Eero J Aarnio, senior adviser of legislative affairs at Finland’s Ministry of Justice, and Heikki J Hyvrinen, lawyer of the Sami parliament are attempting to construct a bill that would be acceptable to both sides.

But Lappish MP Simo Rundgren, speaking to other members of parliament and researchers at a recent seminar in Helsinki, said he was astonished with the Ministry of Justice plans because the government has stated that there will be no decision until the completion of a study on land ownership rights in Upper Lapland.

Sami reindeer herders have made appeals to the UN human rights committee that logging compromises the ability to exercise their own culture as defined in article 27 of the international covenant on civil and political rights.

They were also backed by Greenpeace, but the UN rejected the claims stating that there were numerous factors behind reindeer herdings economic plight which could not be solely attributed to forestry.

The Finnish Ministry of Justice is now hoping to adopt a similar model introduced in the northern part of Norway last year which would improve Sami land ownership affairs and the rights of indigenous people.