A Role for Authority Supervision in Impact Assessment? Examples from Finnish EIA Reviews
With the boom in mining in Fennoscandia, reconciliation of competing land use interests in governance procedures such as impact assessment has come to the fore. One of the functions that has been applied to varying degrees in national frameworks is supervision of the procedure by a responsible authority. This paper examines review statements issued in the context of mining project assessments in northern Finland – one of the countries implementing authority supervision. The study shows that third-party review may play a role in highlighting the importance of competing land use interest such as reindeer herding. Attention to such interests, however, remains limited by the application of spatial planning in the case and by consent processing, up until the end of the period examined. Among the lessons for impact assessment is the need for methodologies for accommodating anticipatory types of (practice-based and non-scientific) information. Unless these types of sources are considered valid, the possibility of substantializing anticipation and finding solutions along those lines will be missed, with the risk of making things on the ground worse before the need for mitigation measures is comprehended in the face of materializing impacts.
(Published: May 2017)
Citation: L. Solbär & E. Carina H. Keskitalo. “A Role for Authority Supervision in Impact Assessment? Examples from Finnish EIA Reviews.” Arctic Review on Law and Politics, Vol. 8, 2017, pp. 52–72. http://dx.doi.org/10.23865/arctic.v8.661
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Keywords:environmental assessment, EIA, SIA, mining, reindeer husbandry, Finland
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