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Hjelm, Anna, 2021. One land, two rights : a study on the conflict between forestry and reindeer herding from an environmental justice perspective. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development


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Abstract

In Sweden, forest owners and reindeer herding communities have parallel rights to the same land.
However, due to structural injustices embedded in the legal system that regulates these two landusers, the reindeer herding right is not fully realised. Consequently, reindeer herding communities
struggle to have their rights fulfilled in the conflict situation between them and forest companies. In
this thesis, I combine environmental justice theory with aspects from indigenous rights literature to
provide a decolonial approach to the understanding of the factors that constitute the conflict. The
aim of this thesis is to examine perceptions of justice and just processes held by actors within the
forestry- reindeer herding conflict in Sweden, focusing in particular on forest companies. By
analysing, through a content analysis, the qualitative data from 11 semi-structured interviews
conducted in February 2021 with forest company representatives, state representatives and Sámi
representatives, the findings show that injustice is maintained between the actors in several ways:
by not recognising the status and legitimacy of reindeer herding communities as rights holders; by
prioritising company profit from timber production over herding needs for functional pasture; and
by keeping herding community influence at a minimum level during corporate consultations, thus
violating the reindeer herding communities’ right to influence outcomes in matters that affect their
land use. These findings correspond to what other studies on natural resource use and Sámi rights
show, and adds an understanding of the underlying structural cause to the persistent conflicts
between reindeer herding and forestry. My results highlight that the conflict is made unjust through
social, cultural, political, economic, and legal structures, and, if not changed, reindeer herding
communities will continue to suffer disproportionality from this injustice.

Main title:One land, two rights
Subtitle:a study on the conflict between forestry and reindeer herding from an environmental justice perspective
Authors:Hjelm, Anna
Supervisor:Raitio, Kaisa
Examiner:Arora Jonsson, Seema and Fischer, Harry
Series:UNSPECIFIED
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2021
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM009 Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:reindeer herding, forestry, natural resource conflict, environmental justice, indigenous rights, Sweden
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-500240
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-500240
Subjects:Nature conservation and land resources
Language:English
Deposited On:28 Jun 2021 06:06
Metadata Last Modified:29 Jun 2021 01:01

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