POPs Monitoring in the Russian Arctic: Issues of Design and Execution

Associate Professor Tatiana Sorokina

Issues related to protection of the Arctic environment are becoming increasingly urgent, as Arctic ecosystems are vulnerable to increasing anthropogenic pressures. The problem of protecting Northern nature from the effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which are dangerous for both biota and human health, is particularly acute. This is the presentation of the analyses of existing normative acts regulating monitoring activities in the Russian Arctic. It emphasizes gaps in legal regulation, which are particularly prominent with regard to monitoring the quality of traditional food consumed by indigenous peoples. The author introduces proposals to change the current legislation to improve the efficiency of the state monitoring system in the Russian Arctic. Such changes will also help to harmonize monitoring activities in Russia with other Arctic States and to fill in the gaps in the Global Monitoring Reports and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) reports on persistent organic pollutants in traditional indigenous food.


She is an Associate Professor of the Department of International and Comparative Law.

In 2006 she graduated from the law faculty of the Pomor State University named after M. V. Lomonosov in Arkhangelsk. In 2009 she graduated from the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. In 2011 he was awarded the title of candidate of law. Since 2011 he has been working in the Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M. V. Lomonosov in Arkhangelsk.

Tatiana is a manager of the research project supported by the Government of the Russian Federation “Development of methodology for monitoring, assessment, prediction and prevention of risks associated with the high level toxic polluting substances transfer via biological pathways. These substances can accumulate in the food chain and spread in Arctic ecosystems”.

Research areas:

  1. a) Environmental Rights;
  2. b) Environmental Monitoring;
  3. c) Environmental Regulation of shipping in the Arctic;
  4. d) Environmental Regulation of the Offshore Activities in the Arctic;
  5. e) Legal Regulation of the Transboundary Pollution of the Arctic Region.

Good Practices for Environmental Impact Assessment and Meaningful Engagement in the Arctic

Mr Assi Harkoma1

1Artic Centre, Rovaniemi, Finland

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is considered to be an important tool for sustainable development in the Arctic. Since economic activities are likely to increase in the area, the EIA in project planning will become increasingly important. Therefor it is important to develop an Arctic-specific recommendation for EIA, in which Indigenous Peoples´ engagement is an integral part of the process. The engagement of IPs in EIA process is challenging. The EIA legislation provides the minimum standard and procedure for basic public consultation process. However previous studies have shown that the assessment has often failed to effectively involve IPs in the process and incorporate Indigenous values and knowledge to the outcomes. Despite these challenges there are existing models that can assist the planning of meaningful engagement in the EIA process specifically within Indigenous communities. The aim of this presentation is to highlight different models and provide examples illustrating these models. The presentation is based on a project “Good Practices for Environmental Impact Assessment and Meaningful Engagement in the Arctic – including Good Practice Recommendations” (Arctic EIA), which is endorsed by the SDWG of the Arctic Council. The project was led by Finland during the Finnish chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2017–2019.


Assi Harkoma works as Project Coordinator at the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law in the Arctic Centre of University of Lapland. Her research interests are Human Rights and issues, especially Indigenous Peoples Rights.

‘Arctic wilderness lessons’ for regulating and managing tourism in Antarctica

Mrs Antje Neumann1

1Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands

The protection of Antarctica’s wilderness values has been addressed by several Polar Law Symposia of the past. At the same time, the status quo of protecting these values has not been changed significantly: there is still a discrepancy between an explicit legal recognition of Antarctica’s wilderness values according to the Environmental Protocol, on the one hand, and a weak consideration of these values in practice, on the other. Meanwhile, human activities in Antarctica further increase and cause growing pressures on the region’s wilderness. Against this background, a PhD-project on the relevance of the wilderness concept for regulating and managing tourist activities in Antarctica was conducted. The project took particular notice of experiences and possible ‘lessons learnt’ in the other Polar region – the Arctic. For this purpose, three Arctic wilderness areas were studied in detail – the Hammastunturi Wilderness Reserve (Finland), the Archipelago of Svalbard (Norway) and the Denali National Park and Preserve (United States), all of them with comparable wilderness qualities and known as important tourist destinations. The contribution to the symposium intends to present some of the main project results including a number of policy approaches and legal instruments that could also be discussed in the Antarctic context.


As a lawyer trained in Germany, my field of expertise lies in Polar law related to both, the Arctic and the Antarctic. From 2000 until 2006, I served as a legal advisor for Germany’s Federal Environmental Agency and was also a member of the German delegation to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings. I obtained my First and Second State Law Examination in Germany and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Akureyri, Iceland. Currently, I am affiliated with the University of Tilburg, the Netherlands, where I completed my PhD-research on wilderness protection in Polar Regions.

Legal Framework for the Development of Satellite Monitoring and Pooled Emergency Response Vessel Regimes for Environmental Protection in the Arctic and Southern Oceans

Dr John Abrahamson1

1Sheltons-SITTI, Sydney, Australia

Polar environments are at ever increasing risk of potential environmental emergencies, including oil and chemical spill risks from developing oil and gas activities in the Arctic Ocean region, and research and tourist vessel access in the Southern Ocean.


The long term key to effective oil and chemical spill detection and recovery may include the combination of effective satellite and aircraft oil detection systems, and oil spill recovery vessels capable of operating in heavy seas and partial ice conditions. These measures would have a similar basis to the European Maritime Safety Agency ocean pollution monitoring and response system.


This presentation analyses the legal framework for the development of these measures in the polar regions, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty, the International Maritime Organization’s International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation, and the Arctic Council’s Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic.


John Abrahamson holds a PhD from the College of Law, ANU, and is admitted to the High Court. His research interests include the Law of the Sea, the Arctic and Southern Ocean regions, and joint development of offshore oil and gas.

His publications include Joint Development of Offshore Oil and Gas Resources in the Arctic Ocean Region (Brill, 2018), and International Taxation of Energy Production and Distribution (Kluwer Law 2018).

John has presented in London, Aberdeen, Durham, Jersey, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Zurich, Lugano, Warsaw, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, and Houston.

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