ARAHAT reindeer

Climate Change and the Saami people (ARAHAT)


Project description

The climate change adaptation of Saami people and the development of holistic indicators to study and monitor Saami well-being and influences of climate change

Objective: The objective of the project is to study effects of climate change to Saami culture and to the health and well-being of Saami and to develop indicators to monitor effects of climate change to the Saami culture. Project collects, produces and analyses new data on climate change, its effects and adaptation in Saami culture. Project produces valuable information on climate change and on the health and well-being of Saami. This information is needed for climate change adaptation. Main target groups are Saami communities, Saami reindeer herders and Saami institutions. Other target groups include public and private sectors and research and educational institutions. The information can be utilized in the Saami institutions, authorities, education and business life.

Description: The project 1) compiles questionnaire in Finnish and Saami language to study and  monitor effects of climate change to Saami culture, environment, health and well-being, 2) conducts questionnaire data gathering in Finland, 3) combines and analyses questionnaire data together with natural science, qualitative and registry-based data, 4) assesses holistically the effects of climate change to Saami culture, health and well-being, 5) and develops reliable indicators to monitor effects of climate change to Saami culture. A similar data gathering will be conducted later on in Sweden and Norway. 

Main results of the project are: 1) reliable indicators to monitor the effects of climate change and 2) holistic analysis on the effects of climate change to Saami people and their environment. Project will be partly carried out in Saami language and the main results of the project will be published in Saami language.                                                     

Project director: Professor Jouni Jaakkola

Research assistant: Suvi Juntunen

Funding: Professori Jouni Jaakkola and ARAHAT-researchgroup 
Finnish Cultural Foundation 2017: 50 000 €,  2019: 100 000 €, total 150 000 €

Timetable: Project has started 1.4.2017. The total period of the project is estimated to be three years.

Contact: Research assistant Suvi Juntunen (suvi.juntunen(at)

CERH project website for ARAHAT

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Project results

Jaakkola JJK, Juntunen S, Näkkäläjärvi K. The Holistic Effects of Climate Change on the Culture, Well-Being, and Health of the Saami, the Only Indigenous People in the European Union. Curr Envir Health Rpt 2018:5(4):401-417.

Research groups

  • Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH)


Jouni Jaakkola

Jouni J. K. Jaakkola

Professor, Director

Klemetti Näkkäläjärvi

Postdoctoral Researcher