– It leads to challenges, many challenges. Reindeer owner Johann Martin Era says you have to change the working methods you learned and grew up with.
Ira fears that reindeer husbandry will have to change the traditional ways of working that she has acquired over the generations. He also feared the disappearance of traditional knowledge related to both reindeer and nature.
What do you think about the fact that feeding reindeer has become commonplace?
– It is not good. This should not be necessary. This is not reindeer husbandry. Ira says reindeer husbandry moves the herd to good pastures, where they can stay.
Mild winter in store
Most of the reindeer herders Sami that NRK spoke to believed that it was climate change that was creating problems for the industry.
The Norwegian Meteorological Institute monitors weather and climate, and in recent years has been involved in several research projects related to the impact of temperate weather on nature and society, both in Norway and in Svalbard.
Climate researcher at the Meteorological Institute, Ketil Isaksen, believes that such winters as this year will occur more often in the future.
Is it possible from the data to determine how often mild winters occur?
– One of our calculations for the interior of northern Norway shows that we can expect to expect a doubling of the number of periods of mild weather in the next 30 to 80 years, compared to the past 30 years, Isaacsen says.
In Svalbard, roads were closed, and flights were canceled due to a shiny runway, according to research data from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
Reindeer change nature
Reindeer owners have many concerns about increased spending on fuel and feed. Additionally, there are concerns about how this might affect traditional reindeer husbandry.
– Maybe the reindeer will change too after a while, says Ira wondering.
– Elk must return from summer grazing to winter grazing. If the reindeer don’t know where they came to their summer grazing, it is not certain that they will return. Then it can quickly turn into a mixture of herds and the reindeer can lose.
In reindeer husbandry, vehicles are used all year round, such as snowmobiles and four-wheel drive vehicles. But ERA does not see how to do without vehicles even if they pollute and can affect the climate.
– I think electric scooters will be a part of our daily lives in the future, but I don’t know more than that. We can’t do without our cars.
Focus on climate change
The National Sami Norwegian Reindeer Breeding Association (NRL) will focus more on climate challenges.
– We at NRL will begin an internal industry discussion about how the industry will address climate challenges in the future, says leader Inge Even Danielsen.
Does this mean that reindeer farming should change from today’s traditional farming?
– It’s too early to have solid opinions before we even talk. Together we must try to come up with a strategy that will make us better suited to the challenge we face.
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