Abstract

BackgroundSince the 1960s, environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and recently, social impact assessments (SIAs), have been conducted during the planning stages of large development projects to identify potential adverse effects and propose mitigation measures to ameliorate these impacts. EIAs and SIAs should outline all possible positive and negative effects of a proposed action or development on ecological and social systems, respectively, including biodiversity, flora and fauna, abiotic components (such as air quality), human health, security and wellbeing. The work outlined herein aims to generate a list of all possible direct and indirect effects of metal mining (including gold, iron, copper, nickel, zinc, silver, molybdenum and lead) along with the impacts of mitigation measures proposed, that are mentioned in EIAs and SIAs in Arctic and boreal regions of the following countries/regions: Canada, Alaska (USA), Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.MethodsWe will conduct searches for environmental and social impact assessments in Swedish and English, and until theoretical saturation is reached (i.e. no new action-impact pathways are identified). We will perform searches of specialist websites (e.g. public repositories of environmental and social impact assessments) and Google Scholar. We will also contact relevant stakeholders (that have been identified in the wider 3MK project https://osf.io/cvh3u/) and make a call for additional information. Eligibility screening will be conducted at two levels: title and full text. Meta-data will be extracted from eligible studies including type of mining activity, location of mine, type of impacts, and planned mitigation measures. Findings will be presented narratively, in a searchable relational database and in an evidence altas (a cartographic map). We will produce a framework of different mining impacts and related mitigation measures from practitioners’ knowledge reflected in EIAs and SIAs. This framework will further form the basis of a multiple knowledge base on mining impacts and mitigation measures generated from different knowledges including scientific, Indigenous, and practitioners’ knowledge.

Highlights

  • Since the 1960s, environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and recently, social impact assessments (SIAs), have been conducted during the planning stages of large development projects to identify potential adverse effects and propose mitigation measures to ameliorate these impacts

  • Since the 1970s, environmental impact assessments (EIAs) are routinely conducted and in many cases enforced for all large development projects, including changes in industrial land use and decommissioning activities

  • This review aims to generate a list of predicted and potential, direct and indirect impacts of mining and its mitigation measures based on a review of EIAs and SIAs in Arctic and boreal regions

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Summary

Methods

This review will follow the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence guidelines and standards for evidence synthesis in environmental management [22] and it conforms to ROSES reporting standards [23] (see Additional file 1). Based on the results of the initial search (and extraction), we will randomly select an additional 5 further EIAs/SIAs from each country We will repeat this second step until new outcomes (see Eligibility criteria for a list of eligible outcomes) cease to emerge and all elements of the map are well-described (i.e. once the outcome accumulation curve is close to the asymptote and the theoretical saturation is reached). Since there are no public repositories of EIAs/SIAs for each eligible country/region we will look for studies by searching several different sources as follows: specialist websites; web-based search engines; public archives, and, direct stakeholder contact and calls for relevant information (see details for each of these searches below).

Background
Findings

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