What is Barents?

The Barents Euro-Arctic Region is Europe’s largest region for interregional cooperation, includes the northernmost parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Northwest Russia. The nature is unique and the environment vulnerable, with wide tundra areas in the north and extensive boreal forests zones in the south. The wealth and diversity of natural resources, e.g., biotopes, forests, fish, minerals, diamonds, oil and gas, poses great opportunities and challenges.

This is a vast region with approximately 5.23 million people; it is an area as large as Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France (mainland) and Spain (mainland) together, totalling 1,75 million km2, of which 75 % of the territory and population is Russian. Several indigenous peoples and minority groups live in the region, e.g., the Sami, Nenets, Vepsians and Komi.

The majority of the Barents Region belongs to the temperate conifer zone whereas the Scandinavian mountain chain, the northern parts of the Kola Peninsula, the Nenets Area and Novaja Zemlja are part of the Arctic tundra. The location mainly north of the Arctic Circle gives a period of exotic midnight sun and also long and dark polar nights.

Learn more about Barents from here.

Tourism in the Barents Area

Tourism is a growing livelihood in the Barents region and globally. “Europe’s northern wilderness” with its highly developed services is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs and tourists in the field. Indigenous people and rich local cultures are important actors in the development of tourism in the region. The overall aim of the competition is to make Arctic nature tourism globally known and intensify cooperation of the joint marketing of tourism in the Barents Area.


Century of Nature Photography in the Barents Area is a photo competition organized by the Regional Council of Kainuu. The idea of the competition is to capture beautiful moments from the Barents Area. You can take pictures for instance of animals, people or nature overall. The competition period is August 11 – October 31, 2017.  And the winner will be announced during a seminar held at the Kuhmo Arts Center on November 10, 2017 (more info coming soon).


John-Steve Linløkken – Director of Marketing at NordNorsk Reiseliv AS / Nothern Norway Tourist Board

John-Steve Linløkken has functioned in his position at Northern Norway Tourist Board since 2010. He has served as Marketing Director for Troms County Visitor Board, Managing Director for Destination Tromsø, Marketing Director for American Express Travel Norway. He has one Master degree in International Marketing from Ecole Surperieur de Commerce Grenoble and Nantes, France, and one Master degree in Branding from Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). Mr. Linløkken has managed several photo and film projects and related competitions and is the chair of Barents Joint Working Group for Toursim (JWGT).

Roman Gokkoev – Executive Officer at International Barents Secretariat (IBS) 

Roman Gokkoev has been involved in the Barents Cooperation on the regional level since January 2008, first coordinating the Oulu regional chairmanship in the BRC and later working as a Barents Coordinator/Manager of International Affairs with the Council of Oulu region. Originally, he comes from Petrozavodsk in Russian Karelia and during the past 20 years he has been living and working in Finland. During 2000-2007 he was working at the University of Oulu (environmental technology development and educational projects in the Barents region).

Harri Tarvainen – Professional photographer and graphic designer

Snowboarding and skateboarding inspired Harri Tarvainen into photography, photography then leading him to graphic design. Harri has graduated from the University of Lapland in 2010 and has done outdoor & action photography, ads, portraits, products and much more since 2004. Harri is bringing a fresh but solid professional point of view to the jury.

Kairi Pääsuke – Senior Adviser at County Administration Board of Norrbotten

Kairi Pääsuke works as a Senior Adviser at the international unit of Länsstyrelsen Norrbotten, being responsible for example for the funding of international projects.  She also is a member of Barents Joint Working Group for Toursim (JWGT). In the past, she has worked as a teacher in environmental law, translator, business consultant and as a Press Operator for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Estonia.