Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic
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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.
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Chapter 15: Conclusions

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


Without question the two most significant factual changes affecting the Arctic are climate change and economic globalization, which in turn create new pressures on and needs for EIA (ACIA 2004). As a result of climate change, baselines in particular are in a more unstable state and features such as mitigation measures and monitoring plans are becoming essential tools to help ameliorate and monitor short-and long-term impacts that result from and are also caused by climate change (St_pie_ et al. 2014). The effects stemming from economic globalization have widespread implications for biodiversity, as it is closely linked with biodiversity depletion, and the resulting large-scale developments significantly impact, often negatively, local communities (Meltofte et al. 2013). Factual changes are not the only ones affecting the region. In a globalized world, many variables from outside can also have significant consequences. For example, economic cycles and the unpredictability of commodity prices have already been the cause of a slow-down in natural resource projects. Mining in particular has been hard hit. Even so, most analysts do not dispute that the future will see increasing economic activity in the Arctic (St_pie_ et al. 2014). The time horizon may be longer than was thought even just a few years ago, but global demographics dictate an inevitably increasing population and the concomitant need for natural resources.

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