Adaptive Governance of Mining – Is It possible?

Lead Author Jukka, Similä
Institution Contact Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, P.O.Box 122, FI-96101 Rovaniemi, Finland tel +358 (0)40 484 4161
Co-Authors Asta Kietäväinen Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland Veera Salokannel Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.1 The role of law and institutions in Arctic transformation process
Presentation Type Poster
Abstract text Our presentation aims to assess whether law governing mining projects have been adaptive and could it be made more adaptive to support sustainable development. The analytical framework is drawing from adaptive law literature and it consists of three main components, namely structure, capacity and process. Structure means for us simply the basic features and functions of various regulated processes and decisions. In modern societies governance structure tends to be “nested”, which means that processes and decisions are interlinked but still have certain degree of independency. Capacity refers both to the resources and authority to respond to change. Process, the way how issues are carried out, determine who can participate, how participation is done, and what are the means to reduce future uncertainties and resolve conflicts.

The first of our analysis step is build up a picture what is the general legal structure of processes and decisions and how they are formally interlinked. This will be completed using interviews to identify how implementation practice has modified the interlinkages between processes and decisions. The analysis of capacity, namely resources and authority, as well as processes require the use of both legal analysis and interviews. While law gives general frames, practices may vary, sometimes even considerable.

The empirical material gathered for research consists of around 35 interviews and documents related to five mining projects in Northern Finland at various stages of the life cycle of mining project starting from exploration and ending to operating mines. We interviewed also national level actors, who are not directly related to the any of the cases, but who are assumed to have general overview of the structure and functioning of governance system.