People and post-mining environments: PPGIS mapping of landscape values, knowledge needs and future perspectives in northern Finland.
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CitationKivinen, Sonja. Vartianen, Kaarina. Kumpula, Timo. (2018). People and post-mining environments: PPGIS mapping of landscape values, knowledge needs and future perspectives in northern Finland.. Land, 7 (4) , 151. 10.3390/land7040151.
Mining can have a notable environmental and social footprint both during the production phase and after the mine closure. We examined local stakeholders’ viewpoints on two post-mining areas in northern Finland, Hannukainen and Rautuvaara, using a public participation geographic information system (PPGIS) approach. Spatially explicit data on local residents’ and visitors’ values, knowledge needs, and future perspectives on mining landscapes were collected with an online map-based survey tool (Harava). The results show that post-mining sites were generally considered unpleasant places. A majority of respondents were of the opinion that areas would need better reclamation and landscaping measures. The landscape surrounding the post-mining sites contained a wide diversity of pleasant places with high nature and recreational value. Respondents addressed various environmental concerns related to the impacts of former mining activities on the quality of ground water and surface water, potential soil contamination, and the safety of natural products. Opinions on the planned mine reopening were strongly divided among the respondents. One of the key questions was whether a large open-pit mine and nature-based tourism can coexist in the same region. Our results highlight that “the shadow of the mine”—observed environmental impacts, uncertainties related to the spatial extent, duration, and magnitude of impacts, and knowledge gaps—can affect local stakeholders’ land use far outside the mining sites and long after the mine closure. Identifying and mapping stakeholder values, opinions, and knowledge needs could significantly improve post-mining land use planning and mitigate the loss of multifunctional landscapes.