Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 137

137 Arctic Yearbook 2015 All four countries have recently established national mining strategies. The countries point out the importance of sustainability or sustainable development but with slightly different focuses. None of the countries has a specific strategy for Arctic mining but in addition to mining strategies, Finland, Sweden and Russia have national Arctic strategies. Finland’s Minerals Strategy (2010) aims to make the mining industry a cornerstone of the national economy and to make the country a global leader in sustainable mining by 2050. The Finnish Strategy focused on the industrial development of mining and responsible mining. The three main objectives of the Strategy are to promote domestic growth and prosperity, solutions for global mineral chain challenges and mitigating environmental impact. At the same time as the Strategy, Finland also modernized its mining regulations with the aim of ensuring there are sustainability targets for the mining industry. During 2010-2012, a few serious incidents involving mining water in Talvivaara mine initiated major public debate on the sustainability of the mining industry. The action paper for Finnish mining sector from government and other stakeholders was launched under the title “Making Finland a leader in the sustainable extractive industry – action plan” (MEE 2013). Based on the guidelines defined in the round-table discussions between wide range of stakeholders, the plan proposed 35 measures for mining sector to operate environmentally, socially and economically sustainable manner. Finland has a subsection dedicated to the mining industry in the national Arctic Strategy (Valtioneuvoston kanslia 2013). The Strategy envisions Finland at the forefront of sustainable Arctic mining and stresses environmental aspects and social sustainability. Technologically sustainable solutions are perceived as a business opportunity for the country (ibid: 9). Overall, the focus of the Strategy is primarily on operational conditions such as the increasing need for transportation infrastructure and the importance of securing enough labour, resources and competent supervising authorities (ibid: 29-30). The Sustainable Mining Network launched by Sitra serves as a forum for discussion between the mining sector and its stakeholders. The working groups include the development of independent activities, social responsibility, the prevention and decrease of adverse environmental effects as well as the development of local operation models (www.kaivosvastuu.fi). In all these Finnish strategies and initiatives the notion of sustainable mining in the Arctic is left unaddressed and they only briefly state that the complexity and sensitivity of the environment are to be considered (see Kokko 2014: 61). The Swedish Minerals Strategy was published in 2013 and highlights the need for growth of the mining sector but with a strong emphasis on sustainability (Government Offices of … 2013). The Strategy does not assess Arctic mining as such but identifies the North as an important region for the mining sector but also with notable natural and cultural values. Coordination and dialogue among the various industries, including reindeer husbandry, is promoted. The Swedish Minerals Strategy identifies five general strategic objectives for the mining industry: 1) a mining and minerals industry in harmony with the environment, cultural values and other business activities; 2) dialogue and cooperation to promote innovation and growth; 3) framework conditions & Tiainen, Sairinen & Sidorenko