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Message from the Secretary General
PEFC is based on the principle of continuous improvement, which allows us to incorporate the latest scientific research, changes in society, and consumer expectation into our scheme to ensure that PEFC remains current, appropriate, just and responsive to stakeholders’ needs. PEFC is committed to revising its core documentation on a periodic basis, and in 2009 started the revision of its principle requirements for standard setting, group certification, and in particular its requirements for sustainable forest management standards. Social issues are an integral part of Sustainable Forest Management, and have a growing importance in developing countries in the Global South. As PEFC International’s Chairman, William Street, highlighted at our last PEFC General Assembly, “How we deal with our growth, in terms of new cultures, the issues of climate change, indigenous peoples, and tropical forests will determine in large part how we will be judged 10 years from today.” This workshop is a part of the revision process and PEFC’s endeavour to engage a broad range of stakeholders. Similar, single-topic workshops, public seminars and international webinars will form the focus of further consultations. The workshop brought members of the revision working group and other interested parties, including experts and key stakeholders together, and allowed them to discuss their views on topics such as free and prior informed consent of indigenous populations, and health and safety in forest work. These discussions and working groups feed directly into the revision process and all participants’ views and opinions are taken into consideration, and significantly contribute to the process. I am thankful to all of the speakers for allowing us to distribute their presentations, and that we can share their views with the wide-ranging family of PEFC stakeholders. These presentations are very informative, and by publishing them, PEFC is sharing the knowledge and expertise of its participants with all interested stakeholders. Many thanks and I hope you find this document helpful
Ben Gunneberg Secretary General Monday, 15 March 2010
Title Venue Workshop - Social issues in forest management CEPI office Confederation of European Paper Industries 250 Avenue Louise B-1050 Brussels Belgium 1300 – 1700, 18 February 2010
Mr. Jaroslav Tymrak, PEFC Council Introduction to Social Issues in Forestry Ms. Lizet Quaak Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning, and the Environment, Climate Change, and Industry Directorate Social criteria in Public Procurement Policies for timber Ms. Kirsi-Marja Korhonen, Metsähallitus (Finnish state forests) Indigenous people rights in sustainable forest management Mr Aimo Guttorm, representative of Finnish Saami Parliament Indigenous people rights in sustainable forest management Mrs Minnie Degawan, Project coordinator, International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal People Indigenous peoples and certification Mr. Jan Voets, Belgian Trade Unions / BWI International Health, safety and labour requirements for sustainable forest management Mr. Morten Thoroe, CEPF (Confederation of European Forest Owners) Requirements for stakeholders consultation and stakeholder’s access to information
Mr. Jaroslav Tymrak, PEFC Council Introduction to Social Issues in Forestry
Ms. Lizet Quaak, Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning, and the Environment, Climate Change, and Industry Directorate Social criteria in Public Procurement Policies for timber
Ms. Kirsi-Marja Korhonen, Metsähallitus (Finnish state forests) Indigenous people rights in sustainable forest management
Mr Aimo Guttorm, representative of Finnish Saami Parliament Indigenous people rights in sustainable forest management
On behalf of the Sámi Parliament I thank you for this opportunity to come and tell you about the views of the Sámi people. I shall present some issues and legislation concerning the Sámi people and end with some views on reindeer husbandry and forestry. The Sámi people in Finland The Sámi are the only indigenous people within the European Union. Peoples living in independent countries are considered to be indigenous when they descend from populations which inhabited the country, or the geographical region to which the country belongs, at the time of conquest or colonization of the country or when the present state boundaries were established. Irrespective of its legal status, an indigenous people - which shall identity itself as such - has retained some or all of its own social, economic, cultural and political institutions. This is the case of the Sámi people in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia. I focus mainly on the situation of the Finnish Sámi. In Finland, the rights of the Sámi people were recognized in the Constitution in 1995. As an indigenous people, they have the right to maintain and develop their language and culture and their traditional means of livelihood. A special Sámi Language Act governs the use of the language in dealings with public authorities. I shall revert to legal issues later on. In their homeland, the Sámi people have linguistic and cultural autonomy, provided in the Constitution. For the tasks related to this autonomy, the Sámi shall elect from among themselves a Sámi Parliament. In Finland the Sámi homeland covers the areas of the municipalities of Enontekiö, Inari and Utsjoki, as well as the area of the reindeer owners’ association of Lapland in Sodankylä. There are about 9,000 Sámi people in Finland. By now, more than 60 per cent of them live outside their homeland, which sets new requirements to education, services and communication in the Sámi language. The total number of Sámi people is estimated at more than 75,000. Most of them - around 40,000 - live in Norway, In Finland, the definition of a Sámi, in the Act on the Sámi Parliament, is based on language. The Act says: “A Sámi means a person who considers himself a Sámi, provided that he himself or at least one of his parents or grandparents has learnt Sámi as his first language.” The language was officially recognised in 1991 in the Sámi Language Act. The Act was revised in 2004. In dealing with governmental or municipal offices, businesses or service providers in the Sámi homeland, Sámi people have the right to use their own language without a special request. The public authorities shall ensure that the rights are secured in practice. In Utsjoki, which is the only municipality with Sámi majority in Finland, Sámi and Finnish are officially in a more or less equal position. The Sámi language can be studied at three universities in Finland: The universities of Oulu and Helsinki and the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi. The Giellagas Institute in the University of Oulu has a special nationwide responsibility to develop the Sámi language, culture and research. On Sámi livelihoods Reindeer husbandry, fishing, hunting, small-scale agriculture, gathering of natural products, and handicraft are the traditional occupations of Sámi communities. Today, traditional livelihoods are also practiced combined with activities such as tourism and other service trades. But reindeer husbandry is the primary livelihood. It is important both economically and culturally. In the context of reindeer herding, the Sámi language may stay alive and develop. In Finland both Finns and Sámi have the right to own reindeer and practice reindeer husbandry, contrary to Norway and Sweden, where only Sámi people have such rights. Reindeer herding areas and the number of reindeer are rather similar in Norway, Finland and Sweden. In the year 2001, Norway had 165,000 reindeer and their herding area accounted for 40 per cent of the country. In 1998, Sweden had 227,000 reindeer and the herding area was about 34 per cent of the country. In 2000, Finland had 186,000 reindeer, and the herding area accounted for 33 per cent of our country. The Finnish reindeer herding area is in the northernmost and easternmost part of the European Union. It covers almost the entire Province of Lapland and part of the Province of Oulu.
In the Sámi homeland, reindeer husbandry is practiced in the Fell Lapland area and in other parts of Lapland, which belong to the conifer belt. Pine and spruce grow in this area. on Sámi rights to their own language, culture and means of livelihood. The Finnish legislation contains special provisions regarding the Sámi people: According to Section 17 paragraph 3 of the Constitution (731/99), the Sámi have the right to maintain and develop their own language and culture. In their homeland, they have linguistic and cultural selfgovernment as provided by an Act (Section 121 of the Constitution). According to Section 22 of the Constitution, the public authorities shall guarantee the observance of basic rights and liberties and human rights. This is regarded as a legislative order directed at the lawmaker in the first place. The concept of Sámi culture, as provided in Section 17 paragraph 3 of the Constitution, is wide. For the contents of the concept we can refer to the jurisprudence of Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights (ICCPR 7-8/1976), which is monitored by the U.N. Human Rights Committee. According to the legislative materials of the reform of constitutional rights (Government proposal 309/1993), the Sámi cultural form includes their traditional trades, such as reindeer herding, fishing and hunting. The purpose of the Language Act is to ensure, for its part, the constitutional right of the Sámi to maintain and develop their own language and culture. This Act contains provisions on the right of the Sámi to use their own language before the courts and other public authorities, as well as on the duty of the authorities to enforce and promote the linguistic rights of the Sámi. The goal is to ensure the right of the Sámi to a fair trial and good administration irrespective of language and to secure the linguistic rights of the Sámi without them needing specifically to refer to these rights (Section 1). The Sámi homeland means the areas of the municipalities of Enontekiö, Inari and Utsjoki, as well as the area of the reindeer owners’ association of Lapland in Sodankylä. On international agreements binding on Finland In this context we must refer to the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which was integrated into the Finnish national legislation in 1976. The key article, when it comes to the Sámi culture and economy, is Article 27 which says: “In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language.” The observance of the Covenant is monitored by the U.N. Human Rights Committee. The Committee has published so-called General Comments, which give an idea of how Article 27 will be approached by the Committee. Also, the jurisprudence of the Committee is important for the evaluation of the contents of Article 27. In its General Comments, the Committee says also that “Although Article 27 is expressed in negative terms, that Article, nevertheless, does recognize the existence of a “right” and requires that it shall not be denied. Consequently, a State party is under an obligation to ensure that the existence and the exercise of this right are protected against their denial or violation. Positive measures of protection are, therefore, required not only against the acts of the State party itself, whether through its legislative, judicial or administrative authorities, but also against the acts of other persons within the State party.” In its case law, the Human Rights Committee has developed some criteria regarding Article 27, of which we can mention the following: Modern applications of traditional Sámi means of livelihood: The Human Rights Committee has established that the protection of cultural rights, referred to in Article 27, applies to the traditional means of livelihood (such as reindeer husbandry) but also modern applications of these activities (Ilmari Länsman et al v. the State of Finland, 1992). Viability of traditional Sámi means of livelihood: In the case of Ilmari Länsman et al. v. the State of Finland (1992), the Human Rights Committee emphasized that the Sámi community should be allowed to retain its vitality even in future. This is only possible when the Sámi people can practice their traditional means of livelihood in a viable manner.
Economic interests of the main population: For example, forestry-related economic interests must not be allowed to threaten the Sámi culture. Impact of earlier activities: Even the cumulative impacts of earlier activities (such as logging) must be taken into account when estimating the impacts of any new project on the possibilities of the Sámi people to practise their culture (Äärelä et al v. Finland, 1997). Sámi rights in relation to logging Finally, the Sámi Parliament in Finland would like to discuss how Sámi culture and the traditional Sámi livelihoods can be safeguarded in the Finnish Sámi homeland. Reindeer herding is the key issue. Our view is that the state-owned land and natural resources in the Sámi homeland should be managed and used in a way which helps safeguard the conditions required by the traditional means of livelihood and Sámi culture. Some important indicators will be how the following conditions are met: 1) The forests owned by the state of Finland are managed ensuring that the rights specified in Article 8j of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the rights provided in the Constitution of Finland are enforced and the Sámi Parliament is ensured a role in the preparation and decision making processes. 2) Sámi cultural landscapes and cultural heritage sites are protected. 3) Landscape ecological planning and sustainable cutting volumes in the Sámi homeland are negotiated with the Sámi Parliament and the village administration of the Skolt Sámi. Allowable cutting volumes are determined considering the varying regional and natural conditions of the homeland and the various Sámi cultures and trades. 4) Forest use is adapted to reindeer husbandry hearing the Sámi Parliament, reindeer herding cooperatives and local cooperatives so that cutting will not do great harm to the traditional activity. 5) The state forest manager prepares forestry plans for each reindeer herding cooperative marking the most important areas, routes and structures, as informed by the cooperatives. 6) The state forest manager maintains maps and statistics on lichen heaths for each reindeer herding cooperative and develops reporting on other areas important for the Sámi reindeer herding. 7) The environmental survey of forest roads in the Sámi homeland includes an assessment of the impact of each project on the Sámi culture and the traditional activities. 8) The state forest manager must not hinder reindeer herding by fencing unless the local cooperative agrees to it. Thank you for your interest!
Mrs Minnie Degawan, Project coordinator, International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal People Indigenous peoples and certification
Mr. Jan Voets, Belgian Trade Unions / BWI International Health, safety and labour requirements for sustainable forest management
Mr. Morten Thoroe, CEPF (Confederation of European Forest Owners) Requirements for stakeholder consultation and stakeholder’s access to information
PEFC International World Trade Centre 10 Route de l’Aéroport 1215 Geneva Switzerland t +41 22 799 45 40 f +41 22 799 45 50 e email@example.com www.pefc.org
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