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Retter on Climate Change, Mitigation and Reindeer Husbandry (Audio)
Written by Philip Burgess   
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 21:14
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retterGunn Britt Retter, Head of the Sami Council' Arctic and Environmental Unit has been an active participant at the current COP 15 climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark.  She gave a presentation in the WWF Arctic Tent – Indigenous Day (one of the many side events) on December 8. There she stated clearly that the drive by nation states to search for mitigation efforts (developing 'green power' alternatives such as Wind and Hydro) has serious impacts on the lands of indigenous peoples.

Click the play button below and listen to Gunn Britt Retter as heard on the worldwide news programme, Democracy Now.

For instance, in the Swedish news last Friday (http://www.sr.se/cgibin/ sameradion/nyheter/artikel.asp?artikel=3285932) we heard that the joint company “Statkraft SCA Vind AB” (Norwegian Statkraft AS has merged with SCA AB and created the company Statkraft SCA Vind AB) has received the permission to start constructing the first one our of six wind mill parks in the Jingevaerie Sameby (Saami reindeer herding community). The plans include all together 455 wind mills, 417 of which will be on the winter grazing lands of Jingevaerie Saami reindeer herding community. This cluster of parks alone is supposed to cover 10 % of Sweden’s CO2 reduction commitments to the EU. 

In a similar case last winter, the Northernmost Swedish County Administrative Board on 3 March 2009, in a formal response to the government stated that should a proposed construction of a wind-mill park within the reindeer grazing lands of Östra Kikkejaure Saami community result in the community no longer being able to pursue reindeer husbandry, the national interest to combat climate change still takes precedent. This would imply that the cultural roots of the Östra Kikkejaure reindeer herders are pulled up. They will be thrown out of the lands their forefathers have used since time immemorial, and that they are currently trying to pass on to their children. The same concern is raised within the Jingivarie Sameby.
COP 15, Gunn Britt Retter, Saami Council
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