Finnish forest dispute resolved with Saami agreement13 December 2010
A long-running dispute between Finnish government forest enterprise Metsähallitus and Saami reindeer herders has been resolved in a landmark deal which will protect 80,000ha of pine forest in northern Finland.
The dispute over reindeer grazing forests in northern Finland has raged for eight years, with Greenpeace and indigenous Saami reindeer herders waging a campaign against harvester and forest manager Metsähallitus.
The deal will see 80% of the 107,000ha of reindeer grazing forests, mostly old growth, protected either permanently or for the next 20 years.
“Industrial logging has now been pushed out of the most important forest area in Finland,” said Greenpeace Nordic forest campaigner Matti Liimatainen.
During the dispute Saami herders launched court cases against Finnish logging, resulting in the UN Human Rights Committee ordering the state to stop logging in some areas.
Metsähallitus forestry manager Pertti Heikkuri said the company was satisfied the disputes between the forestry and reindeer herding sectors had now been resolved.
“It is believed that the solution will secure future opportunities for both sides,” he said.
“The ultimate impacts on logging volumes in the coming years will be seen in the revised Natural Resource Plan.”