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Logging blockade in Aalistunturi, Arctic, Finland

Metsäliike Forest Movement has blocked logging activities in Aalistunturi, Finnish Arctic, demanding a protected area status of the site.


The Forest Movement, Metsäliike in Finnish, includes activists from Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion, the Finnish Nature League, and the Swedish forest movement Skogsupproret. In early 2023, the movement blocked access to the logging area of Aalistunturi in west-central Finnish Lapland [1][2][4].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Logging blockade in Aalistunturi, Arctic, Finland
State or province:Kolari
Location of conflict:Aalistunturi
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Logging and non timber extraction
Specific commodities:Timber
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Metsähallitus, a public forest management enterprise published on their official website that, "in early 2023 silvicultural thinning-oriented forest management will be carried out on the south side of Aalistunturi in an area of approximately 400 hectares. Seed trees will also be removed. However, such activities will not be carried out in valuable nature sites" [10].

Project area:400
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectNot available
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:Aalistunturi is very sparsely populated, about 2 inhabitants per square kilometer
Start of the conflict:15/01/2023
Company names or state enterprises:Metsähallitus (Metsa) from Finland - The enterprise gave a green light for the logging activities in Aalistunturi.
Relevant government actors:- Finnish Ministry of the Environment
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- Greenpeace Finland (Suomi)
- Extinction Rebellion Finland
- The Finnish Nature League
- Swedish forest movement (Skogsupproret)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
International ejos
Local ejos
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Court decision (undecided)
Proposal and development of alternatives:The Forest Movement demands a full cancellation of the project until protected area boundaries are explicitly established and approved by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Although the logging has been stopped 4 times by the movement, the court has dismissed a complain regarding logging activities in the area. Still, the official complain against logging activities has yet not reached an adjudication.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[10] Eija Merilainen, Ari A. Lehtinen (2022). Re-articulating forest politics through “rights to forest” and “rights of forest”
[click to view]

[1] Activists block road to logging area in Lapland: Eye on the Arctic Newspaper, January 30, 2023
[click to view]

[2] Activists halt logging again at Lapland site: YLE News, February 13, 2023
[click to view]

[3] Activists prevented logging in Aalistunturi in Kolar - the protesters arrested by the police have now been released: MTV News Finland, January 18, 2023
[click to view]

[4] Demonstrations | The police stopped the demonstration at Aalistunturi – Metsähallitus tried to prevent logging with a tent: Pledge Tomes, January 13, 2023
[click to view]

[5] This is non violent civil disobedience. "Finnish state is currently failing to protect the biodiversity of the Western Lapland" :Elokapina - Extinction Rebellion Finland Facebook Page
[click to view]

[6] Protests in Finnland: Europas nördlichste Klimablockade – bei minus zehn Grad im Schnee: Das Spiegel, January 19, 2023
[click to view]

[7] Forest conservation activists return to Lapland logging site: Eye on the Arctic, January 23, 2023
[click to view]

[8] Aalistunturi protester: "We'll leave when the forest machines leave too": Lapin Kanssa, January 24, 2023
[click to view]

[9] Metsähallitus carries out thinning-oriented logging on the south side of Aalistunturi: Metsähallitus official website, January 5, 2023
[click to view]

[11] Forest sector in Finland, 2019
[click to view]

[12] Reindeer Husbandry in Finland, International Center for Reindeer Husbandry 2019
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:KH, the Arctic project
Last update22/02/2023
Conflict ID:6291
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