Journal section "Social development"

Social Impact Assessment as a Tool for Sustainable Development of the Russian Arctic

Nenasheva M.V.

Volume 12, Issue 2, 2019

Nenasheva M.V. Social impact assessment as a tool for sustainable development of the Russian Arctic. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2019, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 196-209. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2019.2.62.12

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2019.2.62.12

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
In the context of dynamic economic development of the Arctic, one of the strategic tasks is to ensure environmental safety and preserve the conditions and quality of life of the local population. It is possible to solve this problem by conducting environmental impact assessment (EIA) at the stage of economic activity planning, which is mandatory in all Arctic countries. During the EIA process, companies assess possible environmental and related social and economic impact of the planned investment project. For this purpose, appropriate techniques are used, and their number is sufficient to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the impact on the natural environment. At the same time, assessing social impact of economic initiatives is quite a challenge for companies due to the fact that Russia lacks the documents and methodological recommendations that regulate the implementation of such an assessment. This fact is confirmed by the practice of EIA and by scientific research, according to which the assessment of social impact of economic activity is one of the most difficult and least studied issues in modern science. It becomes particularly important to find a solution to this problem for the Russian Arctic, where the indigenous population lives, whose conditions and quality of life largely depend on the state of the environment and preservation of traditional economic activities. In this regard, we set a goal to find an approach to the development of a methodology for forecasting social changes for the Arctic region of Russia. To achieve the goal, we do the following 1) we analyze the existing methodological approaches to assessing the social impact of the planned economic activity in the context of Russian and foreign research, as well as the practice of EIA; 2) we describe a system of indicators of the social environment of the Russian Arctic; 3) we build a matrix of social impact of the planned economic activity. The findings of our study can become the basis for the development of specific techniques, including sectoral methods, to assess social impact of the planned economic activity; these techniques can be used for a comprehensive environmental assessment of the planned economic activity by public and private companies


methodology, indicator, social impact, economic activity, social environment, assessment, impact, russian arctic

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