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Winter News

Winter News from Snowchange

karelia fishing

First off, winter seining in lake Puruvesi and other lakes is in full swing with good catches from one of the best ice conditions in a decade. This is due to a severe cold spell in January. Average catches are between 300-500 kgs daily with our teams at the Kesälahti Fish Base. In early March, our friends from the PrettyGoodProductions will return to North Karelia, this time to film a short movie about the winter seiners of Puruvesi. This work will include underwater footage, as seen here.

picture1

The Jukajoki film will be released in March, with a proper announcement here in late February. Meanwhile the high profile ecological restoration on the basin has proceeded well and we are very thankful to all people and supporters who provided messages regarding the “Energy Globe Award” last week in Iran.

With the Yarrabah rangers. Victor Steffensen, 2014.

With the Yarrabah rangers. Victor Steffensen, 2014.

Then in February several events will happen in Snowchange. We will participate in the international Species on the Move science conference delivering key note presentations and public appearances in Hobart, Australia. Similarly, Snowchange delegates will participate in the high-level summit in Sussex, UK on the “Arctic 2045″.

We look forwards visiting and forming new partnerships with the old friends and colleagues at the Djunbunji Land and Sea Programme in Queensland, Australia in mid-February. Meetings will be held also with Steering Committee representatives there on the work with Indigenous Australians and educational initiatives.

TurvaurginIn late February a Siberian delegation will arrive in Selkie for discussions for the work in 2016. Similarly, efforts in the Näätämö Basin with the Skolt Sámi continue uninterrupted – they will pick up momentum towards March-April with the pike harvests and palling of summer work. We will have spring news towards March, so stay tuned!

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Energy Globe 2015 Finland Award to Snowchange Project in Selkie – a Billion TV Viewers to See the Gala

picture1The Jukajoki restoration project, coordinated by Snowchange Cooperative, and located in Selkie and Alavi villages, North Karelia, Finland, has received a significant recognition. It has been awarded the “Energy Globe 2015″ Award by the Energy Globe Foundation in Austria for a best National Project in the field of environmental work.

The Jukajoki restoration project has received past accolades from UNEP and domestic sources as a project which combines the traditional knowledge of the local villagers with latest science. The river basin was a subject of fish deaths in 2010-2011, caused by industrial peat mining. Since those days, the project has emerged as a largest environmental restoration project in Eastern Finland.

For example the Linnunsuo Wetland Unit that has been created has emerged as a nationally significant wader bird habitat. All in all over 2,7 million euros has been spent on the project so far, with a target date of 2025 when trout might make a comeback to the river.

With the rangers on a 30,000 year old fish trap on the Coral Sea. Victor Steffensen, 2014

With the Djumbunji rangers on a 30,000 year old fish trap on the Coral Sea, QLD, Australia. Jukajoki project has produced cooperation across the world on community-led restoration activities. Victor Steffensen, 2014

This year, the Awards will be given out in Tehran.

On 19th January 2016, Tehran will be the stage for the best environmental projects. In a worldwide TV gala the Energy Globe World Awards will be presented in Tehran/Iran. It is a memorable event since this awarding ceremony will be the first worldwide TV broadcast after the lifting of the sanctions.

But Tehran is not only presenter of the Energy Globe World Awards, at the same time there is also the Green Management Conference. Host of the World Awards is the Iranian Green Management Society which already has been awarding the best national Iranian winners during the last 7 years. This year, more than 177 national winners have already been awarded, and more than 80 of them have announced their coming to Tehran.

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UN Video Clip about Climate Change

iceland puffins in flight

iceland puffins in flight

There is a new UN Snowchange -related video available.

Tero Mustonen discusses the connection on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals, here.

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Winter Solstice, Re-capping 2015, Australian Tour Announced

Ostola forest was saved in 2015.

Ostola forest was saved in 2015.

Snowchange thanks  all partners, friends, allies and supporters at this Winter Solstice.

And what a year it was for us.  Early in the year, the forest fight in Ostola resulted in an international victory of a first ‘community forest‘ in Finland to be saved. In March we met with the US high level people as well as China and India ministerial advisors on climate change in India for the Climate Risk Assessment.

Summer was spent on high profile ecological restoration and climate resilience work in Skolt Saami and Selkie basins of Näätämö and Jukajoki. In Autumn we celebrated with the Skolts the Memory of the World submission of their ‘Gramota’ rights documents to UNESCO, and met with the US partners in Colorado.

Towards the end of the year the human rights prizes, major media stories of the Saami work and school cooperation between Selkie, Alaska and Ural mountains, Russia re-capped the intense year.

Last Friday our major newspaper Helsingin Sanomat wrote extensively of a theatre play written by Snowchange and Pauliina Feodoroff, discussing climate issues from Indigenous viewpoint. The video animation by Victoria Hykes-Steere was mentioned in the story, so we were major news in Finland at the end of the year.

Next year, we ll head to the global ‘Energy Globe Awards‘ in Teheran, Iran in January and a small tour of Australia in February. Community work continues in full swing and the acclaimed Jukajoki film will be released early in the year.

With that, best of Winter Solstice and Happy 2016 to all from Snowchange Co-op!!

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Snowchange Mourns Alaska Indigenous Leader Maxim Dolchok

Alaska, 2005

Alaska, 2005

Snowchange joins in mourning of another key Indigenous leader from the Arctic.

One of the most respected Indigenous leaders of Alaska, mr. Maxim Dolchok has passed away. He was 78 years old and suffered from several different illnesses. Max was married to Lisa Dolchok. They actively passed traditional culture and lifestyle and subsistence in their home region of Cook Inlet.

Maxim Dolchok was a Executive Director of Cook Inlet Native Association for a long time. He worked with Snowchange Cooperative representatives in 2004-2005 to organise a large gathering of Indigenous and local community leaders and representatives in Anchorage. Snowchange 2005 collected a large reprentation of Alaska Natives, Sámi and Finnish delegates, Siberian Indigenous peoples, Canadian Inuit and Icelandic local community leaders. Snowchange remains ever-grateful to mr. Maxim Dolchok for making the event and this cooperation possible.

His life task has been described to advance the issues and needs of the Indigenous Alaskans. He was well-respected throughout the state and in the Arctic for his lifework and vision. Thanks to Victoria Hykes-Steere for passing these news.

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