How extractive industries trigger multiple pressures on reindeer husbandry.

Published online
27 Jul 2021
Published by
British Ecological Society
Content type

Fohringer, C. & Rosqvist, G. & Inga, N. & Singh, N. J.

Publication language
Sweden & Nordic Countries


This study was conducted to examine the trends of land use on the traditional grazing grounds of the Laevas reindeer herding community in northern Sweden. It was shown that there were hotspots of cumulative impacts and identify mineral exploration as the dominating land use factor in this area. The impacts of mining have triggered the build-up of multiple pressures since the turn of the 19th century that currently affect at least one third of the communities' reindeer pastures. In order to navigate through this highly impacted and fragmented landscape, reindeer herders have to adapt management efforts by non-traditional means. Reindeer numbers at present only remain stable because fewer animals are slaughtered and sold. Future development goals such as increased renewable energy production, production of metal ore and increased demands of electricity and linear infrastructure to support these will intensify the current situation of the Laevas reindeer herding community, pushing sustainable livelihoods with mobility to its limits. These developments are not restricted to northern Sweden but relevant to many resource rich regions in the Arctic and elsewhere. This study provides new insights that inspire the development of scientifically robust cumulative impact assessments through a combination of traditional ecological knowledge with historical data and mapping tools, which allows for the assessment of the full impact and current status of multiple pressures affecting indigenous lands and the ecosystem services they provide. This approach is geared to aid decision-making processes of land use conflicts between industries and pastoralists facing multiple pressures globally.

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