Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 145

145 Arctic Yearbook 2015 functions from the state to the private sector (Fifka & Pobizhan 2014; WWF 2007). Mining corporations considered CSR as a tool that would enable them to operate and to compete as well as to increase trust among international investors (Humphreys 2011; Kuznetsov & Kuznetsova 2012). By contrast with other international instruments for responsible mining, the concept of CSR has been naturalized into the Russian socio-political environment with some country-specific interpretations. CSR in Russia is mostly focused on charitable activities, donations and company philanthropy (Fifka & Pobizhan 2014; Polishchuk 2009). From Soviet times, large companies inherited the responsibility of taking care of the surrounding communities. Being the major tax payers in the region they were the main producers of social services (Fifka & Pobizhan 2014; Riabova & Didyk 2014). This practice is still in force today. Within social programs, companies repair roads, build new schools, invest in sport as well as health and youth projects of the region. Relations between the municipalities and large resource-based companies are often framed by bilateral, trilateral or multilateral agreements on socioeconomic partnerships between the company, municipality and/or regional government (ibid). Conclusions In this article, we have analyzed and compared the national strategies and policy tools, and reviewed questions related to social acceptance as well as aspects of policy content for sustainable mining in four Arctic countries: Finland, Sweden, Greenland and Russia. A summary of the comparative results can be seen in the Table 1. The social dimensions and geographical setting in the Arctic as well as the national contexts in each country are quite different and greatly influence their individual sustainable mining policies. Mining in the Arctic faces particular challenges due to the sensitive socio-environmental characteristics of these regions. It seems that in all four countries, there is a need to develop mining policies concerning indigenous people’s rights, sensitive environmental values, challenging infrastructure development and economic opportunities. Arctic regions, in general, lack infrastructure and have multiple and competing land uses to contend with. For mining in particular, Finland and Sweden are focused on transportation infrastructure (roads and railroads) development in the Arctic, while Greenland is considering a publicprivate partnership model to fund some of the new infrastructure development projects (Government of Greenland 2014), but financing still poses a notable challenge for mining development in the country. All countries have recently established national mining strategies. In these, the Arctic is not taken as its own special issue, but as part of the general policy approaches. The countries point out the importance of sustainability but with slightly different focuses. Finland and Sweden consider the role of technical innovations and research as well as the mine lifecycle approach as being central for encouraging improved environmental performance. In Sweden and Finland, mining strategies have a strong regional focus. Greenland, on the other hand, sees mining as a tool for social development as a whole by stimulating local economies as well as increasing local employment through skills development and training. Tiainen, Sairinen & Sidorenko