(Anja Kristine Salo/Indigenous Peoples in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region, 09 October 2012) -- 130 representatives from the government, indigenous peoples and business met in Tromsø on September 10 to discuss extractive industries in the Barents Region, an area where indigenous peoples have lived their traditional life for centuries. "It is huge uncertainty connected to what's happening up north. The indigenous peoples' opinions are not taken into account as often as we would have wanted. This is a great problem," says the President of the Norwegian Sami Parliament, Mr. Egil Olli. He is one of the participants at the seminar arranged by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and the Working group of Indigenous Peoples in the Barents Region. Scientists, representatives from the mining industry, local, regional and national government officials were also present at the seminar. Many sensitive, difficult and important question and challenges facing member states, indigenous peoples and business entities in the Barents region were addressed at the seminar. "We face a great risk of evolving conflicts between states, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders in this bonanza of oil, natural gas, minerals and plentiful waters in the Arctic. The indigenous peoples in the Arctic have to find the equilibrium in this boom and tackle these challenges, hopefully in co-operation with the national states, business entities, UN and other, regional and international bodies," says Lars Anders Baer, Chairman of the Working group of Indigenous peoples in the Barents Region. The State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that the indigenous peoples must be consulted.
Posted 12 October 2012; 4:38:30 PM. Permalink