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.