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Sami reindeer herders battle conservationists and miners to cling on to Arctic culture | Global development | The Guardian

27.2.16

Sami reindeer herders battle conservationists and miners to cling on to Arctic culture | Global development | The Guardian: “Our way of life and culture is threatened by the rush for Arctic development, and by conservationists wanting to protect reindeer predators, like eagles and lynx,” says Daniel Oskal, a young reindeer herder who works in the mountains close to Troms�.

His colleague, Aslak Eira, adds: “The problem is land grabbing. Government expropriates land for roads and tunnels, windfarms and mines. Our land is being eroded by development. Almost half of our winter lands have gone. I fear that in future there will be nowhere left for the reindeer.”

The two Sami herders have lit a small fire in a shelter above a frozen lake. Together with a relation, Johan Oskal, they own 2,000 semi-domesticated reindeer, which are grazing among the bare trees in the snowy mountains near Troms�. Last month temperatures were below -30C for three weeks – cold enough to freeze reindeer urine as soon as it hits the ground – but the sun has started to come over the mountains again after months of darkness and last week it was a balmy -10C.


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