Norway and the Sami people end a dispute over Europe’s largest onshore wind farm | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Norway and the Sami people end a dispute over Europe’s largest onshore wind farm

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway on Wednesday reached an agreement with the Sami people, ending a nearly three-year dispute over Europe’s largest onshore wind farm and the Indigenous right to raise reindeer.

Under the agreement, the partially state-owned farm's 151 turbines stay in operation. Energy Minister Terje Aasland said the deal includes “a future-oriented solution that safeguards the reindeer farming rights."

The agreement also has compensation for the Sami — including a share of energy produced — along with a new area for winter grazing and a grant of 5 million kroner ($473,000) for strengthening Sami culture.

The speaker of the 39-seat Sami Parliament, Silje Karine Mutoka, said “there is reason to believe that the violation of human rights has been brought to an end, and that the agreement lays a foundation for the violation of human rights to be repaired.”

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said "the state must learn from this case and ensure that violations do not happen again. It’s about better dialogue."

In October 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that the turbines' construction violated the rights of the Sami, who have used the land for reindeer for centuries.

Since the ruling, Sami activists have demonstrated repeatedly against the wind farm’s continued operation and said a transition to green energy shouldn’t come at the expense of the rights of Indigenous people.

In June, they protested outside Gahr Støre’s office. They occupied the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for four days in February and later blocked the entrances to 10 ministries.

The farm is located in central Norway’s Fosen district about 450 kilometers (280 miles) north of the capital, Oslo.

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

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