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Trilateral cooperation on Environmental Challenges in the Joint Border Area (KO370)
Funded by Kolarctic ENPI 2007-2013

Objective of the project

Mitigation of the harmful effects of contamination, water level and flow regulation and climate change in the Finnish, Norwegian and Russian border region is expedient to be cared out jointly. Decisions and strategies of sustainable development in the cross-border area and of adaptation to the climate change and other anthropogenic effects on regional level demand knowledge of environmental impacts in concrete region. The project will elaborate instruments for the assessment of the impacts caused by emissions and waste waters of the copper-nickel production of the Pechenganickel Plant, trans-border transfers of toxic substances, water level regulation of Inari Lake and the Pasvik River system and climate change. Moreover, the impacts of the rapid development of mining industry, cargo carriage increase and infrastructure development on the trans-border region will be taken into account. Project recommendations will be useful for the planning of the sustainable economic development of Kola Peninsula, Finnmark and Finnish Lapland and can be utilized in other areas in the Barents region. Assessment tools for detection of the effects of the harmful substances, water regulation and climate change in the transboundary region will be developed within the project for using during and after the project.

Main activities

Activity 1: Modeling of climate change in the border area and modelling of the SO2 emissions from the Nikel and Zapolyarny facilities Activity 2: Comparison of classifications of ecological state and environmental health Activity 3: Evaluating the influence of pollution and climate variation indicated by freshwater pearl mussels Activity 4: Evaluating the effects of hazardous substances, water level regulation and climate change on the ecological condition on the of the River Pasvik and Inari Lake Activity 5 Evaluation and development of existing lake monitoring network of River Pasvik catchment area Activity 6 Dissemination of Information about the project and its activities and results


The project conducted research that addressed several current areas of interest in the Pasvik watercourse area. The climate change in the border area and the Kola Peninsula was assessed based on a long time series of meteorological observations. A clear change towards increase in temperature and precipitation could be seen. Transboundary pollution was modeled and the results show that SO2 emissions from the facilities in Nikel and Zapolyarny in the Pechenga area in Russia move to Finnish and Norwegian territory by air. The project developed a monitoring programme to assess the effects and extent of this airborne pollution. The effects of pollutants, water level regulation and climate change on the ecological condition of the Pasvik River and Lake Inarijärvi was studied. Lake Inarijärvi was found to be in a good state both chemically and biologically, but parts of the Pasvik River suffer from pollution. Water level regulation has changed the ecology of the waterways. Climate change will also cause changes as the rising water temperature will shift the fish species community, for instance. The existing lake monitoring network was developed further. The small lakes of the border area were monitored and a better monitoring programme based on the most representative lakes and sensitive and cost-effective variables was developed. The results of the project have wide application. The raw data is of high quality and can be used in future scientific publications. The assessment of climate change in the area and its effect on the regulated water bodies can be of use internationally. The Final report of the Project: "Environmental Challenges in the Joint Border Area of Norway, Finland and Russia" is a summary report for the project. The project Activities produced detailed expert reports on several different, environmentally relevant subjects in the Pasvik area, which have been compressed into chapters of shortened, simplified reports. Original full text reports are available at www.pasvikmonitoring.org

Basic information