Institutional Conditions in Arctic Frontiers: The Case of Mining in Greenland, Russia and Norway
This chapter presents the main features of the different institutional and legal settings in Greenland, Norway and Russia, and how these frame the management of mining activities, particularly in relation to sustainability. The common denominator for Greenland, Norway and Russia is that mining activities have developed within continually evolving national structures in terms of formal legislation and governance institutions, as well as in response to the impact of new societal discourses on mining. The way in which these changes have played out, the degree of societal change, and the way national policies connect with the mining industry in light of these changes does however differ between the three countries.
The transformation of the Greenlandic context must primarily be understood in light of the transfer of power and responsibilities from Danish to native Greenlandic rule, influenced by the need to generate revenue to support independence. By contrast, mining in the Norwegian context has in recent years been characterized by a renewed interest in the sector on the part of a relatively stable national government, influenced by the imperatives of an emerging post-petroleum era. Meanwhile, the changes in Russian society over the last few decades are certainly profound, and there is clear evidence of new sustainability-related elements being introduced into the mineral legislation. Nevertheless, the environmental protection measures applied to the Russian mineral sector are weaker and the governance tradition is clearly more centralised than is the case in Greenland or Norway.
KeywordsArctic mining Mining governance Comparative institutional analysis Mineral industry legislation
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