Finland’s Sámi face ‘cultural genocide’ as logging threatens ...


Finland’s Sámi face ‘cultural genocide’ as logging threatens livelihoods

A plan which could see the practice increase by 30% will see indigenous community ‘disappear as a people’

Arthur Neslen

Sámi reindeer herders have been taking their animals to graze on the lichen in Finland’s northerly forests for hundreds of years, but community leaders say their way of life is being threatened by a potential increase in logging.

Logging could rise by more than 30% if a draft revision of Finland’s main forestry certification programme is approved, the ELY environmental protection department said, and unprotected forest in Sámi areas might not be exempt.

“If it’s not against PEFC requirements up there, forests could be cut in Sámi areas, the same way as in other parts of Finland,” said Auvo Kaivola, secretary-general of the country’s Programme for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification (PEFC)...

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