Mine in Swedish Arctic threatens indigenous Sami people

kilometers east (about 1.9 miles).

While both EU and Swedish authorities have praised the mine and its recent discovery of rare earth minerals for its potential in supplying raw materials crucial for environmental technologies, the Sami people are increasingly worried about its devastating effects on local wildlife and herds of reindeer, emphasized the report.

Tomas Kuhmunen, a 36-year-old Sami reindeer herder, told the Brussels-based outlet: "It's everything I am. It's what I've brought into this world, caring for the reindeer, caring for future generations."

The mine and mass tourism pose an existential threat, he said, noting a dramatic shift in the landscape over the decades, a massive loss of biodiversity, and the closing off of paths long-used by the reindeer to reach pastures.

Sami people in Sweden

Sweden ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1971, but according to a UN statement "it is not putting it sufficiently into practice."

In a 2018 hearing between the UN Racial Discrimination Committee and Sweden, the UN body "specifically targeted the lack of protection by the Swedish government regarding discrimination, Indigenous rights and hate crimes," according to the UN statement.

This was not the first time that "Sweden had been the subject of such criticism," it said.

In 1998, the Swedish government formally apologized to the Sami community but has since taken no actions in a positive direction and failed to fulfill their rights, according to Aslat Holmberg, vice president of the Saami Council, which represents the interests of the Sami people in the four countries where they live

Source: Anadolu Agency