News

New Science Paper Documents Skolt Sámi Efforts in Co-Management and Indigenous Evaluation

Seining in Sevettijärvi, 2010.

Seining in Sevettijärvi, 2010.

Snowchange and Sámi knowledge holders release today a new paper in Indigenous Evaluation. The special issue is co-edited by Maori world leader on IE – Indigenous Evaluation, Fiona Cram.

Indigenous evaluation as a process, method, and paradigm has developed over the past few years in those global areas, where Indigenous communities and scholars have been able to secure rights and achieve overall recognition of their knowledge systems. In the Eurasian North, the Indigenous knowledge systems and evaluation are actively being contested and suppressed. Our chapter, cowritten by Sámi fishermen and cultural leaders, juxtaposes the relevance of the academic and global discussions of “Indigenous evaluation” with the first collaborative management initiative of Finland. It involves the Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar). By reviewing critically the ongoing relationships and fisheries the Skolt Sámi have with their river and fish, an equally critical view is employed toward the emerging Indigenous evaluation discourses and their applicability and transferability from international arenas into on‐the‐ground management and defense initiatives in the context of regime‐shifting Arctic. Such a view identifies the key aspects of relevance from Indigenous evaluation. It also dissects the academic rhetoric and related relevant measures that can influence land use, policy, and development of Indigenous governance in the context of rapid changes. Article details are here.

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Major News Media on Snowchange and Canada’s Indigenous Peoples

Dempsey Bob is one of the most famous Tahltan artists of the past 100 years. Snowchange, 2004

Dempsey Bob is one of the most famous Tahltan artists of the past 100 years. Snowchange, 2004

Ipolitics, a Canadian news agency, has published a large piece on Indigenous peoples and climate change consultation. The article reflects on innovative actions by the Deh Cho, Haida and other First Nations. Additionally the Berger inquiry and Trans-Mountain pipeline are discussed. Article is available here.

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Brook Lampreys and Subtle Signs – a New Science Article Out

Jukajoki Delta

Jukajoki Delta

A new scientific article has been released friday from the Jukajoki restoration work. In this article the observation and spread of brook lamprey (Lampetra planeri) will be discussed as a bio-indicator and a ‘subtle sign’ in the boreal. Brook lamprey is a small non-parasitic freshwater lamprey species indicating good ecological health of aquatic habitats. This article presents knowledge co-produced through a seven-year monitoring programme in the south boreal catchment area of the Jukajoki River, North Karelia, Finland.

Over the past one hundred years, this basin has been negatively affected by human land use. Monitoring methods employed as part of this programme have included both rigorous scientific sampling and large-scale traditional and local knowledge (TEK) monitoring. International long-running community monitoring efforts are assessed to position these Finnish traditional knowledge flows. Examples provide for the discussion of new monitoring and restoration methods of boreal aquatic habitats and contribute to the new realisation of these landscapes that were once hidden and now positioned to emerge, providing the suitable social-geographical space is present and accessible to allow for that.

A read-only version of the article is available here.

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In-Depth Interview with Mongabay News Service in New York City

Fisherman from Sosnovka, Murmansk, Russia.

Fisherman from Sosnovka, Murmansk, Russia.

Mongabay News Service hosts a large media and a podcast from New York City on a range of Snowchange programmes and initiatives:

  • On today’s episode, we discuss traditional indigenous knowledge and climate change with Snowchange Cooperative director Tero Mustonen.
  • Through Snowchange, which is based in Finland, Mustonen works with indigenous communities around the world on projects related to climate change. He will also be one of the lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s next assessment report, due out in the early 2020s. We were interested to hear how Mustonen thinks traditional indigenous knowledge can inform climate science.
  • We also speak with Mustonen about Snowchange’s work with indigenous communities, from ecological restoration to solar initiatives, the latter of which are specifically designed to empower women in remote indigenous communities.
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Nordic-wide IPBES-like Report Features Several Snowchange Core Areas

A dead sperm whale on the Sámi coast, Norway, 2007

A dead sperm whale on the Sámi coast, Norway, 2007

Released today, “Biodiversity and ecosystem services in Nordic coastal ecosystems” Report has been in the making for several years. It implements the Intergovermental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – IPBES approach for the Swedish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Finnish, Greenlandic, Sámi and Danish coastal regions. The report is in two parts - Volume 1: The general overview and Volume 2: The geographical case studies. Both reports cover at length several Snowchange operations, including Puruvesi winter seiners, Skolt Sámi co-management in Näätämö, Icelandic seal hunters, gendered landscapes of the Icelandic women and Kvarken sealers to name a few examples. 

In short, reports describes the status and trends of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Nordic region, the drivers and pressures affecting them, interactions and effects on people and society, and options for governance.

Juha and Risto, restoring Vainosjoki in Skolt Saami area.

Juha and Risto, restoring Vainosjoki in Skolt Saami area.

This study has been inspired by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES). It departs from case studies (Volume 2, the geographical case studies) from ten geographical areas in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) and the autonomous areas of Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland. The aim was to describe status and trends of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Nordic region, including the drivers and pressures affecting these ecosystems, the effects on people and society and options for governance.

The Nordic study is structured as closely as possible to the framework for the regional assessments currently being finalized within IPBES. The report highlights environmental differences and similarities in the Nordic coastal areas, like the inhabitants´ relation to nature and the environment as well as similarities in social and policy instruments between the Nordic countries. This study provides background material for decision-making and it is shown that Nordic cooperation is of great importance for sustainable coastal management and should be strengthened in future work.

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