The Havukkavaara old forest, North Karelia, first ICCA to be established in Scandinavia
Karelia, FinlandDecember 2016
The current land owners have agreed to register of the old growth Havukkavaara forest as Indigenous Community Conserved Areas (ICCA): This is the first registered ICCA in Finland, stressing the importance of the ICCAs and the last remaining boreal forests for the Finnish villages. Most of the old-growth forests south of the Arctic Circle are gone.
The establishment of the first ICCA in Finland is a positive step towards a new era, where the Sami indigenous communities can protect and highlight those remaining forest areas that are vital to their culture, history and traditional land uses. Currently no such recognitition exists nationally. Of special relevance is that they wish to make it more visible that these remaining real, old growth forests are the source of their spiritual-cultural well-being. They want this ICCA to be a positive example to all parties of a new style of community-based conservation that includes culture, history and people into the framework.
The current Havukkavaara ICCA is adjacent to a state-owned “forest lot which is due to be established as a strict conservation area towards 2020. This has the potential to increase the ICCA territory in the future.
More information at:
>> First ICCA Declared in Finland>> International Conference on the Sacred Sites of Indigenous Peoples in Northern and Arctic Regions. Finland, September 2013>> The Diversity of Sacred Lands in Europe: Proceedings of the Third Workshop of the Delos Initiative – Inari/Aanaar 2010