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A Conceptual Approach to Improving the Legal Regulation of Environmental Protection and Nature Management in the Arctic

Kudelkin Nikolai

PhD in Law

Leading Scientific Associate, Department of Environmental, Land and Agrarian Law, Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences

119019, Russia, Moscow, Znamenka str., 10

nkkix@inbox.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.25136/2409-7136.2022.12.39554

EDN:

OGHSQR

Received:

19-12-2022


Published:

26-12-2022


Abstract: The subject of the work is the legal norms regulating social relations that arise in the process of environmental protection and the implementation of various activities in the Arctic, as well as data on the features and state of nature of the Arctic region. The aim of the work is to formulate a special concept aimed at protecting the environment and ensuring rational use of natural resources, which can be used to improve legal regulation in these areas. The methodological basis of the study was a system of various methods, logical techniques and means of cognition; general scientific, private and special methods were used in the process of work. Such as analysis, synthesis, analogy, deduction, induction, formal legal and others. The relevance of the research topic is indicated by the fact that the Arctic is a unique region of great importance both for the environment of the planet and for various aspects of human life. At the same time, the Arctic nature is characterized by increased sensitivity to various impacts, such as economic activity and climate change. Accordingly, the Arctic region needs special legal regulation of environmental protection and nature management. The paper gives a general description of the Arctic region. The main threats to the Arctic environment are considered on the example of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. The main result of the work is the special concept proposed in it, aimed at protecting the environment and ensuring rational use of natural resources in the Arctic. At the same time, the main idea of the concept is to create a single natural and ecological framework of the Arctic. The paper emphasizes that the application of this concept for the improvement and development of domestic legislation should not only increase the level of nature protection in the Arctic, but also contribute to ensuring the interests of the country for the sustainable development of the region.


Keywords:

Arctic, environmental protection, rational use of natural resources, principles of law, indigenous peoples, environmental pollution, negative impact, natural-ecological framework, Arctic region, biodiversity

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Problem statement. The Arctic is a single physical and geographical area of the Earth adjacent to the North Pole and includes the outskirts of the continents of Eurasia and North America, almost the entire Arctic Ocean, as well as adjacent parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. If the southern border of the Arctic is drawn along the Arctic Circle (66 33 ' s. s.), then its area will be 21 million km2. If the southern border of the region is drawn along the southern border of the tundra zone, then the area of the Arctic will be about 27 million km2 (see: URL: https://investments.academic.ru/697/ ?ysclid=lban3293io558009089 (accessed 05.12.2022)). At the same time, the area of the Arctic territories of the Russian Federation is 4.8 million km2 (about 28% of the country's territory), where more than half of the population of the entire Arctic lives 2.6 million people (URL: https://arctic-council-russia.ru/useful /?ysclid=lbani3neni809686818 (accessed 05.12.2022)). Arctic territories and water areas are of great importance for Russia. Thus, minerals extracted in the Arctic, as well as their proven reserves and forecast resources, make up the bulk of the country's mineral resource base. At the same time, the shelf of the Arctic seas can be considered as a strategic reserve for strengthening the mineral resource security of the Russian Federation. The Arctic zone of the Russian Federation (AZRF) is characterized not only by huge reserves of mineral resources, but is also inhabited by a large number of various animals, plants and fungi, many of which are listed in the Red Book. In turn, the length of the Russian Arctic determines large landscape, regional-climatic, soil and plant variations (See: On the state and environmental protection of the Russian Federation in 2020. State Report. Moscow: Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia; Lomonosov Moscow State University, 2021. pp. 275-299). Thus, the Russian Arctic is a strategically significant, special region of the country, characterized by a sensitive natural environment and in need of special protection, especially in the conditions of ongoing and planned industrial development.

It should be emphasized that the scientific and legal literature devoted to the Arctic emphasizes the uniqueness and high importance of this region both for the nature of the planet and for various aspects of human life. For Example, N. G. Zhavoronkova and V. B. Agafonov taking into account climatic, natural resource and biological characteristics of the Arctic propose to consider this region as a single climatic "organism" [1, p. 63]. M. S. Permilovskaya writes that the Arctic is the economic, transport, social, environmental and cultural importance [2]. M. M. Brinchuk and Yu Kasprowa based on natural features of the natural environment of the Arctic, I propose to consider it as a specific object of ecological safety and the specific object relations in environmental and natural resources law [3, p. 235]. I. A. Ignatiev emphasizes that the vulnerable environment of the Arctic region requires special measures of protection from the negative impacts of human activities [4, p. 46]. P. p. Bulahov and Y. S. Ovchinnikovskaya about the Arctic, as the field of their economic interests, which provides opportunities for a variety of tasks and has a huge potential for the development of entrepreneurial activity, the scientists emphasized that the Arctic region has a large variety of natural resources and the fact that without the implementation of effective economic activities in the North is essential for the successful development of Russia as a whole [5, p. 100]. I. S. Zhudro and T. V. Rednikova, noting the high sensitivity of the natural environment of the Arctic to external influences, as well as the region's wealth of mineral and biological resources, emphasize that at the present time, the Arctic is a zone of collision of different interests of many countries [6, p. 128]. S. A. Bogolyubov, I. O. Krasnov write that the Arctic region is particularly vulnerable unique ecological system, the natural heritage of the peoples of Russia, an indicator of climate processes, it was noted that in the Arctic region most prominently manifested negative effects of global change [7, p. 178].

The uniqueness of the Arctic region is also confirmed by the fact that the State Report "On the State and Environmental Protection of the Russian Federation" provides a special section dedicated to the Russian Arctic (See: On the state and Environmental protection of the Russian Federation in 2020. State Report. Moscow: Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia; Lomonosov Moscow State University, 2021. pp. 275-299.).

The peculiarities of the Arctic, its high importance and vulnerability are also recorded in the strategic planning documents of both Arctic and some non-Arctic countries. For example, in paragraph 4 of the Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensuring National Security for the period up to 2035, approved by Presidential Decree No. 645 of October 26, 2020 (NW RF. 2020. No. 44. St. 6970), such features of the Russian Arctic as extreme climatic conditions and high sensitivity of ecological systems to external influences.

The "Arctic Policy of China" talks about the uniqueness of the Arctic environment and its natural resources, while drawing attention to the fact that the natural environment of the region is changing rapidly as a result of global warming. The Document also indicates that the Arctic is of global importance (See: URL: https://english.www.gov.cn/archive/white_paper/2018/01/26/content_281476026660336.htm (accessed: 07.11.2022)).In general, Arctic policy documents pay quite a lot of attention to both issues related to the development of the region and the tasks of environmental protection, especially in light of the vulnerability of the Arctic nature to global warming [8].

Further, it seems appropriate, based on official data, to briefly consider the main types of negative impact on the nature of the Arctic.

The main sources of pollution of the Russian Arctic are enterprises of the fuel and energy complex, metallurgy, enterprises for the extraction and processing of minerals, chemical, woodworking, pulp and paper industry, transport complex. Thus, the main problem areas associated with surface water pollution, as in the case of air pollution (in most cities of the Russian Arctic there is a high level of atmospheric pollution), coincide with industrial centers and large transport hubs. The main pollution of the aquatic environment is associated with the following sources: mining and metallurgical plants in Norilsk, Monchegorsk and Nickel, oil and gas complexes in the north of the European territory of Russia and Western Siberia, Arkhangelsk and Solombal pulp and paper mills, gold mining enterprises of Yakutia, wastewater discharges of housing and communal services in settlements, as well as transport and fishing fleets. In addition to the regions of oil production and refining, the sources of oil pollution of land surface waters are oil pipelines, oil storage facilities, bases, gas stations, water and land vehicles. The economic development of the Russian Arctic has a strong impact on the geological environment and causes negative geological processes, destruction and degradation of permafrost occurs. The most important problem is the extensive disturbances in the structure of soils and ecosystems associated with the development of the extractive and manufacturing sectors of the economy. Quarries, mines, dumps and tailings dumps change the landscape of the Russian Arctic, while the biological balance of territories is often greatly disturbed. An acute problem is to minimize the consequences of oil production and mining waste, which cause serious harm to the biosphere of the Russian Arctic. The leaders in production and consumption waste generation in 2020 were the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Murmansk Region. First of all, this is due to the fact that these regions are leaders in the economy and infrastructure development in the Russian Arctic. Forest fires are an urgent problem for the Russian Arctic. Thus, according to the state forest pathology monitoring, the death of AZRF plantations in 2020 for the reason mentioned above amounted to 4.2 thousand hectares (See: On the state and environmental protection of the Russian Federation in 2020. State Report. Moscow: Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia; Lomonosov Moscow State University, 2021. pp. 278-298).

Global warming should be mentioned as a natural factor that has a strong negative impact on the state of the Arctic environment. The ongoing climate change is most noticeable in the Northern Polar region, where the average annual temperature increase was 0.81 C / 10 years, i.e. 2.43 C for 30 years. As a result of the observed warming, there was a decrease in the Arctic ice cover, an increase in the thickness of the seasonally thawed permafrost layer, a decrease in the duration of snow cover, etc. (See: Report on climate features on the territory of the Russian Federation for 2019. M., 2020. p. 6). Many phenomena associated with global warming, for example, thermal erosion, frost cracking, methane emissions, etc., pose a danger not only to the environment, but also to the Arctic infrastructure [8; 9]. Thus, according to available estimates, as a result of geocryological processes associated with climate warming, more than 7,400 accidents occur in the oil fields of Western Siberia per year [10, p. 180].

Thus, from the analysis of information on the state of the Arctic environment, it is clear that the main threat to the northern nature is represented by various types of anthropogenic activities, as well as the climate change currently observed. At the same time, these factors reinforce each other's negative influence.

Ensuring an appropriate level of legal regulation of environmental protection and the implementation of anthropogenic activities in the Arctic. The high global importance of the Arctic region, as well as the vulnerability of its natural environment, indicate the need to apply a special approach to the protection of nature and the implementation of economic and other activities in the Arctic. At the same time, it seems that such an approach should first of all ensure a sufficient level of protection of the Arctic nature, which will preserve not only the natural resources of the Arctic for future generations, but also have a positive impact on the state of the planet as a whole. It is also necessary to specify that the Arctic region is quite diverse in its natural characteristics, for example, due to its length, the Russian Arctic is characterized by a wide variety of climatic and weather regimes, it is located on the territory of three climatic zones (temperate, subarctic and Arctic), which has a strong impact on the natural and ecological diversity of flora and fauna (See: On the state and environmental protection of the Russian Federation in 2020. State Report. Moscow: Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia; Lomonosov Moscow State University, 2021. p. 276). This fact also suggests that the legal mechanism for ensuring environmental protection and rational use of natural resources in the Arctic should allow taking into account all the versatility of the Arctic nature, which is quite a difficult task. For example, if uniform requirements for the implementation of economic activities are applied to the entire Russian Arctic, a situation may arise as a result of which requirements will be insufficient for some territories, and excessive for others, respectively, the balance of environmental (public) and private interests will be disrupted.

It is obvious that a special environmental concept that can serve as a basis for improving legal regulation in the region both at the national level and internationally should be based on the principles of law, while in addition to the general principles on which any legal regulation should be based, in relation to the formation of a special regime of legal protection of the Arctic environment and the use of its natural resources I would especially like to highlight the following resources:

"The precautionary principle." In this context, it means the mandatory study of possible negative consequences from the planned economic activity. And if their prevention or substantial minimization is not possible, as well as if the expected benefit from such activities is lower or comparable to possible environmental harm, then it should not be carried out in the Arctic region.

"The principle of prevention of environmental harm". Preventing the occurrence of negative consequences for the environment from anthropogenic activities, especially in a region such as the Arctic, is vital, since the restoration of the affected nature is often difficult or impossible. At the same time, the prevention of environmental harm will save the possible causer of such harm from large expenses aimed at its compensation. In addition, according to the authoritative opinion of M.M. Brinchuk, the prevention of environmental harm also contributes to the prevention of ecogenic harm, i.e. harm to human health and life as a result of exposure to a disturbed, polluted environment [11, p. 77].

"The principle of responsible behavior of subjects of anthropogenic activity". This principle assumes that any subject of economic or other activity in the Arctic should carry it out in such a way as not to have (or minimize) a negative impact on the environment, as well as to be aware of the possible consequences that its activities may have on the environment. And in the event of a threat of harm to the natural environment, do everything possible to prevent it until the termination of its activities. Thus, this principle is closely interrelated with the principle of prevention of environmental harm.

"The principle of priority of carrying out activities that do not have a negative impact on the natural environment of the Arctic or have a minimal negative impact." It is obvious that different activities have different negative effects on the environment, for example, subsurface use has a disproportionately greater impact on the nature of the Arctic compared to Arctic tourism. Thus, in all possible cases, priority should be given to activities that have a minimal impact on the environment. For the Arctic, traditional types of nature management seem to be the most suitable, which, if properly implemented, do not exceed the ability of ecosystems to regenerate themselves.

"The principle of advanced development of legal regulation in relation to ongoing or planned economic activity in the Arctic." This principle is that the legislative and technical regulation of activities that pose an increased danger to the Arctic environment and (or) related to the use of its natural resources should be proactive in relation to its implementation. That is, the development of legislation should be carried out on the basis of forecasting possible risks to the nature of the Arctic in order to prevent and minimize possible negative consequences [12].

"The principle of mandatory use of the best available technologies". According to Article 1. of Federal Law No. 7-FZ of January 10, 2002 "On Environmental Protection" (Federal Law of the Russian Federation. 2002. No. 2. Article 133) (hereinafter the Law "On Environmental Protection"), the best available technology (BAT) is understood as the technology of production of products (goods), performance of works, provision of services, determined on the basis of modern achievements of science and technology and the best combination of criteria for achieving environmental protection goals, provided that there is a technical possibility of its application. The use of technologies specially developed for the conditions of the Arctic should help to reduce the negative impact on its environment and prevent environmental harm.

"The principle of accounting for the ecological capacity of the territory". If the ecological capacity of the territory is understood as the limit, the excess of which in the course of economic activity and (or) natural anthropogenic impact will cause a crisis state of the ecosystem of such a territory [13, p. 752], then taking into account such capacity will allow planning activities in such a way as not to have a destructive effect on ecosystems, which is especially important for the Arctic region, the nature of which has low resistance to external influences.

At the same time, it should be noted that in science there are certain difficulties in assessing the ecological capacity of the territory [13].

"The principle of integrated environmental protection of the Arctic".Since all the components of nature are in close interaction and, accordingly, affect each other, and violation, deterioration of any of them usually has a negative impact on both the entire natural environment and its individual components, for example, violation of vegetation cover in the permafrost zone can lead to degradation of permafrost and as a consequence to serious changes in terrain, etc., environmental protection should be comprehensive and cover all elements of nature.

"The principle of ensuring the preservation of the traditional way of life and nature management of the indigenous peoples of the North." The Arctic, and especially its Russian part, is home to small peoples who continue to lead a traditional way of life and activity, thereby ensuring the preservation of their culture in a modern, rapidly changing world. Traditional nature management is directly related to the use of the surrounding nature, and therefore depends both on its condition and on the possibility of access to certain natural resources. The development of the Arctic, especially associated with the extraction of minerals, as well as their transportation, combined with changes in the nature of the North, occurring as a result of climate warming, negatively affect the quality of life of indigenous peoples, as well as other persons engaged in traditional nature management. Thus, compliance with the proposed principle in the implementation and planning of any activity in the Arctic is vital for the preservation of the indigenous peoples of the North.

"The principle of scientific validity".Due to the fact that, on the one hand, economic or other activities can cause negative changes in the Arctic environment, and on the other hand, various natural phenomena occurring in the region, for example, related to global warming, can have a strong destructive impact on infrastructure. When planning and implementing activities in the Arctic, it is necessary to rely on special scientific research in order to predict and prevent negative consequences for both nature and infrastructure facilities.

"The principle of ensuring environmental education and (or) education for persons engaged in economic or other activities in the Arctic." Since the implementation of economic or other activities related to the exploitation of natural resources or affecting the environment of the Arctic, as a rule, poses a threat to the nature of the region, in order to minimize the negative effect of such activities, it seems advisable to ensure that the subjects of its implementation receive special knowledge about the peculiarities of the Arctic nature, about the environmental impacts of those or other types of activities, about actions that need to be applied in order to prevent, minimize environmental harm, rules of conduct in the event of natural or man-made emergencies, etc. It seems that obtaining such knowledge should contribute to improving the environmental culture of citizens and contribute to the formation of responsible behavior when carrying out various activities in the Arctic.

"The principle of prevention of international conflicts in the Arctic and peaceful settlement of disputes."Since interest in the use of Arctic resources is currently increasing and not only Arctic, but also other states are showing it, the risk of conflicts in the region is also increasing. It is obvious that any military conflict in the Arctic will lead to serious consequences for the nature of the region, causing huge environmental damage that is unlikely to be compensated. In addition, the militarization of the Arctic [14], the conduct of various military exercises in the region also increases the burden on the fragile northern nature. Therefore, it seems that the Arctic countries and other States showing any interest in the Arctic region should adhere to the proposed principle when developing and implementing their policies.

As you can see, all the above principles are interrelated and have many points of intersection. In turn, these principles have methodological significance for the formation of a special approach to the protection of the Arctic environment and the implementation of environmental management in the region and can be used in the development and improvement of relevant national legislation, as well as international law.

In order to ensure an appropriate level of environmental protection in the Arctic and the conduct of rational nature management in the region, it is necessary to use the full range of legal instruments, but in this paper we will focus on those that seem to be the most significant and effective in the context under consideration.

Rationing.One of the main means necessary for the protection of the Arctic environment is environmental standards, which, according to Article 1 of the Law "On Environmental Protection", are defined as established environmental quality standards and standards of permissible impact on it, compliance with which ensures the sustainable functioning of natural ecological systems and preserves biological diversity. Accordingly, in order to preserve the nature of the Arctic, it is advisable to develop special standards that take into account the peculiarities of the nature of the region. In this context, we should mention the Law of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) of May 22, 2018 No. 2006-Z No. 1571-V (Official Internet Portal of Legal Information http://www.pravo.gov.ru , 31.05.2018), Article 8 of which provides for the normalization of the state of permafrost and other environmental factors affecting its condition. Despite the fact that these standards have not yet been approved, it is necessary to positively assess the direction of development of environmental legislation of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), taking into account the natural features of the region and aimed, among other things, at protecting the Arctic environment.

Territorial protection.In accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 2 of Federal Law No. 33-FZ of March 14, 1995 "On Specially Protected Natural Territories" (NW of the Russian Federation. 1995. No. 12. St. 1024) the following categories of specially protected natural territories (protected areas) are distinguished: state nature reserves, including biosphere reserves, national parks, natural parks, state nature reserves, natural monuments, dendrological parks and botanical gardens. Almost all of these categories of protected areas can be used to combat the negative consequences of anthropogenic activities in the Arctic, as well as to prevent possible environmental harm.

As of 2020, 224 protected areas with a total area of 109.5 million hectares are functioning in the Russian Arctic . Of these, 40 federal protected areas (with a total area of 40.3 million hectares), 20 local protected areas with a total area of 14.9 million hectares (See: On the state and environmental protection of the Russian Federation in 2020. State Report. Moscow: Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia; Lomonosov Moscow State University, 2021. p. 282). Despite the rather large area occupied by protected areas in the Russian Arctic, in order to protect the biodiversity of the Arctic, its unique landscapes, as well as in the interests of improving the overall level of environmental protection in the Russian Arctic and the country as a whole, it seems necessary and logical to further expand the network of specially protected natural territories, both land and sea, since the territorial protection is one of the most effective means of environmental protection. In addition, the large area of the Russian Arctic makes it possible to fully realize the potential of territorial environmental protection, while preserving the opportunity for the development of the natural resources of the region. Also, the issue of granting the status of protected areas to the territories of traditional nature management located in the Russian Arctic is currently relevant. It should be emphasized here that, based on the conditioned natural and geographical characteristics and great opportunities for the creation of protected areas in the Arctic region, Russia is able to play a key role in preserving the nature of the Arctic.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).SEA is an assessment of the likely environmental consequences, including those related to public health, of the implementation of proposed plans, programs and other strategic initiatives and their consideration in the decisionmaking system. The main purpose of SEA, in a broad sense, is to take into account and integrate environmental issues into the strategic decision-making process. At the same time, SEA is aimed both at minimizing negative consequences and increasing the positive results of the strategic decision being made. SEA can be carried out not only in relation to plans and programs, but also, for example, in relation to documents defining policy in a particular area, legislation, as well as for a wide range of strategic initiatives, including strategies, international treaties, regulatory legal acts, etc. [15, p. 10; 16, p. 352]. Since with the help of SEA it is possible to predict the likely environmental, economic and other consequences of a strategic decision, this measure is able to achieve a balance of private and public interests in the implementation of large projects related to the use of natural resources or capable of having a negative impact on the environment. The use of SEA is extremely relevant in the Russian Arctic, where rapid and large-scale industrial development is taking place and is planned.

Environmental monitoring.In accordance with Article 1 of the Law "On Environmental Protection", state environmental monitoring means comprehensive monitoring of the state of the environment, including components of the natural environment, natural ecological systems, processes and phenomena occurring in them, assessment and forecast of changes in the state of the environment. The data obtained through environmental monitoring can be used not only to assess the current and future state of the environment, but also to predict and prevent various accidents at infrastructure facilities related to natural factors, to prevent and minimize environmental harm, to provide environmental information to citizens and entities engaged in economic activities. Currently, the Russian Arctic is monitoring the concentrations of 22 pollutants in the atmospheric air, as well as monitoring the state of the ozone layer. Observations of hydrochemical indicators of pollution of surface waters of the land are carried out at 191 points. Monitoring of the radiation situation at 151 points (See: On the state and environmental protection of the Russian Federation in 2020. State Report. Moscow: Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia; Lomonosov Moscow State University, 2021. p. 299.).In order to protect the natural environment of the Arctic from the consequences of various accidents associated with the degradation of permafrost, in order to ensure environmental safety in the conduct and planning of economic or other activities, it seems appropriate to carry out special monitoring of permafrost.

The natural and ecological framework of the Arctic.In the interests of ensuring proper protection of the Arctic environment and the implementation of rational, sustainable nature management in the region, it seems appropriate to create a unified natural and ecological framework of the Arctic.

According to experts, one of the most effective measures that can ensure the ecological balance of the territory, from the local to the global level, is the creation of natural and ecological frameworks. At the same time, the "natural and ecological framework" is defined as a set of the main environment-forming and environment-regulating ecosystems (natural complexes) that ensure the sustainable development of the territory [17, p. 24].

It is noted in the literature that the natural and ecological framework is a tool for creating conditions for a favorable environment for human life, preserving unique natural territories and resources, and can also serve as a basis for making decisions on the development of territories. Specialists especially emphasize that in order for the natural and ecological framework to function fully and successfully fulfill all its main tasks, its continuity and stability must be ensured [18].

The natural and ecological framework is formed by interrelated functional elements, let's consider them in more detail. The main backbone element is the so-called core framework (key territories and water areas). As a rule, these are quite extensive protected areas that perform various functions, such as environmental protection, environmental reproduction, environmental formation, etc. The second element is the ecological corridors that link the cores of the framework into a single geodynamic system. Ecocoridors are designed to ensure the free biotic exchange of existing protected areas, as well as the settlement or migration of biological species between the cores of the framework. The next element is buffer zones formed around the cores of the framework and ecological corridors. Buffer zones provide protection of key elements of the natural and ecological framework from the negative influence of various external factors. It is also advisable to include rehabilitation elements in the composition of the natural and ecological framework - territories and water areas that need to restore their natural functions, where appropriate measures such as reclamation, restoration, and (or) limit certain types of activities (use) [17, pp. 24-25].

To implement the idea of building a single natural and ecological framework of the Arctic, it is proposed at the initial stage to create natural and ecological frameworks in the subjects (parts of subjects) of the Russian Federation that are part of the Russian Arctic, for example, in the corresponding uluses of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), with their further unification into a single natural and ecological framework of the Russian Arctic. It seems that the implementation of this idea, in addition to improving the overall level of environmental protection, will also contribute to ensuring the adoption of strategic decisions on the development of the Russian Arctic, taking into account both economic and environmental interests. To create a natural and ecological framework for the entire Arctic, it seems logical to create cross-border protected areas that perform the functions of the cores of the framework or ecological corridors.

Conclusion. Summing up the above, it should be noted that the presented special concept aimed at environmental protection and ensuring rational use of natural resources in the Arctic is based on the point of view that the Arctic is a unique region of global importance and characterized by extremely sensitive nature to various impacts and, accordingly, in need of a special regime for environmental protection and economic and other activities. The system of principles proposed in the concept should contribute to the development of uniform legal regulation, ensuring, on the one hand, sustainable development of the Arctic region, and, on the other, its proper protection. In addition, a number of legal means are allocated, the use of which seems to be the most effective in the protection of Arctic nature. At the same time, the main idea of the concept is to create a single natural and ecological framework of the Arctic. It is also necessary to pay attention to the fact that as a result of the current tension in international relations, the implementation of international cooperation in the region seems difficult, which, of course, presents great difficulties for the formation of a unified approach to legal regulation in the Arctic.

However, due to the geographical features of the Russian Federation, the application of this concept for the improvement and development of domestic legislation should contribute not only to improving the level of nature protection of the Arctic, but also to ensuring the interests of the country for the sustainable development of the region.

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A REVIEW of an article on the topic "A conceptual approach to improving the legal regulation of environmental protection and environmental management in the Arctic". The subject of the study. The article proposed for review is devoted to the conceptual approach "... to improving the legal regulation of environmental protection and environmental management in the Arctic." The author has chosen a special subject of research: the proposed issues are investigated from the point of view of environmental and natural resource law, while the author notes that "The Russian Arctic is a strategically significant, special region of the country characterized by a sensitive natural environment and in need of special protection, especially in the conditions of ongoing and planned industrial development." The NPA of Russia relevant to the purpose of the study is being studied. A certain amount of scientific literature on the stated issues is also studied and summarized, analysis and discussion with these opposing authors are present. At the same time, the author notes: "The main sources of pollution of the Russian Arctic are enterprises of the fuel and energy complex, metallurgy, enterprises for the extraction and processing of minerals, chemical, woodworking, pulp and paper industry, transport complex." Research methodology. The purpose of the study is determined by the title and content of the work: "... from the analysis of information on the state of the Arctic environment, it is clear that the main threat to the northern nature is represented by various types of anthropogenic activities, as well as the currently observed climate change. At the same time, these factors increase the negative impact of each other", "... the legal mechanism for ensuring environmental protection and rational nature management in the Arctic should allow taking into account the full versatility of the Arctic nature, which is quite a difficult task." They can be designated as consideration and resolution of certain problematic aspects related to the above-mentioned issues. Based on the set goals and objectives, the author has chosen a certain methodological basis for the study. The author uses a set of general scientific, special legal methods of cognition. In particular, the methods of analysis and synthesis made it possible to generalize approaches to the proposed topic and influenced the author's conclusions. The most important role was played by special legal methods. In particular, the author applied formal legal and comparative legal methods, which allowed for the analysis and interpretation of the norms of the current Legislation of the Russian Federation and China. In particular, the following conclusions are drawn: "... a special environmental concept that can serve as a basis for improving legal regulation in the region both at the national and international levels should be based on the principles of law, while in addition to the general principles on which any legal regulation should be based, in relation to the formation of a special regime of legal protection of natural the Arctic environment and the use of its natural resources are particularly desirable to highlight ..." additional. Thus, the methodology chosen by the author is fully adequate to the purpose of the article, allows you to study many aspects of the topic. The relevance of the stated issues is beyond doubt. This topic is one of the most important in the world and in Russia, from a legal point of view, the work proposed by the author can be considered relevant, namely, he notes "The high global importance of the Arctic region, as well as the vulnerability of its natural environment, indicate the need to apply a special approach to nature protection and the implementation of economic and other activities in the Arctic". And in fact, an analysis of the opponents' work should follow here, and it follows and the author shows the ability to master the material. Thus, scientific research in the proposed field is only to be welcomed. Scientific novelty. The scientific novelty of the proposed article is beyond doubt. It is expressed in the specific scientific conclusions of the author. Among them, for example, the following: "... the presented special concept aimed at environmental protection and ensuring rational nature management in the Arctic is based on the point of view that the Arctic is a unique region of global importance and characterized by extremely sensitive nature to various influences and, accordingly, in need of a special regime for environmental protection and economic activities and other activities." As can be seen, these and other "theoretical" conclusions can be used in further research. Thus, the materials of the article as presented may be of interest to the scientific community. Style, structure, content. The subject of the article corresponds to the specialization of the journal "Legal Studies", as it is devoted to the conceptual approach "... to improving the legal regulation of environmental protection and environmental management in the Arctic." The article contains an analysis of the opponents' scientific works, so the author notes that a question close to this topic has already been raised and the author uses their materials, discusses with opponents. The content of the article corresponds to the title, since the author considered the stated problems and achieved the goal of his research. The quality of the presentation of the study and its results should be recognized as improved. The subject, objectives, methodology, research results, and scientific novelty directly follow from the text of the article. The design of the work meets the requirements for this kind of work. No significant violations of these requirements were found, except for numerous grammatical descriptions (absence of spaces between words). Bibliography. The quality of the literature presented and used should be highly appreciated. The presence of modern scientific literature has shown the validity of the author's conclusions. The works of these authors correspond to the research topic, have a sign of sufficiency, and contribute to the disclosure of many aspects of the topic. Appeal to opponents. The author has analyzed the current state of the problem under study. The author describes the opponents' different points of view on the problem, argues for a more correct position in his opinion, based on the work of opponents, and offers solutions to problems. Conclusions, the interest of the readership. The conclusions are logical, concrete "... the application of this concept for the improvement and development of domestic legislation should contribute not only to improving the level of protection of the Arctic nature, but also to ensuring the interests of the country for the sustainable development of the region." The article in this form may be of interest to the readership in terms of the systematic positions of the author in relation to the issues stated in the article. Based on the above, summing up all the positive and negative sides of the article, I recommend "publishing" taking into account the comments.