Stop logging in Sámi homeland

On March 17 I sent the below message to Erkki.Tuomioja@formin.fi

Dear Mr Erkki Tuomioja,

In its report of 5th November 2004, the UN Committee on Human Rights reproached the Finnish government for not resolving the conflict over logging and traditional reindeer herding. The UN Committee urged the government to withhold any actions that might harm the Sámi people's rights to land. However, Metsähallitus has decided to continue logging important reindeer grazing forests, in defiance of the Committee's recommendations.

Metsähallitus has proven time and time again that it does not have the interests of traditional reindeer herding at heart.

Despite this legislation being in place since 1990, Metsähallitus has consistently prioritised other forms of land use, such as forestry, over reindeer herding. The old-growth forests that reindeer depend upon have been reduced piece by piece, project by project, and without considering the cumulative effects of all these activities. Over the last few decades, Metsähallitus has persistently logged important winter food sources for reindeer.

It is time for the Finnish government to live up to its responsibilities and protect the rights of the Sámi to practise traditional reindeer herding in Lapland, which are protected by national and international legislation and agreements.

If the Sámi people's rights to practise their culture and traditional livelihood are protected by the Finnish Constitution, why is the government's own logging company ignoring these rights?

If Finland fails to uphold its own Constitution, its international reputation will be damaged.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,



On March 17 he replied that:

Thank you and your many colleagues for your message. I have forwarded it to the
ministry of agriculture and forestry, which is the authority responsive for
forestry issues.

Erkki Tuomioja

A really quick reply, but still no reply from the ministry of agriculture and forestry,
although the company StoraEnso sent me a reply. See later blog entry.



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