Regulation of collaborative means

The fourth work package of the CORE project studies environmental planning and decision-making from the regulatory perspective.  The aim is to analyse how the valid law contributes, enables or blocks the collaborative governance and reconciliation of the diverse interests.  

Furthermore, the work package develops new types of regulatory models through which collaborative mechanisms could contribute to the quality and legitimacy of public and private environmental governance. The focus is in land use planning, impact assessment and environmental permit schemes and new type of agreements. In terms of research methods, we utilise legal dogmatic, regulation theory and comparative law approaches.  

1) Collaborative land use planning in the governance of natural resources and bioeconomy. How the instruments of land use planning can be utilised in more coherent and effective ways in order to reconcile competitive land uses? We evaluate the current planning systems and practices and produce knowledge on the needs for regulatory changes. The aim is to support the ongoing renewal process of the land use planning legislation in Finland.    

2) Collaborative follow-up of large-scale projects.  How environmental and social impacts of large-scale projects have been monitored and what is the role of the stakeholders in ex post impact assessments? The aim is to analyze the needs and means for the collaborative follow-up.

3) Local contracting as a means of governance in the natural resource based sectors. How projects based on natural resources could be governed through contracts between proponents and local stakeholders? What are the pros and cons with the contracting approach? In particular, the aim is to identify legal frames for the Impact and Benefit Agreement (IBA) -type of contracting in the Finnish context and its relationship to the alternative modes of governance, such as self-regulation and taxes.

In the first phase, we analyse the valid law in terms of its capacity to enable joint problem-solving and to integrate diverse interests. In these studies, the needs to integrate and simplify environmental procedures are taken into account.

Drawing from the case studies, the second phase develops new regulatory models for reinforcing the use of multiple expertise and collaborative capacities in environmental planning and decision-making.

The third phase sumps up the well-functioning parts in the current regulatory regime and needs for changes from the perspective of collaborative governance. The phase includes a road map to new type contracting in the natural resource based sector and concrete suggestions for regulatory renewals.       

The work package is led by Prof. Ismo Pölönen, Law School, University of Eastern Finland.