The Sámi reindeer herders’ conceptualizations of sustainability in the permitting of mineral extraction – contradictions related to sustainability criteria

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Abstract

Although international institutions increasingly recognize the connection that indigenous peoples have to lands and the particular role that indigenous peoples have in maintaining and achieving sustainable development, notable challenges remain in the recognition of indigenous peoples’ own conceptualizations of sustainability. At a time when there is a growing pressure to intensify land use in Sápmi, this study reviews how Sámi reindeer herders’ articulations on sustainability are recognized in land governance and the permitting of mineral extraction in Sápmi. The review shows that governance of mineral extraction in many ways ignores Sámi considerations concerning fragmentation of pastureland. The governance rests on standardized categories introduced by the settlers and logics of separation, privileging ontologies that determine land as a resource. The review addresses the need for indigenous-led development of metrics on sustainable development and management schemes that are open to ontological multiplicity.

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Jääskeläinen, T. (2020, April 1). The Sámi reindeer herders’ conceptualizations of sustainability in the permitting of mineral extraction – contradictions related to sustainability criteria. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2020.02.002

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