Lesser, Pamela

Researcher, NIEM

tel. +358 (0)40 484 4051, (4051)
E-mail: Pamela.Lesser(at) ulapland.fi


  • Master’s of Arts in Urban Planning (University of California Los Angeles, USA)
  • Postgraduate studies in environmental policy (RAND Corporation, USA)
  • Postgraduate studies in environmental science and policy (Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C.)


Pamela is currently evaluating the existing research on sustainable mining in the Nordic countries in order to determine the gaps and future research needs on this topic, as well as looking at how impact and benefit agreements might be tailored to the Nordic countries to function as a bridge between their legal/regulatory systems and the growing influence of the social license to operate concept in the region.

Research interest

Environmental impact assessment in the Arctic; the relationship between the social license to operate and regulatory systems; economic compensation mechanisms and their role in reconciling conflicts arising from natural resource projects


  • Legal tools of public participation in the Environmental Impact Assessment process and their application in the countries of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.  Marina Nenasheva, Sonja Bickford, Pamela Lesser, Timo Koivurova, Paula Kankaanpaa.  Barents Studies. 2015:1 (issue 3), p. 13-35.
  • Małgorzata Śmieszek, Karolina Banul, Paula Kankaanpää, Timo Koivurova, Pamela Lesser and Adam Stępień.  Chapter entitled Role and Effectiveness of Assessments in Policy-making: On the Importance of the Process. The Changing Arctic and the European Union (2015) edited by Adam Stępień, Timo Koivurova and Paula Kankaanpää, Brill Nijhoff publishers, p. 296-316.  Based on the report Strategic Assessment of Development of the Arctic conducted for the European Union and produced for the European Commission.
  • Lesser, Pamela and Koivurova, Timo.  Part III, Chapter 8:  Impact Assessments and the New Arctic Geo-Environment.  Tedsen, Elizabeth, Sandra Cavalieri, and R. Andreas Kraemer (eds.) 2014:  Arctic Marine Governance, Opportunities for Transatlantic Cooperation.  Heidelberg: Springer. 
  • Assessments in Policy-Making:  Case Studies from the Arctic Council (2014), edited by Paula Kankaanpää and Małgorzata Śmieszek.  Report prepared for the European Union funded preparatory action project:  Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of development of the Arctic.
  • EIA Directive at the Crossroads – Analysis of the Commission’s Proposal from the Finnish Developer’s Perspective.  (Polonen, I. – Koivurova, T. – Lesser, P.) Nordic Environmental Law Journal.  2013:2, p. 49-66.
  • Lesser, Pamela.  Greening the Mediterranean:  Europe’s Environmental Policy toward Mediterranean Neighbors.  Mediterranean Quarterly, 20:2, 2009, p. 26-39.

Forthcoming Publications

  • “Social license to operate”:  a relevant term in northern European mining?  Koivurova, T., Buanes, A., Riabova, L., Didyk, V., Ejdemo, T., Poelzer, G., Taavo, P., Lesser, P.  Polar Geography. 2015, p. 1-38. (To be published late 2015)
  • Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic:  A Guide to Best Practice.  Koivurova, T. and Lesser, P. with Bickford, S., Kankaanpaa, P., and Nenasheva, M.  Edward Elgar Publishers.  (To be published early 2016)
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