Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 312

312         Arctic Yearbook 2014 several cases have had to move to other grazing sites and alter their herding practises. Loss of pasturelands for other land use activities such as mining, oil and gas extraction, and large-scale forestry is a problem for reindeer husbandry. In Fennoscandia reindeer herding is connected to Sámi culture and in Norway and Sweden practiced exclusively (with minor exceptions) by the Sámi. Lack of Trust There have been continuing conflicts in the 1990s and first decade of the millennium between reindeer herding and the state forestry enterprise Metsähallitus in northern Finland. Metsähallitus is a governmental organization responsible for earning profits from renewable natural resources like forests but also nature protection and nature heritage. Metsähallitus is also obliged by law to respect social and cultural aspects like maintaining job opportunities and Sámi people’s rights when using and managing state land and waters. Part of the natural resource management is participatory planning processes, which are not legally obligatory, but voluntarily organized by Metsähallitus to enhance multiple uses of state commercial forests and waters. Reindeer herders have been trying to get their voices heard in these participatory planning processes, but have often been disappointed by the outcomes of these processes. As a result, reindeer herders have sometimes established coalitions with environmental NGOs and local tourism entrepreneurs to halt loggings in important reindeer pastures, and arranged on-site protests, initiated media campaigns against loggings, and informed forest companies from unjust logging practices. The case even reached the UN Human Rights Committee to defend herders’ rights to practice their culture (i.e. reindeer herding). This has resulted in a mutual lack of trust as well as created a situation where each side pushes their agenda and middle ground options, and compromises are not seen as satisfactory. This undermines the potential of c