Akwé: Kon collects traditional Sámi knowledge

Treaties made by the UN constantly introduce new principles to forest use. Luckily, they do not always cause problems. A good example is Akwé: Kon.

Polar light in the Hammastunturi wilderness area

The words Akwé: Kon come from the Mohawk language spoken in North America. The original meaning of the words is "everything in creation”. However, in UN language they mean the principle that indigenous peoples’ traditional relationship to and knowledge about nature must be preserved.

The principle was formulated in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, but its adoption is voluntary for the participating countries. A Finnish working group planning its adoption suggested that the principle should be followed in all planning and guidance of land use in the Sámi homeland in Finland.

The responsibility for this was delegated to several public authorities: the Ministries of the Environment and of Agriculture and Forestry, the state-owned forestry company Metsähallitus, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Lapland, the Sámi Parliament, the Regional Council of Lapland and the municipalities in the Sámi homeland in Finland: Enontekiö, Inari, Sodankylä and Utsjoki.

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