Title: Biodiversity in Finnish wilderness areas: Historical and cultural constraints to preserve species and habitats
Author: Sippola, Anna-Liisa;
Source: In: Watson, Alan E.; Alessa, Lilian; Sproull, Janet, comps. Wilderness in the Circumpolar North: searching for compatibility in ecological, traditional, and ecotourism values; 2001 May 15-16; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-26. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 75-84.
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Description: The present status of species and habitats in Finnish wilderness areas is largely a consequence of past administrative, use, and management traditions in northern Finland. The existing wilderness legislation sets a framework for management, but historical uses and administrative decisions have influenced many prevailing practices. In addition, management of many uses is complicated by overarching legislation. The present wilderness legislation is a tradeoff between conservation aspects and both traditional and modern use forms, including reindeer herding, hunting, fishing, berry picking, forestry, mineral prospecting, and tourism. Many of these use forms have negative impacts on biodiversity. Forestry, which is allowed in restricted parts of wilderness areas, fragments areas and destroys habitats of oldgrowth forest species. Large reindeer populations have caused overgrazing in many areas. Heavy hunting pressure has caused the decline of capercaillie and black grouse populations, and increased tourism causes disturbance of animals and terrain. The constraints to preserve species and habitats are often related to the contradictory goals of different laws or complicated administrative structures. Hunting is an example of a use form where different organizations are responsible for monitoring of game populations, making recommendations for prey numbers, selling of licences, and law enforcement. Different values and attitudes also complicate conservation efforts. Conservation of large predators, for example, conflicts with the interests of reindeer herders, often leading to poaching. This paper examines both historical and cultural factors that affect the status of biodiversity in Finnish wilderness areas, and discusses possibilities to achieve commonly accepted goals and practices in biodiversity conservation.
Keywords: biodiversity, tourism, wilderness, conflict, collaboration, culture, traditional ecological knowledge
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Sippola, Anna-Liisa. 2002. Biodiversity in Finnish wilderness areas: Historical and cultural constraints to preserve species and habitats. In: Watson, Alan E.; Alessa, Lilian; Sproull, Janet, comps. Wilderness in the Circumpolar North: searching for compatibility in ecological, traditional, and ecotourism values; 2001 May 15-16; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-26. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 75-84.
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