Cooperation project

Cooperation project of 2012–2014

EU ENPI Project Trilateral Cooperation on Environmental Challenges in the Joint Border Area was implemented in 2012–2014 and lead by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Lapland (Finland). Environmental authorities and researches from all three countries were involved.

The project area covered the watersheds of Lake Inarijärvi and the Pasvik River in the border area of Finland, Norway and Russia. The project was developed because there is a need to observe the effects of anthropogenic activities on the unique nature of the region. The project consisted of several different sectors, in which mainly the aquatic ecosystems as well as climate and air quality were studied.

The most significant changes in the nature of the border area are caused by regulation of the Pasvik River for hydropower and the mining and metallurgical industry in the settlements of Nikel and Zapolyarny in Petchenga, Russia. In the future the climate change will also affect the environment increasingly.

The effects of pollutants, water level regulation and climate change on the ecological state of the Pasvik River and Lake Inarijärvi and the state of the small lakes in the vicinity of the Pasvik watercourse were assessed and a monitoring program for these areas was developed. The sulphur dioxide and heavy metal emissions were modelled and the extent of climate change in the Kola Peninsula as assessed based on a long time series of monitoring data. Also the possibilities of using freshwater pearl mussels in assessing the effects of pollution and climate change in small rivers were studied.

The project developed further the monitoring programme planned earlier for this region, which is based both on the national monitoring programmes and on recommendations of the project. This programme facilitates taking into account the specific characteristics of the area, for example changes in the Pechenganikel emissions and the varying pollution levels.

Flyer of the results

Final report of the project Environmental Challenges in the Joint Border Area of Norway, Finland and Russia

Updated monitoring programme Environmental Monitoring Programme for Aquatic Ecosystems in the Norwegian, Finnish and Russian Border Area

Cooperation project of 2003–2006 for the development of a border region environmental programme

The intention of the Interreg IIIA Kolarctic partnership project was to create a joint environmental monitoring and assessment programme to be utilized in the border regions of Finland, Norway and Russia, in the area that is exposed to the emissions of the Pechenganikel mining and metallurgical industry.

The project includes three different sectors: air quality and deposition loading, and terrestrial ecosystems including water quality and aquatic ecosystems. The findings of the project have been collated in an English-language publication State of the Environment in the Norwegian, Finnish and Russian Border Area .

Image: Hans Tømmervik