OPINION by Christina Fjeldavli, Board Member La Naturen Leve
The fact that the Norwegian authorities, in collaboration with strong capital forces, are systematically displacing Sami reindeer husbandry does not prevent our top politicians from basking in the glory on Sami People’s Day on February 6. We are “proud and happy about” the Sami, said Jonas Gahr Støre in a video that was posted on social media on Sami People’s Day last year.
At the same time, the Labor leader used the opportunity to highlight something he believes the Labor Party stands for, namely “a more just Norway”. Both centrally and locally, Labor politicians have voted for wind power development in reindeer grazing areas, from Fosen in the south to Varanger in the north. If one can first unravel some magical phrases about a “green shift”, is it perhaps fair to violate Article 27 of the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights? Last year, our highest court came to the opposite conclusion, but Støre’s government steps forward as if nothing has happened.
As Støre and his government are well aware, the wind turbines in Roan and on Storheia, which are part of the Fosen plant, are both illegal. The licenses are invalid because they violate the rights of indigenous peoples. This was announced on October 11. 2021, by the Supreme Court in the Grand Chamber. Eleven Supreme Court judges support the unanimous ruling that makes it clear that Article 27 of the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights (SP) was violated when Fosen Vind destroyed the late winter grazing areas of Sør-Fosen sijte and Nord-Fosen siida. Since the verdict, our political authorities have tried to turn away. “The government’s main focus now is to find solutions in the case, so that the state can fulfill its international law obligations to the Sami as indigenous peoples,” said Minister of Petroleum and Energy Marte Mjøs Persen to Adresseavisen on February 2. At the same time, the turbines in Roan and on Storheia are spinning and running as if nothing had happened, several months after the Supreme Court ruling.
According to the Supreme Court, Article 27 of the SP must be understood in connection with Article 108 of the Constitution, which requires the state authorities “to create the conditions for the Sami people to secure and develop their language, culture, and social life”. Unfortunately, we see that the Norwegian authorities do the opposite. This year we celebrate the Sami people’s day with a government that puts itself above the Supreme Court.