Natural resources plan for the Sámi homeland
The drafting of an updated plan guiding the activities of Metsähallitus in the Sámi homeland began in October 2020. The updated plan will be for years 2022-2027, and it will align the aims of the state owned Metsähallitus (the Finnish forest administration) with those of the local populations. A working group consisting of key actors in the region was an important tool for the collaborative planning. Four workshops were organized for planning the use and care of natural resources in the area. Akordi supported the working group during the process, and the updated natural resources plan was published at the end of 2021.
The 2,9 million hectare planning area covers government lands and waters in Enontekiö, Inari, Utsjoki, and Sodankylä areas belonging to the Lapland reindeer herding cooperative. The updated plan will replace the old plan for Upper Lapland, which was drafted in 2012 and it expired at the end of 2021.
The planning included assessing the current state and use of the lands and waters of the government owned areas. This also meant assessing how Metsähallitus has managed to positively impact the areas and to which kind of state the existing land use plans might lead. Several interests needed to be considered in the planning. These included e.g. the social sustainability of permit hunting, wind power and mineral exploration, reconciling the differing needs of traditional livelihoods and other land use, tourism, and ensuring the rights of both indigenous peoples and the other residents are respected.