Agreement Reached with Reindeer Owners in south Fosen

Wind turbines at Storheia. Photo: Hanna Jhore

The parties have reached an agreement in the mediation between south Fosen sijte and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. The agreement ensures continued reindeer herding and enjoyment of cultural rights through remedies such as additional areas, compensation, and veto rights for further operations when the concession period on south Fosen ends. For the reindeer owners in north Fosen, the situation is still unresolved, and it is urgent to find a solution that will end the human rights violation there as well.

“The mediation team and the parties, but primarily the reindeer owners of south Fosen, have succeeded in finding a solution that both secures reindeer herding and future generations in Fosen and seems to repair the breach of the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights,” says NIM Director Adele Matheson Mestad.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy also reports that this agreement will end further administrative legal proceedings.

“For the reindeer owners in south Fosen, this means that they can finally emerge victorious after years of conflict, with secure frameworks for reindeer herding, for themselves and future generations. It is important now that the Fosen case is subject to a thorough evaluation to ensure that this type of human rights violation does not occur in the future,” says Mestad.

“It’s good to have an end to a year-long and unpredictable situation. The agreement provides predictability and secures reindeer herding in south Fosen for generations. Through the agreement, we are assured of additional areas and veto rights on further wind power after the concession period. We look forward to positive challenges and working to achieve good Sami reindeer herding. Now it’s up to the politicians to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. We greatly appreciate the support we have received through the actions and the engagement of the Norwegian people, especially from the Sami community,” says Leif Arne Jåma, leader of south Fosen sijte, in a press release from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

Mestad also says that the practice of the UN Human Rights Committee shows that agreements, for example on compensation and replacement areas, can indeed repair human rights violations. Such agreements are also common in other countries where indigenous peoples have been subjected to natural interventions in their traditional areas.

“We also hope that this can contribute to finding a solution in north Fosen,” says Mestad, emphasizing the urgency of finding a solution there as well.

Read more about the wind farms on Fosen and the Supreme Court judgment here.