Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic

A Guide to Best Practice

Timo Koivurova, Research Professor and Pamela Lesser, Researcher, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland, with Sonja Bickford, Lecturer, Industrial Technology, University of Nebraska, Kearney, US, Paula Kankaanpää, Director, Marine Research Centre, Finnish Environment Institute, Finland and Marina Nenasheva, Lecturer, Northern Arctic Federal University named after M.V.Lomonosov, Russia

Significant growth in economic activity in the Arctic has added weight to the argument that projects must be developed responsibly and sustainably. Addressing growing concerns regarding the exploitation of the Arctic’s natural resources, this timely book presents and evaluates examples of best practice in Arctic environmental impact assessment.

‘I would gladly recommend without any reservation, this book for academics, researchers, students, public authorities and civil society organisations working in the fields of environmental governance and protection, as well as to private companies whose activities and plans are likely to have substantial impact on the environment. Each one of these entities would certainly gain substantial insight from reading this book which, arguably, is not only relevant for Arctic countries, but (with the necessary adaptation) is also relevant to many other countries around the world whose EIA processes need to more adequately support the protection of the environment and respect human wellbeing.’
– Uzuazo Etemire, The Yearbook of Polar Law

‘Anyone interested in what makes environmental impact assessment (EIA) work, in any legal system, should own this book and refer to it often. The authors of this scholarly, practical and engaging study keenly observe the political, legal and cultural influences that explain the surprising national differences in the effectiveness of EIA around the Arctic. Their careful and systematic analysis of each country’s system is prefaced by an insightful discussion of the literature and theory behind best practices. Each chapter is concise yet complete and documented by a well-chosen bibliography. The interviews with selected expert EIA practitioners add critical first-hand understanding of what helps and what hinders policies, laws and regulations being translated into an effective and transparent EIA process.’
– Betsy Baker, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, US

‘This detailed description of environmental impact assessment practices around the Arctic offers much for experts to study, accompanied by insightful commentary that will inform specialists and generalists alike. By focusing on the practice of EIA, the authors emphasize the strengths of what is already being done, in addition to pointing out shortcomings in current approaches. This timely book should be read by anyone seeking to harness the power of EIA to promote socially and environmentally responsible development.’
– Henry P. Huntington, Arctic Scientist, Alaska

‘Grounded in best practice empirical research informed by solid theoretical underpinnings, Koivurova and Lesser’s book is an extremely welcome contribution to the literature. Focused on practical outcomes from the application of environmental impact assessment (EIA) in the Arctic, project proponents, scholars and others will benefit enormously from the experiences outlined; not only for the circumpolar north, but also in other places where EIA is the main environmental policy instrument to address the negative consequences of, typically, energy-related development.’
– Simon Marsden, Flinders University, Australia

‘Timo Koivurova and Pamela Lesser succinctly synthesise primary data gathered from interviews with local communities, indigenous peoples, NGOs, government officials and businesses in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, Russia and the USA. Considering all stakeholder perspectives, they present the regulatory processes of all eight Arctic countries and also provide helpful flowcharts that depict the process graphically for each country. Measuring these practices against the 1997 Guidelines for Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic, the only Arctic environmental impact assessment guidance document that has been officially approved by the ministers of all eight Arctic countries, this book identifies key areas where adherence to best practice is high, such as stakeholder outreach and development, as well as those areas that fall short.’
– Northern Dimension

2016 328 pp Hardback 978 1 78471 157 3 £130.50 £100.00 $130.50 $145.00

Elgaronline 978 1 78471 158 0

Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. is registered in the UK at: The Lypiatts, 15 Lansdown Road,
Cheltenham, Glos GL50 2JA. Registered number: 2041703

How To Order



Get up to 20% discount when you order online

By Email

UK/ROW: [email protected]

N/S America: [email protected]

By Phone

UK/ROW: +44 (0) 1242 226934

N/S America: +1 413-584-5551

Connect With Us

Find us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter

For news, views and offers


Read our Blog

For news, views and debate from our authors and readers.


For More Information

UK/ROW: [email protected]

N/S America: [email protected]