Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic

Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic

A Guide to Best Practice

Timo Koivurova, Pamela Lesser, Sonja Bickford, Paula Kankaanpää and Marina Nenasheva

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.

Chapter 14: Transboundary EIA

Timo Koivurova, Pamela Lesser, Sonja Bickford, Paula Kankaanpää and Marina Nenasheva

Subjects: environment, corporate social responsibility, energy policy and regulation, environmental governance and regulation, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law


As examined in Chapter 1, EIA procedures focus on producing information on a national scale on environmental and social impacts, in conjunction with the concerned public. Transboundary environmental impact assessment (TEIA) extends the origin state’s EIA to include also transboundary impacts on affected state(s) and foreign actors. However, nowadays, the concept has been enlarged to cover EIA procedures designed to evaluate possible impacts by human activities on the environment of areas beyond a state’s national jurisdiction, even if this procedure faces practical problems. As mentioned in Chapter 1, the first national EIA procedures appeared at the end of the 1960s and, especially, at the beginning of the 1970s. This contrasts starkly with the evolution of transboundary environmental impact assessment (TEIA), since the first TEIA procedure having an international importance came into being with the adoption of the EIA Directive of the then European Community (EC), as late as 1985. Article 7 of the Directive provided minimum requirements from Member States’ national EIAs, and had only this to say of the TEIA Where a Member State is aware that a project is likely to have significant effects on the environment in another Member State or where a Member State likely to be significantly affected so requests, the Member State in whose territory the project is intended to be carried out shall forward the information gathered pursuant to Article 5 to the other Member State at the same time as it makes it available to its own nationals.

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