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1. Jenna Ojala, Peat conflict in Finland

 

2. Background information

2.1. In Finland there has been for a long time discussion about peat production whether it is renewable energy source or not. Peat has defined in Finland as slowly renewable biomass (Energiateollisuus). The discussion is on-going, but discussion gets more visible for public time to time. The conflict covers the whole Finland.

2.2. The most important issues with peat production is water pollution risk and carbon dioxide emissions (Energiamaailma). These things have caused problems between NGO´s and peat production organizations. The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation claims that peat isn´t renewable energy source (Yle 2012).

2.3. Only resource involved is peat.

 

3. Evaluation of the conflict

3.1. Conflict hasn´t yet have any consequences on peat production. Conflict has affected on citizens thoughts about peat production. I believe that either people are against peat production or then they defend it.

3.2. Main stakeholders, which are involved this conflict are NGO´s and firms which produce peat (Lilleberg 2015). Main NGO in Finland is The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC).

3.3. Peat producer’s interest is to produce peat as much as possible. They try to create as many jobs on local areas as possible. Peat production is locally big employer (Energiateollisuus). FANC then is trying to minimize all environmental problems which peat production causes. FANC is trying to protect peatlands (Lilleberg 2015).

3.4. Conflict is only disagreement between NGO´s and firms that produce peat. I don´t believe that conflict will develop into violence. It is a public debate (Developing bioenergy governance).

3.5. Conflict has caused mainly because of the changes that government has made on a new peatlands protection strategy in 2011 (Metsäkeskus). FANC thinks that new strategy favors peat production and doesn´t take into account peatland protection (Lilleberg 2015). 

3.6. I believe that this conflict will remain unsolved so long than there is peat production. There will always be organizations, who don´t like peat production. NGO´s are always very critical and they try to get attention, where they usually succeed. I think that it´s good that people express their opinions. Then discussion stays open and government can take into account all different opinions when they are creating new laws for example. Debate would stop if government and NGO´s find clear definition for peat, if it is renewable or not (Developing bioenergy governance).

3.7. Conflict would escalate if government would do such decision, which would forget nature conversation for good and focus only on peat production. In addition, if peat production would be forbidden then peat production organizations would express their thoughts very loudly. Then also citizens might settle against government because peat production is a big employer in rural areas.

 

4. Keywords and identifiers of the conflict

peat, production, use, socioeconomic impacts, conflict

 

5. References

Energiateollisuus. Available at: http://energia.fi/energia-ja-ymparisto/energialahteet/turve. [Refered 3.2.2016]. In Finnish.

Energiamaailma. Available at: http://energiamaailma.fi/mista-virtaa/turve/. [Refered 3.2.2016]. In Finnish.

Yle. 2012. Available at: http://yle.fi/uutiset/luonnonsuojelijat_eivat_hyvaksy_turvetta_uusiutuvaksi_energialahteeksi/5719574. [Refered 3.2.2016].

Lilleberg, T. 2015. Turvekiistan anatomia: Sukellus Suomen julkiseen turvekeskusteluun. Helsingin yliopisto, Pro Gradu. 94 s. In Finnish.

Metsäkeskus. Available at: http://www.metsakeskus.fi/sites/default/files/soidensuojeluohjelman-tausta-aikataulut-periaatteet-ely.pdf. [Refered 3.2.2016]. In Finnish.

Developing bioenergy governance. Available at: http://www.debeg.org/en/bioenergy_conflicts_database/:action/view/oid/48. [Refered 3.2.2016].