Full Frontal Attack on Reindeer Husbandry (NRK Norway)

May 29, 2008 • Philip BurgessBlog

(Map showing extent of one claim in Kvalsund – Wega Mining) At a public meeting in Kvalsund, northern Norway, a full frontal attack on reindeer husbandry was launched by one of the parliamentary representatives for Finnmark, Olav Gunnar Ballo. The meeting had been called to discuss the issue of mining in the region where the international mining company Wega Mining has applied for permission to expand mineral mining, with the support of the local mayor and the majority of participants. Wega owns 18% of Nussir ASA which has the permit to mine what is believed to be Norway’s largest copper deposits at Nussir and Repparfjord. Ballo criticised reindeer husbandry for being subsidised, not moving with the times and standing in the way of development. The clip has also been televised. Ballo’s comments gained a lot of media exposure. The head of the Sami Reindeer Herders Association of Norway (NBR), Nils Henrik Sara was shocked and alarmed at Ballo’s comments, especially as he is sitting in the national parliament. 

Reindeer herder Mikkel Nils A. Sara stressed that reindeer herders were not against development…

We have already lost areas, We are here every summer, and about 100 people are involved..one third of people have already left reindeer husbandry. Cabin building for example, has meant that we have to give away areas. We believe that we can coexist with mining but it needs to be fair and we have to look at the consequences of encroachment. We want to have a future in reindeer husbandry.

Original story from NRK Sami Radio.


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