Statement by Mattias Åhrén, President of the Sámi Council, on the occasion of the 6th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council in Tromsø 29. April 2009.
In: Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting, Tromsø.
First the Saami Council would like to congratulate the Norwegian Chairmanship for its able leadership of the Arctic Council. We welcome the new data and reports on observed and projected climate change in the Arctic and the project reports looking into the responses to the climate change. We face many challenges related to the climate change. First, increased access to non-renewable resources in our homelands has created a “race to the Arctic” and a change in land-use. We humbly ask the states that participate in the race to the Arctic to be mindful of that you all base your claims to the resources in the high north on claims to rights to indigenous territories. If such claims cannot be settled in a mutually agreeable manner with the indigenous people in question, you might simultaneously lose your claim to the resources in the Arctic. Second, we see that efforts to mitigate climate change by increased use of renewable resources such as wind-mills and hydro-electric damns intensify pressure on our lands never seen before.
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