fredag 2 december 2022

Sami Parliament viewpoint on Gállok/Kallak

The Sami Parliament has on February 2, 2022 submitted its final opinion concerning a new mine in Gállok/Kallak. Not unexpectedly, the overall finding of The Sami Parliament is that reindeer husbandry in the area is the land use that in the most appropriate way promotes a long-term economy in an ecological, social and socio-economic perspective.

The national interest in the reindeer industry should for those reasons be given priority over the national interest in minerals. Moreover, Sweden's international and national undertakings with respect to the Sami people should be considered, which means that the mining concession for Kallak K nr. 1 should not be granted.

The reindeer husbandry of the Sami communities in question is already severely restricted by exploitation by the forestry industry, hydropower, infrastructure, power lines, quarries, etc. Together with climate change and the considerable impact of predators, the cumulative effects in the event of any mine start-up are huge.

The operations in the application affect reindeer husbandry and its conditions, both in and beyond the concession area applied for. Assessment of the concession’s impact on reindeer herding must also encompass the area of operations, planned transport routes linked to the operations (impact on foraging land, expansion, traffic, etc.). The proposed conditions in themselves bring about the total destruction of nature-based reindeer husbandry. The conditions would thereby cause, rather than prevent, extensive harm to reindeer husbandry and Sami culture.

Land and water are preconditions for maintaining reindeer husbandry, other Sami land use and the Sami culture in the area. A new mine with associated impoundments and infrastructure would prohibit the use of migratory trails in the area, and the use of the foraging lands that have been identified as areas of national interest in the reindeer industry. That means that the functional connection that both the reindeer industry and the government have identified as a precondition for continued reindeer husbandry is eradicated. When conditions for reindeer husbandry in Gállok are eradicated, it means ultimately that also the conditions for maintaining Sami culture in the area are removed.

Reindeer herding is a prerequisite to Sami culture, árbediehtu (traditional Sami knowledge), Sami languages, way of life and traditions in the area. Reindeer husbandry rights, based on usage since time immemorial and Sami culture, are protected through the Instrument of Government and Sweden's international undertakings.

The Sami Parliament urges the government in the current examination to diligently adhere to current legislation and the most recent evolution of the law in this field to ensure the compatibility of the decision with international law in a procedural and material sense.

 

 

© Sametinget 2022
Uppdaterad: 2022-02-14

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