Nordic Council, EU and Russia meet to tackle development issues in the Arctic and Barents region

Feb 17, 2011 Original article here

The Nordic and Baltic countries meet February 22 with Russia and the EU, as well as representatives from the Arctic and Barents regions, to tackle issues such as the pollution of the Baltic Sea, improvement of the Northern Axis transportation corridor linking Europe and Asia, as well as energy policy and other matters of common concern.

Politicians from the Nordic and Baltic region as well as the Arctic and Barents area meet with representatives from the Russian Duma and the European Parliament for the second Northern Dimension Parliamentary Forum on February 22-23.

The Forum will take place in Tromsø, Norway and is hosted by the Norwegian Parliament.

Politicians present include representatives of the Saami population and the indigenous peoples of the Arctic region.

The Northern Dimension Partnership includes four pillars: environmental issues, health and social issues, transport and culture.

Negotiations will take place in all four areas, resulting in policy recommendations for the relevant national governments of all the parties involved.

The first Northern Dimension Parliamentary Forum was hosted by the European Parliament in 2009. The Forum has been instituted to improve cooperation and development in Northern Europe and the Arctic.

More information

For accreditation and news services contact:

Thomas Fraser +47 40 45 54 50


Towards a Saami Assembly in Russia

26-11-2010 Christina Henriksen
Barents Indigenous, original article here

On December 12, the delegates of the Second Saami Congress might elect the First Saami Assembly of the Saami people in Murmansk Oblast, Russia. Delegates representing the Saami inhabitants of Murmansk Oblast will gather in Murmansk, as they did in Olenegorsk in 2008, when the Council of Authorized Representatives of the Saami people in Murmansk Oblast (referred to as SUPS MO – Совет Уполномоченных представителей Саамов Мурманской Област) was elected by altogether 72 delegates.

Representatives of the Saami people in Russia have been working towards their goal for since 1992, and the establishment of the Saami Parliaments in Norway, Sweden and Finland has certainly set out the grounds for this work. The political cooperation between the Saami in the Nordic countries and the Saami in Russia is strong. It is formalized through the participation in the Saami Parliamentary Council, in which the Saami Parliaments in Norway, Sweden and Finland are represented, and representatives for the Saami non-governmental organizations in Russia are permanent observers. The Presidents of the Saami Parliaments in Norway and Finland, as well as representatives from the Saami Parliament in Sweden, took part in the First Saami Congress in 2008.

In 2008, the 72 delegates gathered in Olenegorsk elected Valentina V. Sovkina as the Head of the SUPS MO, which consists of 11 representatives. SUPS MO has led the work towards the establishment of a democratically elected Saami Assembly since the Congress. Human rights, reindeer husbandry, management of fishing quotas and codetermination in issues concerning the Saami people in Murmansk Oblast are the main issues for the SUPS MO.

The Regional Administration of Murmansk Oblast participated in the First Saami Congress in Olenegorsk, and the Regional Government of Murmansk Oblast established a separate Council of Representatives of Indigenous Peoples at the Government of Murmansk Oblast. This Council is led by the First vice Governor of Murmansk Oblast and consists of altogether 11 persons, representing various obshina communities and the Regional Public Chamber, appointed by the Regional Government.

The President of the Saami Parliament in Norway, Egil Olli, will take part in the Second Saami Congress in Murmansk, together with the Chair of the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.  Other guests from Saami institutions and organizations in the Nordic countries are also expected as observers to the congress.

Program for the Second Saami Congress in Murmansk Oblast:

December 11th:

13.00    Hoisting of the Saami flag

14.00    Opening of exhibition at Murmansk Regional Museum of Local History

16.00    Concert with Saami ensembles

December 12th:

09.00    The Second Saami Congress, Hotel Park Inn Poliarnie Zori, Murmansk

Finland to help reindeer herders

SIKU News, November 5th 2010
Original article here
Some measures will target Saami herders.

Changes in Finland are expected in the system of public supports for reindeer herding to help the younger generation take over operations from their parents.

The government is proposing a package of measures that will also help more young people start their own businesses.

In addition to support already made available to reindeer herders, young people will be able to apply for money to expand their herds and to purchase equipment, such as snowmobiles.

Supports will be more regionally focused, as well, with measures targeted at helping Saami.

Further south, special funds will be made available for fencing off cultivated fields and fencing in some grazing lands.

The terms and conditions to qualify to receive public supports for setting up a reindeer herding operation will remain the same.

Those include making it a full-time job, based on one’s own farm. However, the proposed package will raise the present funding of around two million euros a year by several hundred thousand euros.