Trilateral Cooperation on Environmental Challenges in the Joint Border Area

(EU ENPI Project, 2012-2014)

  • Implementation as a collaboration between Finnish, Norwegian and Russian environmental authorities and researchers.
  • The aims of the studies:
    • Illustrate anthropogenic effects on different aquatic environments of the joint border area.
    • Develop tools for assessing the impacts of airborne emissions, the regulation of waterways and climate change.
  • Project results confirm earlier observations that the border area lakes and rivers are affected:
    • Harmful substances (e.g. sulfur compounds and heavy metals) from the Kola Peninsula industry impact both air quality and waterways.
    • Elevated concentrations of many heavy metals in water, bottom sediments and fish, generally highest near the smelters.
    • Malformations and shortened lifespan due to heavy metal exposure in the fish community of several Russian lakes.
    • Water level regulation has altered the hydrology of Lake Inarijärvi and the Pasvik River and affected both the plant and animal communities.
    • Climate change effects can be seen. For example, the proportion of cold water fish (e.g. valuable salmonids and whitefish) declines as the water temperature rises.
  • Environmental monitoring, especially of biological variables, is important for impact assessment.
  • A monitoring programme based on project research was developed to be implemented in the future.
  • Well-planned, long-term monitoring:
    • Illustrates the environmental changes, their cause and rate.
    • Can help in salvaging the sensitive waterways of the area.

 More information:

 Ilona Grekelä, ilona.grekela[at]

River Pasvik - Juha Riihimäki - 4.jpg

Monitoring of aquatic macrophytes on the Pasvik River.
Photo by Juha Riihimäki, Finnish Environmental Institute