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In: Understanding the Many Faces of Human Security
Author: Anna Petrétei

One of the most current challenges the Sami are facing is the rapid expansion of extractive industries throughout the Arctic region, creating obvious conflicts between states and Sámi people. European High North has already proven to be rich in mineral deposits. Furthermore, it is suggested that the world’s largest remaining untapped gas reserves and undeveloped oil reserves are located in the Arctic. Therefore, there is a growing pressure to conduct extractive industrial activities on the territories important for the Sámi, for instance on reindeer herding areas and reindeer migration routes. The expansion of extractive industrial developments causes significant challenges to the enjoyment of their human rights, unless effective procedural measures are in place to mitigate adverse impacts. The aim of this paper is to explore the possibility of integrating human rights impact assessment (HRIA) in existing license granting mechanisms, to examine how particular companies comply with human rights norms applicable to local and indigenous, and to scrutinise the possibility of these and other Northern mining companies to carry out HRIA in the future. The integration of HRIA would ensure that the special status and interests of Sámi people is properly taken into consideration when planning and implementing extractive industrial projects.

In: The Yearbook of Polar Law Online
In: Understanding the Many Faces of Human Security
In: Understanding the Many Faces of Human Security

In recent years, the Sápmi region has witnessed an expansion of resource extraction activities. The enjoyment of human rights of the Sámi indigenous people will likely be challenged by extractive industries, unless effective measures are implemented to mitigate the possible effects of these activities. In this article, we explore the possibility of integrating human rights impact assessment (hria) in license granting mechanisms such as environmental impact assessment (eia). Our goal is to explore what international standards are available for conducting hrias and whether these would bring benefit to license granting processes. Based on our analysis, we recommend that the integration of hrias, particularly concerning Sámi rights, in response to resource developments in the Sápmi region, would on one hand bring a stronger normative value to such processes, offering a greater legal protection for Sámi, and on the other hand offer strengthened trust between communities and the companies, in resource extractions.

In: Nordic Journal of International Law

Abstract

The Arctic is largely a geographically defined region. In terms of territory, the region is politically divided into eight fragmented areas, each of which is administered by the national jurisdiction of a state. At times, the inhabitants’ Arctic societal identity is in conflict with their so-called national or civic-identity, determined by citizenship. Even though the Arctic is not a homogenous region, it shares similar characteristics, in terms of climatic conditions, livelihood practices, and the presence of culturally unique groups (e.g., indigenous and tribal groups). In this chapter, we endeavor to determine how the Artic identity is formed within a transnational setting and what values are to be protected and promoted for the Arctic societal identity to exist and perpetuate. To this end, we employ a case study on extractive industrial developments in Fennoscandia. We show how, on the one hand, mining development brings economic incentives to the society and promotes its material values, but on the other hand, it adversely or disproportionately affects the local population by threatening the region’s traditional societal characteristics. We explore how an Arctic society in Fennoscandia promotes its societal security in the event of extractive industrial developments, by adopting measures essential to the society’s stable functioning and sustainability.

In: Human and Societal Security in the Circumpolar Arctic
Understanding the Many Faces of Human Security: Perspectives of Northern Indigenous Peoples addresses the different aspects of the human security challenges threatening Northern indigenous peoples. These peoples, whose unique, nature-based livelihoods maintain their identity, face difficulties linked to a changing natural and social environment. Their traditional worldviews are challenged as the world they have known for generations is literally melting away. The North experiences numerous pressures linked to rapid modernization, industrialization, demographic pressure and cultural changes. These threats are presented from various angles, such as indigenous understanding of security, governance, sustainability, livelihood practices, mining, nature-based resources and land use management, gender and the elderly. The focus groups of the book are the Ainu, Inuit, Nenets, Sámi and the Mongolian indigenous herders.
In: Understanding the Many Faces of Human Security
In: Human and Societal Security in the Circumpolar Arctic
In: Human and Societal Security in the Circumpolar Arctic