The Holistic Effects of Climate Change on the Culture, Well-Being, and Health of the Saami, the Only Indigenous People in the European Union

Heikki Klemetti Näkkäläjärvi, Jouni Jaakkola, Suvi Juntunen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
137 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: (1) To develop a framework for understanding the holistic effects of climate change on the Saami people; (2) to summarize the scientific evidence about the primary, secondary, and tertiary effects of climate change on Saami culture and Sápmi region; and (3) to identify gaps in the knowledge of the effects of climate change on health and well-being of the Saami. RECENT FINDINGS: The Saami health is on average similar, or slightly better compared to the health of other populations in the same area. Warming climate has already influenced Saami reindeer culture. Mental health and suicide risk partly linked to changing physical and social environments are major concerns. The lifestyle, diet, and morbidity of the Saami are changing to resemble the majority populations posing threats for the health of the Saami and making them more vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Climate change is a threat for the cultural way of life of Saami. Possibilities for Saami to adapt to climate change are limited.

Original languageEnglish
Article number211
Pages (from-to)401-417
JournalCurrent Environmental Health Reports
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
MoEC publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Keywords

  • climate change
  • Saami people
  • Reindeer herding
  • Systematic review
  • Public Health
  • Adaptation
  • Climate change
  • Public health

Field of science

  • Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
  • Other humanities

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