Environmental Sustainability Generated by the Views of the Skolt Sami and Gregory Bateson


  • Panu Itkonen University of Lapland


environmental sustainability, environmental anthropology, cognitive anthropology, Skolt Sami, Sami peoples


This article contributes to the debate about environmental sustainability, using the Skolt Sami conceptions of nature obligations as guides to this theme. The author’s recent research material is analysed in relation to other relevant publications and sources of environmental anthropology. Three key factors emerge: reasonableness in the use of natural resources, protection of nature, and respect for nature. Gregory Bateson’s models help to arrange these elements in relation to each other. It is argued here that respect for nature sets a scale for the conceptions of reasonableness and nature protection as the basis of environmental sustainability. The article produces questions and principles that may help put environmental sustainability into practice.


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