Political ecology of environmental relations in Äkäslompolo village, Finland

Lead Author Teresa, Komu
Institution Contact University of Oulu Teresa Komu Cultural anthropology/Faculty of humanities PL 1000 90014 University f Oulu
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.2 Resource development and building capacity in Arctic communities
Datetime Thu, Sep 15, 2016 01:30 PM - 01:45 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text In my presentation I will present a case study from my ongoing dissertation, in which I aim to study the sustainable coordination of competing land use from the viewpoint of local communities, in the context of mining in reindeer herding area. I’m interested in how local communities depended on natural resources respond to a mining project planned to their area. What kind of meanings and interpretations are given to the arrival of mining? What kind of argumentation is used against and for mining? In my case study of Äkäslompolo village, local tourism entrepreneurs and reindeer herders are faced with the possibility of mining on their area. Though the response from both groups towards mining has been negative, there are notable differences behind their reasoning and in their actions during the process.
Discussions around mining are often polarized and solutions for conflicts are offered in terms of economic impacts, governance solutions and technology. However, with local communities facing mining operations the problems and issues related to mining are deep-rooted and complex and deal with values, local identities, power relations, local historical developments and environmental relations. I’m especially interested in how well-being is understood and argued in the context of mining and how this is related to local objections of mining. Overall, my aim is to examine what can local environmental struggles tell us about our society, its values and environmental relations.
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