Reindeer herding or mining on Násafjäll? The question comes to a head now that the company Elkem AS has applied for expropriation in order to start quarrying for quartz in an area where three Swedish Sámi villages and a Norwegian reindeer-herding district practice reindeer herding.
The Svaipa, Grans and Semisjaur–Njarg Sámi villages and the Saltfjell Reindeer-Herding District have declared a moratorium on mining in the Nása mountain, a border area between Sweden and Norway. «This is a clear statement from the reindeer-herding villages. The goal is to prevent mining on Násafjäll, both now and in future,» says Sara Ajnnak from the Svaipa Sámi village of reindeer herders.
The company Elkem AS has submitted an application to the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries for expropriation of the rights it will need to launch mining operations on Nasafjäll, a mountain area on the border between Sweden and Norway. The company wants to start a quarry in order to mine for quarts on the Norwegian side of the border. In its statement, the municipality of Arjeplog, Sweden, says that the planned mining operations will have an impact on crossborder reindeer herding, calling for a thorough impact assessment.
The Finnish regions of Lapland (north) is likely to see flooding in the coming weeks, as warm temperatures set spring thaws in motion. The Finnish Environment Institute’s leading hydrologist Bertel Vehviläinen says that current data point to the worst flooding in 20 years.
While four million elderly Russians live below the poverty line, the country’s pension fund pays for Rosatom-backed nuclear plant in northern-Finland. «Deeply unfair,» says Oleg Bodrov from the closed town of Sosnovy Bor near St. Petersburg.
Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing Kimmo Tiilikainen has proposed that Finland should move up its ban on coal-burning for power to 2025. The government had previously agreed on a 2030 date for phasing out the fossil fuel in the country’s energy market.