Swedish Lapland: An Arctic region returning to the wild

Daniel Allen, CNNPublished 29th June 2017
(CNN) — Fascinating indigenous culture. World-class river fishing. Close-up encounters with brown bear, lynx, moose and wolverine. Nights out under the Northern Lights. Log cabins, saunas and warming shots of aquavit.
Anyone who thinks this sounds like the trip of a lifetime might want to consider Swedish Lapland for their next vacation.
Ringed by the Arctic Circle and bordered by Norway, Finland and the Baltic Sea, Swedish Lapland extends across the top quarter of Sweden. Even for Swedes, this is a remote place. Gothenburg is as close to Munich as it is to Lulea, the region's gateway city.
Yet despite its reputation as a bountiful, unsullied wilderness, Swedish Lapland has its fair share of social, economic and environmental problems.
Activities such as hunting, intensive forestry and mining have all had a negative impact on regional ecosystems, with a knock-on effect on the livelihoods of many local people.

Rewilding Lapland

Hakan Landstrom is managing director of Rewilding Lapland. Officially launched in July 2016, this new foundation is part of Rewilding Europe, a pan-European organization working to make Europe a wilder place by restoring natural habitats and their indigenous species.
By generating incomes from activities such as wildlife-watching and other nature and culture-based activities, the rewilding process is based on both economic and environmental drivers.
Rewilding Europe will shortly set up rewilding-focused holidays in Swedish Lapland through the newly established European Safari Company.
"There are huge opportunities to develop a nature and culture-based economy in Swedish Lapland," says Landstrom. "At Rewilding Lapland we want to show how this is a far better alternative than relying on resource-extractive industries such as forestry and mining."
Click through the gallery above to explore this beautiful region and see the work taking place.
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