Compared to the rest of Finland, there are exceptionally many forest- and nature-based livelihoods and forms of use in Lapland. There is tourism, reindeer husbandry, forestry, mining, wind power production, gathering of natural products, hunting and recreational use. There are numerous protected areas. Furthermore, Upper Lapland is the home district of the Sami people.

Photo: Mikko Jokinen, Luke
Photo: Mikko Jokinen, Luke

The final conclusion based on the results was that a peaceful co-existence of the different livelihoods would be desirable in Upper Lapland. Achieving a mutual understanding is desirable with regard to the versatility of the economic structure, local economy and the communality of the residents. This requires, however, that the parties to any conflicts are willing to compromise.

Reconciliation of usage methods still under study

Natural Resources Institute Finland continues to study the questions related to the reconciliation of livelihoods in Lapland. The focus of the study has moved to, for example, reconciling mining operations and wind power production with tourism and reindeer husbandry.

The Sustainable use of Upper Lapland forests research project increased the understanding of the researchers and other participants with regard to the livelihoods in the region, their importance and development prospects, but also to the border conditions placed on the practice of these livelihoods by the different interest groups. The research data was utilised by local businesses and the steering authorities.

Picture on top of the page: Jouni Hyvärinen