Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 309

309 Arctic Yearbook 2014   included as a dimension to social capital necessary for exchanging information, identifying problems and solutions, and managing conflicts (Hazleton & Kennan 2000). Socio-natural capital is here seen as a property and capacity of social systems to use and govern natural capital in a sustainable way. It requires knowledge about how natural capital transforms into human benefits. Socio-natural capital encompasses the ability of people or groups of people to use ecosystem services in ecologically, economically and socially sustainable ways, not deteriorating the future possibilities to utilise them. Furthermore, the notion of socio-natural capital allows one to emphasize that sustainable land use is negotiated between various users. Socio-natural capital helps to ease trade-offs and manage conflicts by building relationships based on trust and reciprocity and may use positive leadership to develop socially just solutions to the use of social-ecological systems (SES). Resilience theory has examined how the sustainability of the use of SES can be enhanced in an in-depth manner (e.g. Folke et al. 2005; Walker et al. 2004). However, the SES and resilience literature often neglects the dimension of power embedded in the negotiations over defining the sustainable use of SES (Cote & Nightindale 2012). Our concept of socio-natural capital aims to capture some of the issues related to power regarding debates on the sustainable use of SES. As the socio-natural capital is a property of social systems (including institutions, actor groups, individuals) the concept is actually much closer to social than natural capital. However, here the insights from the natural capital literature encouraged us to establish firm linkages between social capital and social perceptions related not only to social interactions, but also to ecosystem processes, natural capital, framing of environmental and social sustainability, and the constitution of human values and benefits regarding the use of SES. The notion of socio-natural capital complements the resilience literature on sustainable use of SES by being explicit about power relations: inclusion and exclusion, trust, political character of perceptions of the natural resources and their use, trade-offs between various interests, and distribution of benefits and burdens deriving from use and governance of SES. Two important characteristics of northern people justify the application of the notion of socionatural capital in the analysis of land use for example in Fennoscandia. Firstly, northern people have had for centuries close relationships with nature, and nature is a key factor in the understanding of well-being in the region. Secondly, northern resource use is characterised by a history of colonisation and use of resources for the benefit of external actors, and thus social issues and power relations are connected to the position of the northern regions as a resource base for both local and external actors. Furthermore, resource developments and land use in the north are intensifying and affected by an increasing number of actors. Previous community norms and practices are not anymore enough to ensure sustainable resource use: competencies and skills are needed to interact with external land users and to manage internal trade-offs to ensure sustainability of land use. Thus, the concept of socio-natural capital seems suitable for analysing Arctic land use and related conflicts and trade-offs. The objective of this article is to utilise the concept of socio-natural capital to examine and explain sustainability of land use in the Fennoscandia. This is done by mapping gaps regarding socio-natural capital through the case study of reindeer herding in northern Fennoscandia, mainly in Finland; and by proposing ways how socio-natural capital can be promoted in order to enhance sustainable land Sarkki, Latola, Jokinen & Stepien