This panel discussion addresses Arctic environment, Indigenous peoples' rights and megaprojects in the Arctic region, focusing on the plans of the rail line plans between Finland and Norway. The event addresses the current status of improvement plans for better accessibility and logistics. The plan between Oulu and Kirkenes has been presented as less costly in the study by transportation agencies. We ask, what is the role of local and Indigenous people’s participation in the study and decision-making processes? How to guarantee free prior and informed consent (FPIC) and indigenous peoples' rights? What are the impacts of the railway to the Sámi traditional knowledge and livelihoods? How will the railway affect Arctic environment and the lives of nonhumans? And, finally, how is "development" measured in the Arctic?

Invited panelists:

  • • Tiina Sanila-Aikio, President of the Sámi Parliament
    • Kai Kokko, Professor of Environmental Law, University of Helsinki
    • Tero Vauraste, Chair of the Arctic Economic Council
    • Local representatives from Sámi associations, through video
    • Anni Rimpiläinen, The Finnish Transport Agency


Tiina Jääskeläinen, Doctoral student, Hanken School of Economics, Centre for Corporate Responsibility (CCR)
Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, Assistant Professor, University of Helsinki, Indigenous Studies
Kukka Ranta, Doctoral student and journalist, University of Helsinki