Heidi Tiainen, Rauno Sairinen & Olga Sidorenko

Finland, Sweden, Greenland and Russia are all partly or fully Arctic countries that are seeking to develop new possibilities for mining and for promoting the regional economy in their respective northern territories. Even though mining can spur economic development and create new wealth within previously undeveloped regions, there is also the potential for causing negative environmental effects and irrevocably shaping the social dynamics of Arctic communities and indigenous ways of life. In this article, we will compare the national policy strategies, regulation and tools for sustainable Arctic mining. In addition, we will also review questions related to social acceptance, coexistence with indigenous people and traditional livelihoods as well as the state of corporate social responsibility. The four countries share the goal of sustainable mining at a strategic level and are influenced, to some extent, by global trends in mining, but the concrete governance of sustainable mining has evolved very differently in each country-specific context.

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