NJF Seminar ”Reindeer herding and land use management – Nordic perspectives”

Rovaniemi 20-21 October 2014
Arctic Centre, University of Lapland

• Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
• Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (RKTL)
• Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
• Reindeer Herders' Association, Finland
• Sámi Educational Centre in Inari, Finland

This seminar is second in the line of Nordic reindeer husbandry seminars organised in the framework of NJF (Nordic Association of Agricultural Sciences). The organiser of the seminar is a recently established Reindeer Husbandry Section at the NJF (http://www.njf.nu/site/redirect.asp?p=3926), promoting research on reindeer husbandry related issues in the Nordic countries.).

In the northern Fennoscandia, different land use activities (forestry, tourism, mining, power production etc.) effectively utilize wide areas that have been used for centuries by people living on semi-domesticated reindeer herding. The increasingly expanding land use activities in all Nordic countries affect reindeer herding environments, reindeer herding communities and reindeer herding livelihood as a whole in several ways. The present day reindeer management systems, on the other hand, have also various effects on pasture lands and preconditions of reindeer herding itself. Degradation and decrease of reindeer pastures, difficulties in reindeer herding work, decreased productivity and profitability of reindeer husbandry, different kinds of conflicts and social problems are often connected to unfavorable and, at the same time, multilateral changes on pasture environment.

However, the position of reindeer herding is still strong in the North and it is traditionally an unique and valuable way to benefit northern areas and to sustain rich Sami culture and other local cultures adapted to the North. Reindeer husbandry strongly supports living grounds of small northern villages and remote areas and, at the same time, promotes also other livelihoods based on sustainable use of renewable resources in northern areas (e.g. local livelihoods such as fishery, hunting, gathering of forest products and processing of their products as well as handicrafts and tourism). There exists a high concern how to maintain resilience on the subsistence nature-based livelihoods and secure their preconditions along with increasing industrial land use and pressure. Therefore more comprehensively governance systems for all land use and reindeer husbandry activities should be developed between different interests and stakeholders in order to enhance more sustainable development in the North .

Focus of the seminar
The main focus of the meeting is on issues related to reindeer herding and land use questions in the Nordic reindeer herding area. The aim is to discuss reindeer herding and land use activities at different levels, and to figure out frames not only for sustainable reindeer husbandry but also for sustainable co-management of land use between different interest groups in the Nordic countries, including reindeer herding areas. Also other topics related to reindeer ecology and welfare and cultural and social questions related to reindeer herding are handled.

Session topics
1. Relations of reindeer herding and other land use activities
2. Reindeer herding in a changing environment
3. Predators and reindeer management
4. Sustainable and profitable reindeer management – challenges and opportunities
5. Social and cultural security and sustainability of reindeer herding livelihood; future prospects


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