Sámi people and northern areas

Finland’s Biodiversity Action Plan comprises four actions for the only indigenous people of Europe, the Sámi people, and for northern areas (actions 78, 79, 84 and 85). They were all still being implemented at the end of 2018. Two actions were proceeding according to schedule, but two actions were needing a boost.

The culture and lifestyle of the Sámi people has been emphasised in the land use plans of northern areas, for example by applying the Akwé: Kon guidelines to the management plans of one national park and strict nature reserve as well as two wilderness areas in Sámi homeland. The Sámi Parliament of Finland published the principles for responsible and ethically sustainable Sámi tourism in the autumn of 2018 (action78; on track to completion).

Reindeer husbandry will be developed based on the inventories on reindeer grazing grounds conducted in 2016–2018. A working group on reindeer quotas instated in 2018 will plan the reindeer quotas for the period 2020–2030. The work includes a synthesis of the ecological state and carbon balance of reindeer grazing areas and factors affecting these (action 79; on track to completion).

The preconditions for considering traditional Sámi knowledge have been improved, although both the international ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention and the Nordic Sámi Convention are yet unratified. Nevertheless, the negotiations on these conventions have reached far (action 84; needs a boost).

As for indicators on Sámi culture, an indicator on the land use in Sámi areas was developed in 2015. An investigation on the indicator of traditional Sámi livelihood was completed two years later, but there have not been enough resources for preparing the indicator for long-term monitoring (action 85; need a boost).