University of Oulu

Jaakkola, J.J.K., Juntunen, S. & Näkkäläjärvi, K. Curr Envir Health Rpt (2018) 5: 401.

The holistic effects of climate change on the culture, well-being, and health of the Saami, the only indigenous people in the European Union

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Author: Jaakkola, Jouni1; Juntunen, Suvi1; Näkkäläjärvi, Klemetti2
Organizations: 1Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Social Sciences, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-03-08


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.

Summary: 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.

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Series: Current environmental health reports
ISSN: 2196-5412
ISSN-E: 2196-5412
ISSN-L: 2196-5412
Volume: 5
Issue: 4
Pages: 401 - 417
DOI: 10.1007/s40572-018-0211-2
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2018. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.