fbpx
European Rewilding Network

Swedish Lapland

Northern Europe's untamed land

Lapland - Northern Europe’s untamed and unique land is the great home of the Sami, charismatic wildlife species and natural treasures.
Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe
Mt Nammatj, Tjakkeli and the Laitaure Delta, photographed from Ritok in the Rapadalen valley. Sarek National Park, World Heritage Laponia, Swedish Lapland, Sweden.
Orsolya Haarberg
The reintroduction of wild forest reindeer in Sweden can benefit both wild nature and the people of Sweden.
LASSI RAUTIAINEN
A healthy peat landscape, Norrbotten County, Sweden. Arctic and sub-arctic peat landscapes can be restored, if the right conditions for recovery can be put in place.
Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe
Reindeer herd in Lapland rewilding landscape, Sweden.
Carl-Johan Utsi

Criss-crossed by countless waterways, Swedish Lapland is defined as much by its rivers and lakes as it is by its sprawling forests. While many of these rivers have been dammed, others provide anglers with some of the best fishing in northern Europe. Yet even on undammed waterways, a variety of anthropogenic factors have negatively impacted fish migration. Rivers such as the 210 kilometre-long Råne and 400 kilometre-long Pite today witness annual runs of salmon and sea trout that are far less than their natural carrying capacity. Working in collaboration with fishing associations on both the Råne and Pite, Rewilding Lapland is now working hard to boost fish migration, through activities such as spawning ground restoration and the removal of artificial obstacles. Sonar-based fish counters are used on both rivers to measure results. In Sweden’s first ever fishing management system, the Råne River Fishing Association – a collection of 275 land owners that rents fishing rights – now employs a strict catch-and-release policy, and has imposed a complete ban on fishing in the river at certain times of year. A similar approach has been taken on the Pite, which is renowned for its salmon, sea trout and grayling. Together with river restoration, Rewilding Lapland is exploring new nature-based business opportunities, providing support to enterprises involved in fishing and otter watching on the lower Råne.

Furthermore, Rewilding Europe is working with Rewilding Lapland and local partners to support guided reindeer migration, raising awareness of these threats and supporting Sami communities in their fight for traditional grazing rights. The aim is the full protection of all remaining old-growth forests, combined with the adoption of reindeer-adapted forestry and the elimination of mining threats to key reindeer wintering areas. By collaborating with Sami communities to develop wildlife watching businesses and guided reindeer tourism, the Rewilding Lapland team and partners are working to grow a local nature-based economy and reduce human-wildlife conflict. Raising Sami income from wildlife watching will hopefully contribute to greater acceptance and protection of local wild nature, including an increased tolerance of the presence of large carnivores.

Project: Swedish Lapland
Region: Northern Sweden
Type of protection: National parks, nature reserves, Natura 2000 and military areas.
Keystone species: Bear, wolverine, lynx and wolf.
Fauna (mega) species present: Eagle, capercaillie, arctic fox, etc.
Type of project: Creating space for wilder nature, Fostering the development of nature based economies, Increasing interest in the wild through communications, Magnification of rewilding impact and practices, Supporting wildlife comeback
Aim and vision: Rewilding Lapland aims at offering grants to individuals and organisations working for a sustainable development of the natural landscape through stimulating natural processes, with benefits to society at large.
To recreate ecological system in big scale, side by side with local people and local business operations to secure the future for both nature and people in Swedish Lapland.
Uniqueness of the project: The area can be considered to be the "Last wilderness of Europe"
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Recreational activities, Research, Sale of sustainable products
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: Lapland has become known as the untamed and unique land of the north, serving as the great home for the Sámi, charismatic species and natural treasures. It is a vast landscape connecting the Atlantic with the Baltic Sea through some of Europe’s wildest rivers.
Results so far: A project on sustainable management of Arctic rivers has been started, exemplified by two river restoration projects on the Råne and Pite rivers. These restored over 25 km of river covering 20,000 ha.
Cooperation with the LIFE project (Restoration of Boreal Nordic Rivers, REBorn) and the County of Norrbotten on various rewilding activities.
Letter of intent signed with Sveaskog to cooperate on the development of a wildlife lodge near Trollforsen, including the lease of fishing rights.
Cooperation started with local businesses, through support of the Rewilding Europe Capital to identify possible pipeline REC loans to local entrepreneurs.
Swedish Lapland experiences offered through the European Safari Company.
Inspirational value: The area is a part of Sápmi, the land of the Sami indigenous people of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia. The apparent wilderness is not the result of an absence of human activity, but from the traditional, non-destructive way of life of the Sami people
Experience you would like to share: Rewilding practises and development of nature-based economies.
Experience you would like to gain: Cooperation with other rewilding initiatives in Sweden and in Europe.
Map
Country
Sweden
Start year
2016
Size (ha)
3550154
Area type
Other
Natural process
River dynamics
Flagship species
Bear
Swedish Lapland
Swedish Lapland
Lapland - Northern Europe’s untamed and unique land is the great home of the Sami, charismatic wildlife species and natural treasures.
Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe
Mt Nammatj, Tjakkeli and the Laitaure Delta, photographed from Ritok in the Rapadalen valley. Sarek National Park, World Heritage Laponia, Swedish Lapland, Sweden.
Orsolya Haarberg
The reintroduction of wild forest reindeer in Sweden can benefit both wild nature and the people of Sweden.
LASSI RAUTIAINEN
A healthy peat landscape, Norrbotten County, Sweden. Arctic and sub-arctic peat landscapes can be restored, if the right conditions for recovery can be put in place.
Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe
Reindeer herd in Lapland rewilding landscape, Sweden.
Carl-Johan Utsi

Criss-crossed by countless waterways, Swedish Lapland is defined as much by its rivers and lakes as it is by its sprawling forests. While many of these rivers have been dammed, others provide anglers with some of the best fishing in northern Europe. Yet even on undammed waterways, a variety of anthropogenic factors have negatively impacted fish migration. Rivers such as the 210 kilometre-long Råne and 400 kilometre-long Pite today witness annual runs of salmon and sea trout that are far less than their natural carrying capacity. Working in collaboration with fishing associations on both the Råne and Pite, Rewilding Lapland is now working hard to boost fish migration, through activities such as spawning ground restoration and the removal of artificial obstacles. Sonar-based fish counters are used on both rivers to measure results. In Sweden’s first ever fishing management system, the Råne River Fishing Association – a collection of 275 land owners that rents fishing rights – now employs a strict catch-and-release policy, and has imposed a complete ban on fishing in the river at certain times of year. A similar approach has been taken on the Pite, which is renowned for its salmon, sea trout and grayling. Together with river restoration, Rewilding Lapland is exploring new nature-based business opportunities, providing support to enterprises involved in fishing and otter watching on the lower Råne.

Furthermore, Rewilding Europe is working with Rewilding Lapland and local partners to support guided reindeer migration, raising awareness of these threats and supporting Sami communities in their fight for traditional grazing rights. The aim is the full protection of all remaining old-growth forests, combined with the adoption of reindeer-adapted forestry and the elimination of mining threats to key reindeer wintering areas. By collaborating with Sami communities to develop wildlife watching businesses and guided reindeer tourism, the Rewilding Lapland team and partners are working to grow a local nature-based economy and reduce human-wildlife conflict. Raising Sami income from wildlife watching will hopefully contribute to greater acceptance and protection of local wild nature, including an increased tolerance of the presence of large carnivores.

Map
Country
Sweden
Start year
2016
Size (ha)
3550154
Area type
Other
Natural process
River dynamics
Flagship species
Bear
Specification
Project: Swedish Lapland
Region: Northern Sweden
Type of protection: National parks, nature reserves, Natura 2000 and military areas.
Keystone species: Bear, wolverine, lynx and wolf.
Fauna (mega) species present: Eagle, capercaillie, arctic fox, etc.
Description
Type of project: Creating space for wilder nature, Fostering the development of nature based economies, Increasing interest in the wild through communications, Magnification of rewilding impact and practices, Supporting wildlife comeback
Aim and vision: Rewilding Lapland aims at offering grants to individuals and organisations working for a sustainable development of the natural landscape through stimulating natural processes, with benefits to society at large.
To recreate ecological system in big scale, side by side with local people and local business operations to secure the future for both nature and people in Swedish Lapland.
Uniqueness of the project: The area can be considered to be the "Last wilderness of Europe"
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Recreational activities, Research, Sale of sustainable products
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: Lapland has become known as the untamed and unique land of the north, serving as the great home for the Sámi, charismatic species and natural treasures. It is a vast landscape connecting the Atlantic with the Baltic Sea through some of Europe’s wildest rivers.
Results so far: A project on sustainable management of Arctic rivers has been started, exemplified by two river restoration projects on the Råne and Pite rivers. These restored over 25 km of river covering 20,000 ha.
Cooperation with the LIFE project (Restoration of Boreal Nordic Rivers, REBorn) and the County of Norrbotten on various rewilding activities.
Letter of intent signed with Sveaskog to cooperate on the development of a wildlife lodge near Trollforsen, including the lease of fishing rights.
Cooperation started with local businesses, through support of the Rewilding Europe Capital to identify possible pipeline REC loans to local entrepreneurs.
Swedish Lapland experiences offered through the European Safari Company.
Exchange
Inspirational value: The area is a part of Sápmi, the land of the Sami indigenous people of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia. The apparent wilderness is not the result of an absence of human activity, but from the traditional, non-destructive way of life of the Sami people
Experience you would like to share: Rewilding practises and development of nature-based economies.
Experience you would like to gain: Cooperation with other rewilding initiatives in Sweden and in Europe.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.