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Summary of Working Paper No. 153-1999

IV.3.1 Environmental Policy in the Russian Arctic: Formation, Implementation, Effectiveness.

By Vladimir Kotov, School of Business Management, Academy of Transport, Russia; and Elena Nikitina, Institute of World Economy & International Relations, Moscow, Russia.

This study focuses on the analysis of main trends in formation and implementation of governmental environmental policy in the Russian Arctic during the 1990s under radical changes in economic and political systems in Russia. Particular attention is paid to the specifics characterising environmental policy as the result of significant innovations in interactions between the center and the regions, as well as in interactions of environmental institutions with industrial companies-polluters. Effects of Arctic environmental policy have been assessed to inquire was it able to contribute to environmental problem solving in the region, and to push polluters to ecologically responsible behavior. This study attempts to compare, when possible, the problems and effects of environmental policy implementation in the Arctic regions with its main trends in Russia in general.

The study consists of the following major sections. First, it briefly characterises the environmental situation in the Russian Arctic, and major sources of pollution. Second, it analyses new approaches to the environmental policy in the Arctic during the 1990s. Third, it outlines the major stages of the environmental policy implementation process, and particularly the formation of the legal basis for environmental protection in the North of Russia. Fourth, it turns to the analysis of major issues in institutional reorganisation of environmental management during 1990s, including the new role of the Arctic regions in environmental policy formation and implementation. Fifth, it assesses the implementation of main governmental environmental programmes at federal and regional level aimed at environmental problem solving in the Arctic. Sixth, the results of the application of new economic mechanisms of environmental regulation and their effectiveness in the northern regions are evaluated. Seventh, the issues of governmental control over the compliance with environmental rules and norms are studied. The study concludes with observations regarding the effectiveness of environmental policy in the Arctic.