Karvasuo, a major peatland complex opens the rewilding Autumn, September news


September opens with a major breakthrough of a peatland complex in Seinäjoki. Travels in Alaska, Canada and Minnesota have brought actions for the North American operations. Wendat scholar Miguel Sioui is headed to Finland for a working visit in September.

Karvasuo is a major peatland – old growth forest complex located close to the City of Seinäjoki in Western Finland. It adds close to 300 hectares to the Landscape Rewilding Programme with an aim of 1200 hectares to be restored and protected over the next few years.

Karvasuo is a large unprotected peatland complex. It has many rare and vulnerable species, including lynx, otter, casebearing moths as well as other butterflies and dragonflies and rare plant species. 

Snowchange is working to restore and protect up to 1200 hectares around Karvasuo over the next years. Major funding for the initiative comes from the NABU Climate Fund in Germany, that is part of Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union (the oldest and largest environment association in Germany).Karvasuo has been on the list of wishes from the local villages to be protected for decades. It is slated to be fully protected this year in the national HELMI Programme.

The North American tour has ended. It included visits to Unalakleet, meetings with Barrow whalers, Tahltan delegates and many other Indigenous partners. Additionally a speaking tour and collaborative efforts with the Ojibway in Minnesota advanced the notion of Indigenous-led peatland restoration in the US.

Recognized Wendat-Huron scholar Miguel Sioui is headed to Finland at the end of the month. He says: “As an Indigenous geographer and environmental management scholar deeply rooted in my Huron-Wendat traditions and community, I see my purpose as a cultural translator between two worlds – Western and Indigenous – that have historically struggled to meaningfully communicate. Indeed, for a variety of reasons, academia has traditionally been reluctant to seek to understand Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, and being, and to incorporate relevant Indigenous knowledge (IK) concepts into fields related to environmental management. I am keenly aware of the need for deeper reconciliation between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous intellectual communities through the creation of mutually usable channels of communication and research collaboration.

Snowchange welcomes Miguel to Finland and looks forwards to renewing the connections that have been in place since 1990s!

Posted in News

US Tour For August: Alaska, Canada, Minnesota

Bering Sea Coast

Summer draws to a close. Snowchange delegates depart for international events and a US tour to visit and discuss the decadal work and priorities ahead. Domestically Sámi restoration in Sevettijärvi and boreal rewilding switch to high gear.

A series of international events and community discussions will take place in Alaska, Canada and Minnesota. Snowchange coordinators and delegates will review 20 years of work in Alaska including an extensive visit to Unalakleet, a partner community since 2002. Under the auspices of the Arctic Passion collaboration field visits, community events and discussions will guide us to think what are the priorities for Snowchange in 2020s.

Onwards to Fairbanks where our partners ELOKA will hold a pan-Arctic community summit, with delegates from Greenland, Inuit communities, Tahltans and Snowchange. Will discuss mapping, traditional knowledge work, Arctic Passion, orderly responses to the devastating climate events of the year and the 2024 ahead.

Following the Alaskan leg of the tour Snowchange will have visits with the Wendat allies in Ontario, Canada to prepare for the visit of Professor Miguel Sioui to Finland in September and exchange on Indigenous knowledge and culture issues. In Minnesota we will meet with Fond du Lac Band, visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area, speak events at the University of Minnesota and so on. The US tour will wind down in St. Paul.

Domestically the erosion control and restoration actions for the Skolt Sámi village of Sevettijärvi are done, and preparations for the 2024 work are in full swing. Several peatlands have been restored as well as river ecology under the Koitajoki and other thematic areas in Landscape Rewilding Programme.

Captain Lauri is back from holidays and fish traps are in the waters!

Fisheries have also resumed with traps and will expand in coming weeks. September will bring a suite of high level delegates to Finland we look forwards to welcoming them!

Posted in News

Skolt Sámi Rewilding Work Featured in A Science Article

Sámi reindeer

Snowchange work with the Skolt Sámi is featured in a new peer-reviewed science article. The article discusses species on the move because of climate change and the human responses to this phenomena.

Global understanding of climate change has developed strongly in the last decades, particularly (and unfortunately) as observable impacts of climate change have increased. However, climate mitigation and adaptation efforts have not progressed at the level or scale that one might expect given this growing knowledge of climate change. A major obstacle to mitigation and adaptation is getting people to understand and relate to climate change – and be able to develop the attitudes and behaviours to take action. Our paper highlights that more effective approaches to engage people on climate change effects are urgently needed. We show that human values, trust networks, and place attachment are critical elements in developing effective and inclusive engagement on climate change.

We place our focus on ‘species-on-the-move’. Plant and animal species around the world are already shifting their distributions in response to climate change. These species-on-the-move impact ecosystem structure and function, food security, human health, livelihoods, culture and even the climate itself through feedbacks to the climate system.

In our paper, we outline how species-on-the-move also present an opportunity to engage people with climate change – specifically, by linking to human values, and connections with the places in which we live, in locally relevant yet globally coherent ways. We highlight how species-on-the-move offer emotional pathways for people to connect with the complex issue of climate change in profound ways that have the potential to engender interest and climate action.

The paper is available here.

Posted in News

Summer news


Summer is here and a busy, exciting Snowchange time ahead. Summer newsletter captures main news of the season.

Summer has arrived in Karelia and in Finland. Snowchange summer will work across the Arctic and boreal:

  • Rewilding efforts: Rewilding and restoration efforts are under way in Koitajoki basin, where several hundreds of peatland hectares will be restored. Hautaneva peatland in the central Finnish area of Kärsämäki will be restored in August. In the Sámi area the erosion control on lake Sevettijärvi is under way and forest restoration efforts will pick up in July-August.
  • Arctic Indigenous work: In addition to the Sámi partnerships a large community tour and actions in Alaska, Minnesota and in Greenland are planned towards the end of the summer.
  • Fisheries are still under way in lake Sääperi. We look forwards also to have a break in July and resume the fisheries in August.

Finally thanks to all who participated in the big Festival Apaja 2023 in Tohmajärvi! Rock and roll!

Posted in News

Spring News: Arctic Passion, Post-Prize, Rewilding On the Way

Spring and into summer in Sámi lands

Spring newsletter reviews the big turns of the winter and spring and looks to the busy summer ahead at HQ.

Spring and early summer are here! A range of updates from across the Snowchange realm:

  • The second General Assembly of the Arctic Passion, a large observation project collected Indigenous delegates from Tahltan and Gwichin and Sámi partners as well as staff of Snowchange into Baveno, Italy. At halfway point, the Arctic Passion represents the largest attempt to bring forwards both the past and present urgencies in 7 Indigenous and Arctic locations. See the news of Arctic Passion also for the updates!
  • The post-Goldman Prize tours and media attention has been a tsunami with over 100 media stories and newscasts around the world and continuous range of visitors to the HQ. We thank all of the good wishes and will be sharing news as summer gets under way.
  • Visit us on 17th June in Tohmajärvi, North Karelia, Finland for the opening of the HQ officially , i.e. the very first Rewilding Center for Finland with panels, films, music and all. The opening is led by Noora Huusari, head of HR in Snowchange and a show of force for the new decades of Snowchange.
  • Koitajoki rewilding work as well as the boreal forest and ICCA work with Sámi communities is in full swing. Additionally we welcome Thomas Miller, recognized film maker who also contributed to the Goldman Prize films in June to continue work on the large Koitajoki film, slated for release in 2025.
  • Other rewilding priorities are under way in Sevettijärvi, Onkamo, Parkano, Suomussalmi and Kuhmo. Extremely important management fisheries are producing dozens of kilograms in lake Sääperi in Tohmajärvi, work led by Lauri and Karoliina.

Check back for a summer newsletter in June! Remember our other websites

  • for the fisheries
  • for the TEK
  • for the coastal Indigenous work
  • for the rewilding programme
  • for the Koitajoki traditions and rewilding
Posted in News