Department of Law

Openness, transparency and public participation in the governance of uranium mining in Greenland: A legal and political track record

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  • Cécile Pelaudeix, PACTE, Sciences Po Grenoble
  • ,
  • Ellen Margrethe Basse
  • Natalia Loukacheva, Political Science Department, University of Northern British Columbia, Canada
This article examines the implementation of the principles of openness, transparency and public participation in the decision-making regarding the conditions for uranium mining in Greenland from a legal and political perspective. The time frame covers the period from the exploration for minerals before the Second World War to 2016-17 where the current Greenlandic authorities prepared a license for a project of extraction of rare earth elements and uranium in Kvanefjeld. It is shown that the issue of openness, transparency and public participation in Greenland is a long-standing issue and that the current governance does not permit public access to a draft EIA report, impairing public participation in decision-making, and preventing the environmental consequences of these activities from being considered as a public concern. It is argued that sovereignty - its consolidation and the accession to it - has impacted the design of governance in Greenland, and that the constraints put today on a full implementation of the legal principles of openness, transparency and public participation in the governance of uranium mining in Greenland, amongst other factors, point to a current hybrid political and legal order in the context of a political agenda of independence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolar Record
Volume53
Issue6
Pages (from-to)603-616
Number of pages13
ISSN0032-2474
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Greenland, uranium, environment, oppeness, Transparency, public participation

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