Unesco Green Citizens

Snowchange Näätämö River Sámi Co-Management Project

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Project begin: 09/09/2010

To restore natural habitats and help local populations develop more sustainable lifestyles, Snowchange draws on local ancestral know-how to co-implement innovative fishing methods. 

Leading organisation: Snowchange Cooperative
The country where the team is based: Finland
Theme: Biodiversity, Hydrology, Local and Indigenous Knowledge
Sub-themes: Climate change, Environment, Forests and desertification, Forests and desertification, Groundwater management, Knowledge sharing, Natural resource management, Rural areas, Sustainable lifestyles, Water resource management
Selection: 2020/2021
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In search of financial partners
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Overfishing and human activity have damaged the rivers, lakes and icebergs of Europe and the Arctic. Climate change is changing subsistence farming for local communities and impacting biodiversity.

Set up by Tero Mustonen, professor at the University of Eastern Finland, in the boreal village of Selkie, Snowchange is an independent cooperative of local fishermen, breeders and entrepreneurs. Since being launched, researchers, specialists and environmentalists have also joined its ranks. The aim? Reinforce links between different indigenous communities in the Northern Regions to protect and preserve traditional practices, while restoring nature – in particular, adopting innovative eco-friendly fishing methods without abandoning their traditions.

Sustainable solutions

Supported by the Finnish Government, as well as diverse foundations and funds, Snowchange has implemented projects across Finland, Norway and Russia in partnership with local communities. Snowchange has led ecological restoration and cultural preservation efforts from Finland’s Vainosjoki and Näätämö Rivers to Russia’s indigenous populations in Siberia and Murmansk.

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