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Browsing by Subject "Sámi Climate Council"

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  • Lappalainen-Imbert, Helmi (2024)
    This master's thesis examines environmental and climate racism in the Arctic regions. The work focuses particularly on the disproportionate effects of climate change on Indigenous peoples, as well as Indigenous peoples' opportunities to influence decision-making processes. In order to understand the phenomena, it is essential to recognize the effects of climate change on Indigenous peoples and their culture and traditions. In this thesis, the situation of the Sámi people in Finland will be explored in particular. The thesis also discusses the possibilities of indigenous peoples' participation and representation in decision-making processes, as well as the challenges and successes observed in these processes. In this context, the role of the Finnish state is analyzed in particular, emphasizing the need to increase genuine representation and expertise. The work also examines the efforts of indigenous peoples to influence politics, the responses of communities and the effects of international cooperation on adaptation strategies. My research questions are: 1) Does environmental racism exist and in what forms, and how does it impact Sámi communities within the decision-making processes and politics in Finland? 2) What policies and practices have perpetuated inequalities and environmental racism in Finland, and how can Sámi voices be included? 3) What has been the Indigenous communities’ response to these policies and practices? Is the representation of Indigenous perspectives acknowledged and can Indigenous values be observed within policies, practices, and communication? The research methods include data analysis, document analysis, and an interview with a member of the Ministry of Environment and the Sámi Climate Council. This multi-method approach allows for a deep understanding of the impacts of climate change on the Sámi and the roots of environmental racism. The theoretical framework of the analysis of the research is based on environmental justice, Indigenous studies, and resilience theory. The research highlights systematic violations of environmental rights that the Sámi people face, such as differences in resources or belittling attitudes towards Indigenous knowledge. The Sámi Climate Council and the inclusion of Sámi rights in Finnish climate legislation are identified as key steps to promote community-based adaptation. The study emphasizes the urgent consideration of environmental and climate racism in the Arctic regions, and highlights the consultation of Indigenous peoples, supporting fair and sustainable development in decision-making processes. The thesis also contributes to a wider discussion about environmental law and participatory governance.