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Puruvesi Seining and Näätämö Co-Management Highlighted

Talvinuottausta Puruvedellä.: Hummonselkä:

Two science processes explore key Snowchange areas in detail. Puruvesi winter seining highlighted in a science paper and Näätämö Sámi co-management in review in a Nordic Council report – available below.

The practice of seine fishing for vendace (Coregonus albula) has continued as an unbroken tradition in Lake Puruvesi in eastern Finland since 1300 AD. While fishing methods have evolved, the fishery still relies heavily on the traditional knowledge of practitioners, which is passed along from generation to generation. Traditional knowledge of weather patterns, the fish themselves, and other components of the lake ecosystem have allowed fishers to maintain an economically viable fishery without depleting fish stocks.

Lake Puruvesi and its traditional seine fishery represent a stronghold of Finnish fishing culture and traditional ecological knowledge. In recent years, local observations by fishers have identified threats to the lake ecosystem and the fishery, including eutrophication, climate change-related threats to fish, and climate-related disruption of fishing practices. This paper explores the unique ecological, social, and economic characteristics that have allowed the fishery to remain sustainable. We discuss the role of traditional knowledge in maintaining the fishery and we use a socio-ecological framework to broadly assess the value of the fishery. We also consider threats facing the fish and fishery and discuss approaches taken by fishers to address those threats.

Paper available here.

Pauliina Feodoroff has led the co-management efforts in Näätämö for over a decade.

Pauliina Feodoroff has led the co-management efforts in Näätämö for over a decade.

Multifunctional Ecosystem Restoration in the Nordic countries was a study by the Nordic Council of Ministers that investigated best practices of restoration in the region. 

Urged by the complex ecological and socio-economic challenges in modern ecosystem restoration, the topic of this TemaNord publication is the processes of multifunctional ecosystem restoration.

The complexity and interrelatedness of ecosystem degradation drivers requires more than sector-specific policy development and action. Policies need to identify synergies and trade-offs between ecosystem restoration and societal challenges. They must be mutually supportive and not prioritise success within one domain at the expense of another. Solutions need to be multifunctional. This poses immense challenges on policy makers, administrations, as well as corporate and civil agents.

Nonetheless, this multidimensional lens is a sine qua non if we are to sustainably succeed in reversing current levels of degradation of ecosystems, and instead safeguard and restore our base for existence while accommodating and feeding the population growth of future generations.

The report is available here.

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Oceans Wide Relief Supports Kosisi Community and Opens a New Season for Support

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The Kosisi village in the Ysabel Province, Solomon Islands developed over the past year community-based protocols to maintain biolcultural systems, enabled food security and supported gendered ways of knowing. Following many similar successes over the past year, Snowchange opens second year of Oceans-Wide Relief in the Pacific.

Bio-cultural aspect of Kosisi villagers in the Solomon Islands has been deprived from the environmental destruction caused by logging that impacts food security and gender ways in the community.

3The logging operation destroys the gardens, pollutes the water and contaminates the marine ecosystem in Kosisi village. This creates burden to men, women, girls and boys to fetch food and water further away from the village. Their daily livelihoods have now resort to gardening on new lands quite far from the village.

Using Oceans-Wide Relief grant, the village reflected on the issues faced and strategies identified to improve the ‘Thautabu’ cultural practice. This enabled a roadmap, actions and support to the village to plan and respond to these challenges.

See a participatory video developed by the community here.

All in all the 2021-22 support programme enabled community-led responses and actions across the Arctic coasts in Greenland, Siberia, Finland and Norway, Aleuts, Chile, Aoteoroa, Taiwan and many other locations.

For the 2022-2023 season, Snowchange opens the next call of support for the Arctic and Pacific Indigenous communities.

Indigenous and local communities in the Pacific and Arctic are eligible to apply. The guiding principles of the small grants programme will aim to

  • Restore the collective coastal lands and access and resource rights where applicable
  • Support community-based protocols for maintaining biocultural systems, food security and gendered ways of knowing the Pacific
  • Support the sharing-gifting traditions of the region
  • Support inter-community cohesion and exchanges
  • Restore and directly reserve a portion of the small grants to support revitalization of traditional navigation and Starlore of the Pacific peoples
  • Proliferation of technology and solutions to make Indigenous governance and coastal tenure more visible
  • Implementation of Indigenous/tribal rights through traditional institutions
Knowledge holder from Kosisi.

Knowledge holder from Kosisi.

Ultimately the grants are however assessed as articulated by the community needs.

Grants will be available for 2022-23 as long as funds remain.

We accept applications on a rolling basis.

In order to apply, please send one page free form application, which includes contact information, rationale, and grant use proposal to

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Snowchange Steps Up Support for the Wild Forest Reindeer

Wild reindeer in Kuhmo. Photo: Antti Leinonen

Wild reindeer in Kuhmo. Photo: Antti Leinonen

The wild forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus) was hunted to extinction in early 1900s in Finland. The last bull reindeer was killed in North Karelia, in Ilomantsi in 1918. Then, in 1960s, the stocks re-emerged slowly from Russian Karelia and spread to Western Boreal and into the Kuhmo region. Snowchange and the Landscape Rewilding Programme announce today a range of actions to support the wild reindeer.

Landscape Rewilding Programme announces a focus on securing more wild reindeer habitat and sites for recovery and restoration:

  • Matosuo peatland in Soini supports pastures and rewilding efforts are negotiated with Metsähallitus in Western Boreal
  • Ecological corridors have been established in Ähtäri municipality with intact peatlands, recovering forests and interconnected Nature 2000 sites in Oravasuo area, totaling with state lands over 400 hectares
  • Whole of the Naamanjoki river course has been secured to the LRP as well as Horneankoski forest, river course and peatlands in the northern expanse of Kuhmo municipality which are both ecological corridors and protected sites
  • In the occasional northern edge of the wild reindeer range in Muhos, Kivisuo peatland complex, currently at 650 hectares is expanded to 760 hectares of Snowchange lands to support other wildlife and reindeer habitat

We are also proud to announce early news of a 2023 Wild Reindeer book by award-winning Antti Leinonen, a National Geographic published wildlife photographer. This publication will feature traditional knowledge, unique photographs and materials regarding the Kuhmo reindeer.

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James Reo Departs to the US After a Year with Snowchange

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This week we bid farewell to staff member James Reo, 22-year-old New Yorker, who has been working in the fisheries, rewilding of ecosystems and Sámi Indigenous issues with Snowchange for a year.

Mr. Reo is heading back to the US to complete his university studies. Originally wanting to work for the Siberia programs of Snowchange, James arrived ultimately  to take part in a range of rewilding in Finland in September 2021, as well as in fisheries and Sámi Indigenous environmental monitoring missions.

In the Winter 2021-22 James was a part of the Snowchange seining crew and continued on with the fish traps harvests in summer. Deeply devoted to the environmental, traditional knowledge and Indigenous issues James has been a valuable staff member and Snowchange wishes all the best for his next steps. Come back soon!

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New Discussion Paper Released: Vasilii Robbek at World Expo 2005

vasili _robbek_2007This discussion paper is authored by Vasilii Robbek, an Even leader and scholar from Republic of Sakha-Yakutia. It contains the English and Russian versions of the speech and presentation Prof. Robbek delivered at the World Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan in September 2005.

He had been invited by the Expo organisers as a part of the larger Snowchange delegation that included

  • Vyacheslav Shadrin, Chief of the Council of Yukaghir Peoples, Sakha-Yakutia
  • Darren King, Maori Scholar, Aoteoroa
  • Apanui Skipper, Maori Scholar, Aoteoroa
  • Tero Mustonen, Snowchange, Finland
  • Kaisu Mustonen, Snowchange, Finland

Vasilii Robbek who passed away in 2010 was an Even scholar who was a talented linguist, an Even (Lamut) leader from Northeastern Siberia and the author of several of the Indigenous rights laws and decrees in the Republic and beyond.

The paper is available here.

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