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Between a rock and a hard place : the impact of wind power development in northern Sweden on Sámi reindeer herding in the context of climate change

Niessen, Laura LU (2017) In Master Thesis in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20171
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
The Swedish government has committed to a steep increase in renewable energy production, with the aim that Sweden's energy supply should become entirely renewable by 2040. One of the renewable energy forms that is currently under expansion is wind power, with approximately a third of existing installed capacity in the four northernmost provinces. In these provinces, however, the wind power developments conflict with Sámi reindeer husbandry, an indigenous livelihood that depends on large grazing lands and freedom of migration. Through the lens of Schlosberg's (2004)environmental justice framework, this thesis scrutinizes the justice claims made by the reindeer herders as well as the developers and Swedish authorities. I find that the... (More)
The Swedish government has committed to a steep increase in renewable energy production, with the aim that Sweden's energy supply should become entirely renewable by 2040. One of the renewable energy forms that is currently under expansion is wind power, with approximately a third of existing installed capacity in the four northernmost provinces. In these provinces, however, the wind power developments conflict with Sámi reindeer husbandry, an indigenous livelihood that depends on large grazing lands and freedom of migration. Through the lens of Schlosberg's (2004)environmental justice framework, this thesis scrutinizes the justice claims made by the reindeer herders as well as the developers and Swedish authorities. I find that the competing perceptions of what is just create injustices for the indigenous and less powerful Sámi herders. They can point to several injustices regarding distribution, procedure and recognition in the wind power development. Then, I turn to the broader context of the future of Sámi reindeer herding in the context of climate change. I find that competing land uses, such as wind power, and other factors increase the herders' vulnerability to climate change. Conflicts in the Sámi community and insufficient protection for the indigenous livelihood by the Swedish state can further aggravate the uncertain future of Sámi reindeer herding. Finally, I provide recommendations on how the herders' adaptive capacity could be strenghtened. (Less)
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author
Niessen, Laura LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
environmental justice, sustainability science, Sámi, vulnerability
publication/series
Master Thesis in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2017:015
funder
The Right Livelihood Award Foundation
language
English
id
8914103
date added to LUP
2017-06-18 16:15:22
date last changed
2017-07-26 12:09:20
@misc{8914103,
  abstract     = {The Swedish government has committed to a steep increase in renewable energy production, with the aim that Sweden's energy supply should become entirely renewable by 2040. One of the renewable energy forms that is currently under expansion is wind power, with approximately a third of existing installed capacity in the four northernmost provinces. In these provinces, however, the wind power developments conflict with Sámi reindeer husbandry, an indigenous livelihood that depends on large grazing lands and freedom of migration. Through the lens of Schlosberg's (2004)environmental justice framework, this thesis scrutinizes the justice claims made by the reindeer herders as well as the developers and Swedish authorities. I find that the competing perceptions of what is just create injustices for the indigenous and less powerful Sámi herders. They can point to several injustices regarding distribution, procedure and recognition in the wind power development. Then, I turn to the broader context of the future of Sámi reindeer herding in the context of climate change. I find that competing land uses, such as wind power, and other factors increase the herders' vulnerability to climate change. Conflicts in the Sámi community and insufficient protection for the indigenous livelihood by the Swedish state can further aggravate the uncertain future of Sámi reindeer herding. Finally, I provide recommendations on how the herders' adaptive capacity could be strenghtened.},
  author       = {Niessen, Laura},
  keyword      = {environmental justice,sustainability science,Sámi,vulnerability},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Between a rock and a hard place : the impact of wind power development in northern Sweden on Sámi reindeer herding in the context of climate change},
  year         = {2017},
}