research Council and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR).

Joint projects and submission of grant proposals

The call is issued jointly with the RFBR, and all proposed projects must incorporate direct scientific collaboration between Norwegian and Russian research groups. Norwegian participants are to seek funding for their part of the project from the Research Council, while their Russian will counterparts seek funding from the RFBR for theirs.

A budget framework of NOK 4 million per year for three years is available to Norwegian partners in joint research projects. It is anticipated that it will be possible to fund up to three projects within these parameters.

Vital Norwegian-Russian cooperation

Foto: Sverre Chr. Jarild  Executive Director Fridtjof Unander (Photo: Sverre Chr. Jarild )

“The joint call will help to strengthen research cooperation between Norway and Russia in an area of vital importance to environmental well-being and economic development in the region,” says Fridtjof Unander, Executive Director of the Division for Energy, Resources and the Environment at the Research Council.

Norway and Russia both have responsibilities relating to environmental and resource management of the Barents Sea. The countries have a longstanding tradition of cooperation on environmental and fisheries resources, and the joint projects will help to expand cooperation on the development of petroleum resources as well.

Integrated marine management

The integrated management plan for the Barents Sea and the sea areas off the Lofoten islands provides the framework for Norwegian activities in the Barents Sea. As Norway and Russia share sovereignty of the Barents Sea, the management plan also provides the framework for Norway’s collaborative activities with Russia on the marine environment under the auspices of the Joint Norwegian-Russian Commission on Environmental Protection and the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission. Under the leadership of the environmental commission, the two commissions are drawing up the basis for cooperation on integrated marine management between the two countries.

“The call will also enhance the common knowledge base for integrated marine management of the Barents Sea in relation to climate, pollution and risk,” continues Mr Unander.

Collaboration on petroleum activities

Norway and Russia have collaborated on petroleum activities for many years, as clearly evidenced in the energy dialogue between the two countries. The signing of the 2010 treaty on maritime delimitation and cooperation in the Barents Sea paved the way for increased cooperation on resource and environmental mapping. The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2011, laying the foundation for continued dialogue and collaboration.

“That agreement will facilitate joint efforts to generate knowledge on geological conditions. Greater knowledge will provide a better basis for achieving optimal, efficient resource utilisation. The development of knowledge will also go hand-in-hand with the design of solutions for reducing the risk of discharges from petroleum activities and for preventing pollution and damage to the environment,” Mr Unander concludes.

Joint call with Russia (RFBR) – NOK 12 million to research cooperation 

 

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