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P-SAMISK-Program for samisk forskning

GREENGROWTH - Green growth and Sami Stakeholders. Public debate on Green resource extraction in Sápmi

Alternative title: GREENGROWTH - Grønt skifte og samiske interesser i den offentlige debatten om "grønn" ressursutnyttelse i Sápmi

Awarded: NOK 10.0 mill.

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2024 - 2027


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In the Global North, resource extraction is often portrayed as "green" and climate-friendly projects, but in reality, they maintain colonial relations between states and indigenous peoples. One example is "green mining" in Sápmi, where metals for lithium-ion batteries are extracted. Industry interests use climate change as an argument and position themselves as champions of the green shift. This is the background for the research project GREENGROWTH, which will analyse the significance of "green" projects for Sami politics and room for manoeuvre. The Sami areas face two major challenges: a growing need for minerals and energy to sustain their lifestyles and industrial growth, and an ever-increasing need to deal with climate change. We will shed light on how Sami actors and interests speak up and gain influence in the debate on environmental protection, "green" industry, and indigenous peoples' policies, historically and today. We investigate how business and economic and Sami stakeholders position themselves in the debate on green growth. The project deals with politics and commercialization of nature and looks at how climate change affects Sami actors and interests in the public space. The public debate on Sami issues is fragmented, and one of the project's work packages explores how Sami stakeholders are represented through news and social media. The project highlights Sami opposition to renewable projects and challenges stereotypes by viewing the Sami dual role as both victims of land seizure and ecologically conscious actors. GREENGROWTH examines the history, governance, and role of the mining industry in the maintenance of colonial discourses and structures and addresses both historical and contemporary aspects of Sami media and the debate on the green shift. The project seeks to understand the complex impacts on indigenous communities and contributes to a deeper analysis of the tensions between Sami interests, green industry, and environmentalists.

GREENGROWTH will study and compare the positions the Sámi actors and stakeholders occupy and are attributed in the public debate on the Green transition and Green mining. How are the stakeholder groups formed and how are the Sámi stakes and interests weighted by other actors in the debate? The debate studied is concerned with growth-driven Green projects, of which the Green transition is the most recent example. The Sámi actors are analysed as interest-, rights- and stakeholders by utilizing stakeholder theory, settler colonial theorizing, discourse analysis and frame analysis. GREENGROWTH focuses on Sámi framings and responses in this debate. The interdisciplinary, international, multicultural and multilingual research group consists of senior and mid-career scholars with expertise on Sámi and Indigenous issues representing communication sciences, economic history and environmental history. The project will contribute to a deeper understanding of the Sámi political space under swift transformation in conditions of Green transition and the encroachments of resource extraction. Work package 1 is project administration; Work Package 2 will study the key Sámi organizations, the Sámi Parliaments in Finland and Norway, the frames articulated in their social media accounts, and the Sámi news media’s role and framings in the public debate on Green growth. WP3 will analyse the longer history of cooperation between the Sámi and the environmentalist movement, and the effects on the Sámi of being immersed in environmental discourses, with a special focus on the ideologies and projects of Green growth and nature conservation in Finland and in Norway. WP4will study the conduct of mining companies and financial imperialism in the Nordic north by charting the history of the transformation in mining adopting an environmental ideological foundation. WP5 draws together and concludes on the central findings of GREENGROWTH.

Publications from Cristin

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P-SAMISK-Program for samisk forskning