Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Finland’s ground-breaking decision on natural resources management in Lapland: being caught in the middle between nation state and indigenous self-determination.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Finland’s ground-breaking decision on natural resources management in Lapland: being caught in the middle between nation state and indigenous self-determination."— Presentation transcript:

1 Finland’s ground-breaking decision on natural resources management in Lapland: being caught in the middle between nation state and indigenous self-determination Dawid Bunikowski, University of Eastern Finland and the LYY institute, Dr., Postdoctoral researcher

2 Subject The paper deals with the decision problem on making rules concerning two things: how to manage natural resources in Finnish Lapland and, consequently, how to strengthen Sami political rights and their autonomy in a ground-breaking way. It is to acquaint the audience with a public discourse in the field. I try to explain the public discourse on the political-ecological future of Finnish Lapland and to understand both sides: the Finnish state and the Sami representatives and community.

3 Questions Some questions are put on the table:
Who is the owner of the land? The Samis or the state?  Who should manage natural resources?

4 Q Is it possible to have two jurisdictions in one geographical state, following legal pluralism and a real right to self-determination of the indigenous peoples there? Is Finnish society ready for that?  Is the discussion on the ILO Convention no. 169 a red herring or a result of groupism? Is it not a paradox that democratic societies of the European North, based on human rights, have a big problem with recognition of the indigenous peoples' rights at own homes? Trying to answer the questions, I am keen to follow through diverse ideas and arguments.

5 Thesis I claim that in objective terms, indigenous rights, including Sami rights to land and political self-government, should be better recognised in the North, also in Finland.

6 Finland and Samis. History
PARADOX. It is still a paradox in the liberal societies, which are supposed to be sensitive in the field of human rights and protection of cultural diversity, that we wish it had happened so far. REASONS: But that seems a price of the modern liberal nation state ideology, strong Lutheran religion in the states (or particularly, Finnish Cultural Protestantism nowadays), the Enlightenment in the Scandinavian civilisation, the equality principle taken straight from the constitutions, and is also a kind of the cost we must pay for both mostly unitary character of the states and homogenous character of the societies -- in the North.

7 History: processes and changes
Many processes had thrown Sami independence, rights, customary laws, and the traditional way of life to the bucket. Due to modernisation, globalisation, social-economic factors as unemployment and the lack of equal opportunities, social atomisation and nuclear family model, and technological civilisation or new technologies, new rules of behaviour obviously changed the Sami world as well. Moreover, it is not a black-white world of the bad (Finns) and the good (Samis) – it is a little complicated, sophisticated phenomenon of attempts of going back to the origins and traditions in order to find out some inspirations for the future.

8 Legal pluralism, customary laws and new possible natural resources management. Model
Customary laws or legal pluralism are such inspirations for seeking new forms of political organisation of the Sami people in Scandinavia, especially in Finland. Realization of the idea of legal pluralism (two personal and substantial jurisdictions in one geographical or special sphere: the state system and the indigenous system) means almost a full self-determination. According to the old Sami customary laws, the Sami are lords in Lapland and enjoy the collective ownership of the land, Lapp-land, Sapmi (in a modern constitutional-political sense).

9 Legal and political debates in Finland nowadays. Political life
Importantly, the ILO 169 debate in Finland is a sign of really great tensions between the Finnish government and the Sami activists (but not between the relevant communities). But Finnish society and Finnish government should be ready for such a ground-breaking decision on a new natural resources management based on legal pluralism and indigenous self-determination. It seems that both are still not. Why?

10 Two narratives on CA and NRM
The Finnish government The Sami parliament Completely different arguments and claims No understanding each other, different voices, contexts etc.

11 Comparing the documents
Concluding observations on the 20th to 22nd periodic reports of Finland adopted by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at its 81st session in Information provided by the Government of Finland on its follow-up to the recommendations contained in paragraphs 12, 13 and 16, 30 August 2013 Statement by Finnish Saami Parliament on the Realization of Saami People’s Right to Self-determination in Finland Presented by the President of the Saami Parliament of Finland J. Lemet,

12 Finland says: “A Working Group, appointed by the Ministry of Justice in June 2012, is preparing a proposal for the revision of the Act on the Sámi Parliament. The Act on the Sámi Parliament (974/1995), which is important for the regulation of the self-determination of the Sámi, was enacted in 1995”. “Legislative project is under way at the Ministry of Justice, which aims at developing the rights of the Sámi people as an indigenous people especially by clarifying the legislation on the rights of the Sámi people to participate in the decision-making regarding the use of land and water areas in the Sámi Homeland. The objective is to create conditions for the ratification of ILO Convention No. 169 on Indigenous Peoples”. “The Government stresses that the legislation contains specific requirements for the mentioned areas, inter alia, in Section 2 (2) of the Reindeer Husbandry Act that are specifically intended for reindeer herding. The land in these areas may not be used in manner that may significantly hinder reindeer herding. On the other hand, the Finnish legislation does not require a permission or prior consent from the Sámi for logging”. “In its recommendation No. 11, the Committee has stated that the State party, when revising the Act on the Sámi Parliament, should enhance the decision-making powers of the Sámi Parliament with regard to the cultural autonomy of Sámi, including rights relating to the use of land and resources in areas traditionally inhabited by them. In this regard the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry notes that the cultural autonomy that the Constitution of Finland guarantees the Sámi people in itself does not constitute a competence for the Sámi Parliament to utilise natural resources, whether in state or private ownership, within the Sámi Homeland”.

13 So: We have some projects of the law reforms, as well we have working groups …. To improve the Sami self-determination Law is to protect reindeer herding and environment But Samis’ consent is not necessary in NRM like logging nowadays We cooperate with the Sami parliament And Sami have cultural autonomy (only) MORE POSITIVE

14 The Sami “While the statutory status of the Saami is satisfactory in Finland, the law is not adequately enforced. The Constitution of Finland guarantees the Saami the status of an indigenous people, right to their own language and culture and cultural autonomy in their homeland, which covers the municipalities of Enontekiö, Inari and Utsjoki and the northern part of Sodankylä. The right to own culture includes traditional means of livelihood”. “Finland has failed to ratify and enforce international conventions that would help improve Saami self-determination, such as the ILO Convention 1692, the U.N. Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Nor has Finland succeeded in implementing fully the obligations of conventions already ratified when it comes to the rights of the Saami. Finland has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)”. “Cultural autonomy secured by the Constitution of Finland applies to the Saami language and culture in the Saami homeland. The Saami Parliament has a very limited genuine decision making power; it is restricted solely to the distribution of certain granted appropriations. The main means of the Saami Parliament’s pursuit of policies are negotiations, pronouncements and initiatives. The present right of self-determination is limited to the presentation of shared opinions and common representation through the Saami Parliament”. ” The Saami cultural self-government is usually ignored in favor of the needs of municipal self-government, other means of livelihood and other forms of economy. Most of the Saami Parliament’s propositions and statements remain unanswered, and the Government makes no genuine attempts to consider the needs of the Saami culture from the Saami point of view.”.

15 Complaining “The needs of the Saami are not prioritized; they are repeatedly overlooked in favor of other needs. The improvement of the legal status of the Saami should be one of the cornerstones of Finnish policies, considering that the future of the only indigenous people within the E.U. is at stake. Unfortunately the attitude of the national government is quite the opposite. While Saami Culture is willingly exploited for the benefit of tourism and in international contexts to create a positive image of Finland, reality is something else. There is no willingness promote granting a genuine right of self-determination to the Saami Parliament”. ” The lack of resources pre-empts the implementation of cultural autonomy and should be regarded as structural discrimination. The low level of resources of the Saami Parliament effectively pre-empts active promotion of the status of the Saami and the improvement of their self-determination rights. With the present resources, the Saami Parliament cannot support Saami livelihoods. Funding to the Finnish Saami Parliament is the lowest of the three Nordic countries and hinders cooperation in the Saami Parliamentary Council”.

16 continuing “Respected Special Rapporteur, the Saami right to self-determination or autonomy in Finland does not include Saami livelihoods, land use management and planning or the management of natural resources. The Saami Parliament’s possibilities to promote Saami livelihoods are restricted to pronouncements, negotiations and small-scale projects. The Finnish legislative and administrative systems fail to recognize Saami livelihoods; these are treated in the same way as other economic activities. The Saami means of livelihood are protected by the Constitution, but not by special enactments”. “The Saami must endure many types of pressure from surrounding society. Although their rights are collective rights, individuals must specifically demand them. Finnish society does not make it easy to be a Saami. In many legislative proposals involving Saami rights, similar rights are granted to the other residents of the municipality as well”. “Respected Special Rapporteur thank you for this opportunity to give you a review of the implementation of Saami self-determination in Finland. I regret that I don’t have anything more positive to tell you”.

17 So: We have no self-determination We even have no cultural autonomy
We have no political power We have no natural resources management We have no money The government does not listen to us! We have no exclusive rights (reindeer husbandry etc.) We are discriminated, ignored and Finland takes care of own image abroad only (tourism etc.) VERY NEGATIVE language and image

18 Two Sami: North: Nature --- Human --- Way of Life
Case: reindeer husbandry Finland: economy, economic activity, NR use, tourism, Santa Claus Regulation of reindeer husbandry Sami sustainability? Without mining companies, tourism and hydroelectric power stations

19 Between nation state and indigenous self-determination
Between nation state and indigenous self-determination. Paradigms and extremes The ground-breaking decision could throw the paradigms of nation state and Hobbesian-Lockean ideal of sovereignty to the bucket, too, that is inconceivable for many indeed. “Breaking the ice” of the old paradigms opens up the box of Pandora: what will come, if we lose natural resources management and control in Lapland, Finnish politicians and businessmen seem to think of. The ground-breaking decision is difficult. But in fact, it is about simply things: about historical Justice that meets Equality, the great idea of the Nordic countries.

20 CLASH Clash of two values Equality Justice – historical Justice
How to resolve the problem?

21 Conclusions The new natural resources management in favour of the Samis is completely dependent on exceptional both appreciation of historical Justice and sacrificing Equality. It will be a dizzy constitutional puzzle. Only Sami to pass laws on Samiland and to manage land, forest, waters… Only Sami to have reindeer (exclusive rights, as The EU Accession Treaty of 1994 allows for that!)…

22 …. Historical and exceptional decision in Finland.
It will not happen soon indeed. The mature is necessary.

23 Thank you!

Download ppt "Finland’s ground-breaking decision on natural resources management in Lapland: being caught in the middle between nation state and indigenous self-determination."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google