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Sediment and society: an approach for assessing management of contaminated sediments and stakeholder involvement in Norway

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Management options for large-scale contaminated sediment remediation projects can be challenging with regard to competing stakeholder interests. This has become apparent during the Oslofjord sediment remediation project (2005–2009) which caused considerable public discussion.


To learn from this project, the ‘Sediment and society’ project was initiated to develop a collaborative approach that will incorporate local and scientific knowledge in order to achieve mutual gains, win-win outcomes for the stakeholders, in the management of contaminated marine sediments.

Method development

The project focuses on two Norwegian harbours: Oslo Harbour and Bergen Harbour. The Oslo Harbour case has been analysed ex-post, using elements of risk governance: participation, communication, information/knowledge and risk perception. The Bergen Harbour case is focused on the establishment of a citizens' jury as well as a stakeholder panel in Bergen Harbour.

Preliminary results and observations

Thus far, the results suggest three important commonalities or challenges for stakeholder involvement: (1) how to include people who have important management information and local knowledge, but not much influence in the decision-making process; (2) how to secure resources to ensure participation and (3) how to engage and motivate stakeholders to participate early in the sediment remediation planning process.

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We kindly acknowledge the Norwegian Research Council as project funding is provided through their ‘The Oceans and Coastal Areas (HAVKYST)’ research programme. For the Bergen Harbour case, we are particularly grateful for the assistance we have received from Per Vikse (Bergen kommune) and Haakon Kryvi (Hordaland County).

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Correspondence to Amy Marie Patrin Oen.

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Responsible editor: Gijs D. Breedveld

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Oen, A.M.P., Sparrevik, M., Barton, D.N. et al. Sediment and society: an approach for assessing management of contaminated sediments and stakeholder involvement in Norway. J Soils Sediments 10, 202–208 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11368-009-0182-x

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  • Contaminated sediments
  • Multi-criteria analysis
  • Sediment management
  • Stakeholder participation