Innovative Environmental Protection: Lessons from the Arctic

Timo Koivurova;Paula Kankaanpää;Adam Stępień

【Abstract】 The article argues that regional environmental governance in the Arctic, specifically the Arctic Council, can offer lessons that might inform governance in other regions in the world. For almost 25 years of continued regional-level work Arctic actors have been testing various approaches, and embracing those that have proven effective. Innovations in Arctic environmental governance have emerged both due to larger politico-legal changes and institutional, internal or reflexive learning. In the complex landscape of multi-level environmental governance, regional organisations need to continuously find their niche, learn and adapt. A discussion of the concept of organisational learning helps to understand the nature of the learning processes. This process is visible in the change of the Council’s focus from normative activities towards large-scale scientific assessments. The characteristics of the Council that facilitated learning, primarily its structural flexibility, are highlighted

【Keyword】Arctic;environmental governance;international environmental law;Arctic Council;learning;epistemic community