The Sami are the indigenous peoples of the most northern parts of Scandinavia. They live in an area between the Kola peninsula in Russia to the north of Finland, Norway and Sweden, astride the Kolen mountains south to Trondheim in Norway and to Idre in Sweden. The Finnish Sami region consists of the northern part of the province of Lapland, defined in a 1973 statute as consisting of the communes of Utsjoki, Inari and Enotnekio and the herding cooperative in the northern part of the commune of Sodankyla. This area covers 35,000 km 2, that is, 36% of the province and about 10% of Finland. During the harsh winter the Sami, who have herded reindeer for generations, graze their animals in the last remaining ancient forests in Europe . Their way of life is under threat by deforestation of these same forests by Metsähallitus, the Finnish state-owned logging company.
The Sami are probably among the last remaining people of the great European nomadic tribes. Their land rights should be enshrined in law. If they lose their struggle in this I feel sure we will all lose some thing of great value. This isn’t some issue in a far off place which might seem to be nothing to do with us nor an issue over which we should be silent. I believe the Sami know and appreciate the true value of their beautiful wilderness and understandably want it preserved for generations to come. It will be a shameful atrocity of the highest order if the Finnish Government and the Corporate loggers defeat this just and righteous aim. If we don't maintain the wilderness and it's keepers, the wasteland in it's place will be a dreadful legacy and our descendants will despise us for our weakness.
A statement on the Metsäliitto web site >
Metsäliitto is committed to responsible sourcing of wood. While our mission is to supply high quality wood for the Group's mills, we also take into account forest biodiversity and maintaining the opportunity for the multiple use of forests in all our operations.
Metsäliitto records half year pre tax loot for 2009 in excess of 248 million euros