More DW Blogs DW.COM


Climate Change in the Arctic & around the globe

Search Results for Tag: Sami

Age of the Arctic – Age of Indigenous People?

“The return of the Sun to Tromsö” was the motto of Sunday night’s get-together ahead of the official conference opening on Monday. After two months of darkness, the sun officially comes back on Jan. 21st. We sampled the traditional sun-cakes and cocoa, which go down a treat in the cold, dark weather. Actually, I haven’t found it too cold so far. Tromsö benefits from the Gulf stream, and after the very cold weather we had in Germany at the turn of the year with temperatures down to -15 at times, today’s weather here didn’t feel too cold, thanks to a lack of wind and the dryness of the air.

There were two excellent traditional musicians performing tonight, Sara Marielle, a Sami musician from Norway, and Sylvia Cloutier, an Inuit musician from Canada.

They are two very impressive ladies with very different voices, but in harmony with each other, they would say because they share the same environment. Sylvia sings “throat music”, quite amazing, and also dances with a traditional Inuit drum.

Paul Dahlö, Chairman of Troms County government, gave the welcome speech at the start of this 3rd Arctic Frontiers conference. He noted the increased interest in the Arctic because of the milder climate rousing high hopes with a lot of people of tapping into previously inaccessible natural resources. He referred to the current gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine, though, to illustrate how crucial stability is with regard to securing energy supplies. And that means governance of the Arctic region, a main theme over the next few days here.
There’s a considerable EU presence at the conference. The Troms chairman welcomed everybody, but I got the feeling it’s very important for people here to retain a strong influence in what happens in the region that is their home.
The other speaker was Steinar Pedersen, Principal of the Sami University College.

He is a charismatic story-teller, one of the people you could listen to all night. He told a traditional Sami tale which was all about not being arrogant but respectful towards nature. I interviewed him later and am looking forward to meeting him again tomorrow. If I had to sum up his message, I’d say it’s learn about sustainable use of our natural resources from indigenous people. And he calls for rules and regulations to be changed to allow them to have more say in what happens – and to share in any benefits gained from using resources of any kind up here.


January 18, 2009 | 9:39 pm



Comments deactivated

Arctic Update from Johannes

Johannes, 16.06.2008

Before answering the questions readers of our blogs raised, I want to give you a quick summary of today.

Our 6th day started as usual, with a lecture, this time Solitair Townsend, a communication-trainer from London, told us how to talk to leaders in politics and business. I think that was quite important, because we all want leaders using their power for combating global warming.
In the afternoon we landed at Snatcherpynten, Recherchefjord and walked up to a moraine of the Renard Glacier. We climbed the glacier and had a magnificent view of this nature.

In the evening the crew of the ship prepared a surprise: we had a barbeque (!) in front of a great landscape with glaciers and high snow covered mountains. While eating we just had nice conversations and enjoyed the sunshine.

But now I want to answer your questions:
“Gerry B” asks which “submarine” we used and if it is something special about the Arctic.
I think you have seen the photos of our first Onboard-Day. On this day (Wednesday) we had a safety and lifeboat drill. So we had to embark in the narrow lifeboats, which probably on the photos look like submarines.

Gerry B also wanted to know whether we had special fitness training and tests.
Although some trips are a bit exhausting, we did not partake in fitness trainings or test. When we applied for the voyage there was only the note that every participant has to be healthy and fit enough to go to the Arctic.

Ann likes to see photos of the seal and the reindeer(s).
Unfortunately we currently do not have the communication possibilities to load up extra pictures. But as soon as we are back in “internet territory” we will make sure to show you more pictures. Until then check out
Pictures on German blog
– our German blog for more photos.

“Tom” wants to know why the Sami are suffering from global warming and why they aren’t happy about things warming up.
As I/ we already mentioned in the blog the Sami have several problems probably caused by global warming. Let me give you an example which was given to us by the Sami Olav Mathis Eira, reindeer-herder from North Norway. In the 1990s several times it rained during winter. The last time that happened was in 1918! This caused several problems. As the rain froze on top of the snow cover forming a thick hard layer, the reindeer where unable to dig through the snow and to find food. Furthermore reindeers had trouble to walk on the frozen rain. According to Olav Mathis Eira this probably led to a severe decrease in reindeer during the 1990s. Nearly everybody sees global warming as the cause for these incidents, which occurred several times in the last 20 years.
Another example is that oil-companies began to exploit the nature because global warming makes it easier and, of course, cheaper to use the natural resources in Norwegian and Swedish arctic regions. This industrial development destroys valuable nature and at the life of the Sami people because they depend on the intact nature here in the Arctic.

And a PS from Irene, your Ice-Blogger in the background:
The Inupiat in Arctic Alaska are another indigenous group affected by climate change, as you may have read on this blog.
If you listen in to this week’s edition of Living Planet, you can hear a feature about my visit to the Inupiat with a field trip from the Ben and Jerry’s Climate Change College.
Here’s the link
Radio Feature on the Inupiat of Arctic Alaska and Climate Change
Cara,Erika, Jakob, Aart – you’re all in that feature, you were great, and I hope you’ll be listining in!!!
Marc and Michel from the Climate Change College (currently up there in the Arctic!) – you’ll be proud of them!!


June 17, 2008 | 10:03 am



Comments deactivated