Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 311

311 Arctic Yearbook 2014   Development of the Arctic project, we organized a workshop with 11 stakeholders representing governmental organisations (City of Rovaniemi, Metsähallitus – Finnish Forrest and Park Service, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and Environment ELY), entrepreneurs, the Finnish reindeer herders association and Sámi and research organisations (Finnish Forest Research Institute, University of Lapland). The goal of the workshop was to promote discussions and to propose recommendations that governance and policy leaders in northern land use should take into account, especially at EU and national levels. The identified recommendations are, in this paper, framed in terms of how they contribute to building socio-natural capital in northern land use. The workshop participants identified four key recommendations on how sustainability of northern land use could be enhanced: (1) enhancing public participation; (2) institutionalizing indigenous rights; (3) increasing two-way knowledge sharing; and (4) increasing the role of social impact assessments in land use planning. These recommendations correspond rather well to the identified gaps in socionatural capital based on previous research. This increases the reliability of the identified challenges and related proposals, as examinations of both the previous research literature and stakeholder consultations led to similar results. Furthermore, the project mapped stakeholder views through an online questionnaire assessing the sustainability of northern land use. The respondents (n=13) were stakeholders from research institutes, NGOs, state agencies, EU officials and representatives of industry. The questionnaire results were clustered in relation to the four recommendations, and insights from the questionnaires were used to inform and enrich the discussions on the four recommendations. The recommendations and critical issues identified by stakeholders were also incorporated in the final report “Strategic Assessment of Development of the Arctic, Assessment Conducted for the European Union”, which was launched in September 2014. The collected empirical material for this article is not extensive enough to draw representative conclusions on the sustainability of land use in the north – an area composed of diverse sub-regions. We cope with this shortcoming in two ways: by also reviewing existing literature particularly focusing on reindeer herding, land use and sustainability in northern Finland; and by utilising the innovative framework of socio-natural capital to explain and explore the issues underpinning sustainable land use. Thus, despite the rather small amount of empirical material, we feel able to make relevant observations and conclusions contributing to the literature and outlining important issues that can be applied in practice to enhance sustainable land use in the north, especially from reindeer herders’ perspectives. Reindeer Herding, Other Land Uses and Gaps Regarding Socio-Natural Capital The European northern landscape is often multifunctional, including land uses such as reindeer herding, tourism, energy development, mining, nature conservation, forestry and hunting. Here we focus on reindeer herding and its relations to other land uses. Reindeer herding is a rather extensive land user that requires vast areas. It is a traditional way to use the land, having economic, symbolic and cultural values, and is also used in tourism marketing. Reindeer herding is often believed to be able to co-exist with other land use activities. However, this has also meant that reindeer herders in Sarkki, Latola, Jokinen & Stepien