tisdag 24 april 2018
Photo: Carl-Johan Utsi.

The Climate Bill and the Reindeer Industry

The Sami Parliament receives 29 million Swedish krona under a three-year period in order to meet the changed conditions for the reindeer industry caused by the climate changes.
Warmer climate
The Earth’s climate has become warmer. The temperature has increased a little over 0.7 ° C over the past 150 years, and over the past decades, the temperature has risen a little less than 0.2 ° every ten years. The effects of a climate change have now begun to be noticed on all continents, which is established by the Swedish government in the government bill An integrated climate and energy policy (Bill 2008/09:162) that was recently handed over to Riksdagen. The effects are, for example, rising ocean levels, decreased snow cover, decreased spread of sea ice and shrinking glaciers.

Vulnerable regions
The consequences of a climate change are going to vary considerably around the globe depending on variations in regional changes and in differences in vulnerability and capability to adjust. IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) points out parts of Asia and Africa as well as the Arctic as particularly vulnerable regions. Working Group II , of the IPCC assesses questions concerning impacts, adaption and vulnerability.

The Sami Parliament is also active in the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council.

Temperature increase
The temperature in Europe has risen somewhat faster than the global mean the last 150 years, having increased by 0.9 ° C. The government bill mentioned above even establishes that the conditions for the reindeer industry changes. A longer vegetation season and more pasturage hardly balance greater difficultly in winter grazing conditions and the moving of reindeer.

The Sami Parliament budget allocation
With this in mind, the Swedish government makes the judgment in Grant 1:28, Promotion of the reindeer industry etc., that the state budget in the future should even include “the sameby’s costs that arise as a result of entered contracts with land owners on winter grazing areas outside reindeer-herding areas and other measures in order to adjust the reindeer industry to changing climate conditions and contribute to better planning conditions for the reindeer industry.” Promotion of the reindeer industry etc. is provided with 9 million Swedish krona under 2009 and 10 million under 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Changed conditions for the reindeer industry
The reasons for the Swedish government’s assessment are that the conditions for carrying out a reindeer industry in Sweden, according to climate and vulnerability investigation, will be seriously affected by climate changes. The wintertime snow conditions can become more difficult. Large reindeer grazing areas can be locked due to frozen snow crusts and ice formation, which can mean an increased need for support fodder. The costs for support foddering can be limited if winter grazing grounds outside reindeer herding areas can be used when difficult snow conditions prevent grazing on traditional grazing grounds. The reindeer industry may need changed regulations in order to manage changed climate conditions that lead to changed reindeer grazing, shifted moving times and new moving routes.

Read more in-depth information about the effects on reindeer herding in chapter 4.4.4 of “Sweden facing climate change – threats and opportunities”, a final report from the Swedish Assignment on Climate and Vulnerability (2007). Download here

Conflicts of interest
This can in turn lead to increased conflicts of interest with other industries and in the long run more court processes. Winter grazing grounds outside reindeer herding areas used as reserve grazing during hard times are so far an untapped resource within the reindeer industry. Agreements between the reindeer industry and land owners for the leasing of natural pasture outside reindeer herding areas should be established, in the opinion of the Swedish government.

Values other than the financial
The government also points out that reindeer husbandry and the Sami as an indigenous people contribute with cultural and environmental values which are difficult to translate into economic terms. The reindeer industry policy should be formed in such a way to create conditions for a sustainable and viable reindeer industry in a changed climate.

© Sametinget 2018
Uppdaterad: 2014-02-04

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