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Rassa project 1Rášša a new research project launced on Hardangervidda today led by NIVA, Nordlandforskning, Villreinsenteret and International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry. Project leader Kathrine Johnsen. Governing, producing, and negotiating reindeer landscapes – towards fair and sustainable use of land.

This collaborative project examines the ecosystem-based management and mechanisms to facilitate fair and sustainable use of land under pressure. It is a study of two cases that shed light on different knowledge systems for understanding coupled human-nature systems: The Norwegian management regimes for habitats of wild and domestic reindeer (reindeer landscapes). Sound management of these landscapes are crucial for the conservation of Europe's wild reindeer, indigenous Sámi reindeer livelihoods and culture, and biodiversity in general. Yet today, these landscapes are under increasing pressure from a variety of land-uses, as well as climate change. Local right-holders simultaneously argue that their knowledge and concerns are often excluded in land-use decisions. There is only one species of reindeer, but the management of reindeer and its landscapes engages different sectors, discourses and regulations, and are informed by different research communities and knowledge systems, depending on whether the landscapes are inhabited by ‘wild’ or ‘tame’ reindeer. Through participatory methods, the project compares experiences across the wild-tame divide. Through mutual learning between right-holders and stakeholders, we identify ways to minimize land-use conflicts and co-produce knowledge about ways to ensure more legitimate and comprehensive management of contested landscapes considering societal needs in the transition to a low-emission society

Photo by S.D.Mathiesen

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