Participatory Environmental Governance of Infrastructure Projects Affecting Reindeer Husbandry in the Arctic

The study focused on reindeer herders' participation in EIA procedures of mines and wind farms because these types of industrial infrastructure projects affect reindeer husbandry, a traditional Arctic livelihood in Finland. Herders' level of participation in the EIAs and the benefits and challenges of participation are perceived differently among different types of stakeholders, and the regulatory framework does not adequately ensure that the developer carries social and environmental responsibilities throughout the infrastructure project's lifetime. Regular communication with herders should also be maintained after the EIA and herders' expertise used throughout the project lifetime.

Sculpture with reindeer in front of the Rovaniemi airport in Finland, the entrance of the Arctic Circle © Gunold | Dreamstime

Sculpture with reindeer in front of the Rovaniemi airport in Finland, the entrance of the Arctic Circle © Gunold | Dreamstime

Background

Several infrastructure projects are under development or already operational across the Arctic region. Often the deployment of such projects creates benefits at the national, regional, or global scales. However, local communities can experience negative impacts due to the requirements for extensive land areas, which cause pressure on traditional land use.

Public participation in environmental planning such as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) enables local communities to provide feedback on the environmental, social, and economic challenges of infrastructure projects. Previous studies have found that ideally, participation can improve the means of social learning for all involved parties and help to co-develop sustainable solutions. 

Research

The subject of the study was reindeer herders' participation in EIA procedures of mines and wind farms in because these types of projects affect reindeer husbandry in northern Finland. The study examined empirically how stakeholders involved in the EIAs perceive the participation of reindeer herders in the planning and implementation of infrastructure projects, and how these differ from the perceptions of the reindeer herders who are affected by the infrastructure projects.

The qualitative data were based on in-depth semi-structured interviews (N = 31) with members of the industry sector, consultants, governmental authorities, and representatives of local communities; in this study, the reindeer herders.

The results show that herders' level of participation in the EIAs and the benefits and challenges of participation are perceived differently. Furthermore, the regulatory framework does not adequately ensure that the developer carries social and environmental responsibilities throughout the infrastructure project's lifetime, and that regular communication with herders will also be maintained after the EIAs. Herders' expertise should be used throughout the project lifetime.

One of the main findings was that more attention should be paid to both negotiating possible options for compensation and monitoring mechanisms when the infrastructure projects are pre-screened for the EIAs, as well as to co-designing the different project alternatives with herders for the EIAs. 

Presentations

This study was presented at the ICASS IX, International Congress on Arctic Social Sciences 2017 in Umeå, Sweden

More Information

Landauer M & Komendantova N (2018). Participatory environmental governance of infrastructure projects affecting reindeer husbandry in the Arctic. Journal of Environmental Management 223: 385-395. DOI:10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.06.049.

This study was part of Mia Landauer's IIASA Postdoc project. 


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Last edited: 16 May 2019

CONTACT DETAILS

Mia Landauer

Guest Research Scholar

Risk and Resilience

Timeframe

2016 - 2017

PUBLICATIONS

Grafakos S, Trigg K, Landauer M, Chelleri L, & Dhakar S (2019). Analytical framework to evaluate the level of integration of climate adaptation and mitigation in cities. Climatic Change: 1-20. DOI:10.1007/s10584-019-02394-w.

Landauer M & Komendantova N ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2568-6179 (2018). Participatory environmental governance of infrastructure projects affecting reindeer husbandry in the Arctic. Journal of Environmental Management 223: 385-395. DOI:10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.06.049.

Bohman A, Schmid-Neset T, Juhola S, Glaas E, Landauer M, Klein J, & Linner BO (2018). On the call for issue advocates, or what it takes to make adaptation research useful. Climatic Change 149 (2): 121-129.

Landauer M, Juhola S, & Klein J (2018). The role of scale in integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation in cities. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management

Grafakos S, Pacteau C, Delgado M, Landauer M, Lucon O, & Driscoll P (2018). Integrating mitigation and adaptation: Opportunities and challenges. In: Climate Change and Cities: Second Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network. Eds. Rosenzweig, C., Solecki, W., Romero-Lankao, P., Mehrotra, S., Dhakal, S. & Ibrahim, S.A., pp. 101-138 Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1316603338

Landauer M & Juhola S (2018). Loss and Damage in the Rapidly Changing Arctic. In: Loss and Damage from Climate Change. Eds. Mechler, R., Bouwer, L., Schinko, T. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1156-7574, Surminski, S. & Linnerooth-Bayer, J., pp. 425-447 Cham, Switzerland: Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-72025-810.1007/978-3-319-72026-5_18.

Mechler R, Calliari E, Bouwer L, Schinko T ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1156-7574, Surminski S, Linnerooth-Bayer J, Aerts J, Botzen W, et al. (2018). Science for Loss and Damage. Findings and Propositions. In: Loss and Damage from Climate Change. Eds. Mechler, R., Bouwer, L., Schinko, T. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1156-7574, Surminski, S. & Linnerooth-Bayer, J., pp. 3-37 Cham, Switzerland: Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-72025-810.1007/978-3-319-72026-5_1.

Landauer M, Goodsite ME, & Juhola S (2017). Nordic National Climate Adaptation and Tourism Strategies – (How) Are They Interlinked? Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism: 1-12. DOI:10.1080/15022250.2017.1340540.

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