The overall goal of the project is to analyze and study models for the governance of land and natural resources in the traditional Sami areas in Norway. Indigenous peoples' participation in governance of natural resources in lands they traditionally use and occupy, are essential for their culture and social life. The international community has therefore entered into treaties that safeguard indigenous peoples' participation in such governance. Norway has for several decades worked to implement these commitments in national legislation. Reference can be made here to the Reindeer Husbandry Act, the Finnmark Act and the drafts of the Sami Right Committee II. The project will investigate how the legal framework, including case law and customary law, works.
Local resource management is a principle that underlies the governance of publicly owned land in Norway. Such governance will also be examined. In addition, the project includes a study of the management of Sámi reindeer husbandry, with a view to possible strengthened user participation in the governance.
The study will be developed through three work packages (WP) where WP1 will analyze international law and provide a systematic overview of international standards for indigenous participation in governance of land and resources. WP2 will analyze how Sweden, Finland and Canada address governance issues. WP 3 will rely on the analyzes in the first two work packages, and further analyze the regulations for land management traditionally used and owned by Sami in Norway, including legal history and legal views. Based on an overall analysis, the project will seek to produce knowledge, both of academic and practical nature, as well as specific recommendations for governance of benefit to decision-makers, users and right holders. Furthermore, it is an aim that the project can contribute to harmonious joint use of the resources between the different user groups of nature in the areas which the Sámi traditionally use and occupy in Norway.
The topic of the project is governance of land and natural resources in the Sámi areas of Norway. The Sámi rights to self- or co-governance are keystones within Norwegian Sámi policy. However, the uncertain nature of these rights calls for research. The project’s survey on co-governance models between the nation-state/majority society and the Sámi, contributes to enhance understanding of the possibilities and limitations on the practical development of the Sámi right to governance land and natural resources in their traditional territories within the Norwegian state.
The project’s overall aim is to provide academic knowledge, as well as practical recommendations for decision-makers, when it comes to governance of land and natural resources in the Sámi areas of Norway. In this way the project may support a harmonious non-Sámi–Sámi co-existence. The project also includes a study of the reindeer husbandry management, aiming to improve the management in a sustainable way.
The recommendations will be developed through three collaborative working packages: WP1 will study international law and provide a systematic overview of international standards on indigenous peoples’ rights and duties related to self- and co-governance of land and natural resources. WP2 will carry out a comparative analysis on how Sweden, Finland and Canada are addressing the content of the same governance issues. WP3 will develop concrete recommendations for governance models involving the Sámi in Norway.