Reindeer herders are facing lost pastures and land fragmentation caused by industrial development and other land-use changes.
New calculations confirm that continued piece meal development will substantially reduce grazing grounds in coastal areas, also without additional petroleum development. When coupled with extensive petroleum development as projected in this report, however, an additional 21 000 km2 will be deteriorated as grazing grounds in the Barents region. This is equivalent to the size of 2/3 of Finnmark’s spring and summer ranges.
Continued loss of grazing land will constrain reindeer husbandry practices and make the livelihood less capable of handling other future challenges such as climate change. Herd production will likely decrease, while internal and external conflicts will become more common as the competition for resources increase. Unless a no-net loss of reindeer grazing ranges is implemented, continued piecemeal development, mainly as a result of associated non-petroleum activity, will seriously threaten the entire platform upon which reindeer herding is based. Identification of alternative ranges, restoration of current ranges, or the development of mitigation schemes to reduce impacts of current and new activity will be required in order to ensure long-term sustainability and the survival of reindeer husbandry.