Arctic Council issues recommendations for environmental impact assessment procedures in Arctic areas

Press release 2019-05-17 at 9:48

The Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council, under Finland’s leadership, has prepared a report on good practices for environmental impact assessment in the Arctic region. The practices place particular emphasis on strengthening the engagement of Indigenous Peoples and other local inhabitants.

The project investigated how to plan major projects in a way that ensures that the opinions of inhabitants will be heard. Indigenous Peoples and other local inhabitants have valuable knowledge about the natural conditions of the area, but it is not always taken into account in project planning.

The recommendations prepared under the leadership of the Ministry of the Environment have also been recognised by the International Association for Impact Assessment. The umbrella organisation awarded its 2019 Global Award to the Arctic Council for its work to advance sustainable development and environmental protection and its active participation in the field of impact assessment.

The report provides examples and recommendations that can be used to develop EIA procedures in the Arctic region. The three most important themes are strengthening engagement, utilising Indigenous and other local knowledge and assessment of transboundary impacts. The recommendations are intended particularly for operators from outside the Arctic region.

The project was part of the work carried out during Finland’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The other project leaders were Canada, Denmark and Gwich'in Council International, an Indigenous organisation.

For further information, see:

Project Coordinator Päivi Karvinen, tel. +358 29 525 0014, firstname.lastname@ym.fi

Ministerial Adviser Seija Rantakallio, tel. +358 29 525 0246, firstname.lastname@ym.fi