The 6th World Reindeer Herders Congress will take place in the Sámi village of Jokkmokk in northern Sweden between August 16-20, 2017.
The Congress occurs every four years (the last Congress was held in China) and brings council members of the Association of World Reindeer Herders from all around the world together. There will be a a host of meetings, scientific sessions and cultural sessions and the event promises to be a great celebration of reindeer and reindeer peoples.
A major seminar with youth from across the circumpolar North (Russia, Canada, US, Finland, Norway and Sweden) is getting underway in Kautokeino tomorrow February 1-3 at the Sami University of Applied Sciences. Organized under the auspices of the EALLU and RIEVDAN projects that both focus on traditional knowledge with an emphasis (especially EALLU) on traditional food cultures and systems of indigenous peoples in the Arctic. Much is reindeer related, of course, but other Arctic traditional foods will also be featured. Seminar results and products will also feed into the EALLU final delivery (an Arctic ‘cookbook’) to the Arctic Council at the Ministerial, to be held in Alaska, in May of this year.
The seminar will feature talks, group work and slaughtering of reindeer. Photos to follow, draft programme below.
A seminar on the use of traditional knowledge as a means and tool to preserve biodiversity is being held in Kautokeino, Norway tomorrow, Tuesday, 31 February.
The seminar is being held in advance of the CAFF biennial meeting which is also being held in Kautokeino this week. Multiple speakers from different institutions and researchers will be speaking including the Saami Council (Aile Javo), the Sami Parliament in Norway (President Vibeke Larsen), the Herzen Institute in St Petersburg, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The meeting will be held in the Sami University of Applied Sciences. See the (draft) programme below.
“Keepers of the Land” is shown in Monaco in the presence of HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II
Director of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and also a representative of the of the UArctic EALAT Institute Anders Oskal within the partnership with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, gave a presentation with regard to the current situation and the rapid changes in reindeer herding areas of the Arctic experienced by this region.
The meeting was launched on 11th January at the Lycée Technique et Hôtelier of Monaco, in the presence of HSH the Sovereign Prince. During his presentation Anders shared a documentary called “The Keepers of the Land” with Prince Albert II of Monaco and with the audience which was mainly represented by the students from “Students On Ice” programme.
Reindeer are helping to slow down climate change by grazing on Arctic tundra and leaving vegetation that reflects more solar energy back into space.
Reindeer are best known – at least in much of the northern hemisphere – for pulling Santa’s sleigh, but a new study suggests they may have a part to play in slowing down climate change too.
A team of researchers, writing in the journal Environmental Research Letters, found that when reindeer reduce the height and abundance of shrubs on the Arctic tundra through grazing, the level of surface albedo – the amount of solar energy (shortwave radiation) reflected by the Earth back into space – is increased.
The study’s lead author, Dr Mariska te Beest, from Umeå University in Sweden, said: “Our theory was that heavy grazing by reindeer increases summer albedo, through a reduction in shrub height, abundance and leaf area index (LAI).
A significant EALLU seminar takes place this weekend in the city of Yakutsk, the capital of the Republic of Sakha. The seminar is being organized by the ICR, WRH and a number of other organizers both local and international.
The seminar is entitled: ‘A FUTURE VISION FOR THE REINDEER MEAT INDUSTRY, The Role of New Technologies and Traditional Knowledge‘. Welcomes will be given by the Norwegian Ambassador to Russia, the Minister for Education and the Minister for Federal Relations and External Affairs of the Sakha Republic, the Rector of the University of Tromsø, the President of the University of the Arctic and the Director of the Northern Forum.
The seminar will take place all day Saturday, November 26th and will be followed by a field excursions and further workshops and discussions on indigenous food systems and the EALLU Arctic Cookbook, a delivery the Arctic Council.
Fantastic archival film in Russian about the Association of World Reindeer Herders’ first gathering of reindeer peoples from across the Arctic, held in Tromsø, Norway in 1993. This signalled the beginning of global cooperation between reindeer herders that has continued to this day. The next Congress will be held in Jokkmokk, Sweden, next year.
The Film was made by the Parliamentary Assembly of small-numbered peoples of the North of the Russian Federation and the Author and convener is the President of the Association of Indigenous Small-numbered Peoples of the North of the Russian Federation. The film was written by the late Yeremei Aipin. The Director and cameraman was S. Rakhomyagi
Dead Reindeer, death due to extreme climate event. Photo: Roma Serotetto
From the press release announcing a new paper entitled ‘Sea ice, rain-on-snow and tundra reindeer nomadism in Arctic Russia’ published today in the journal, Biology Letters. You can read the article in full here.
Scientists have interviewed nomadic reindeer herders in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug of West Siberia, the world’s most productive reindeer herding region, to look at how global warming is affecting their way of life. While rain-on-snow generally does not cause problems in spring, it can be catastrophic for reindeer in the autumn when rain turns to an ice crust as normal freezing temperatures return. This crust, often several centimetres thick,
prevents the reindeer from feeding on fodder beneath the snow throughout the winter
months. Two extreme weather events in 2006 and 2013 caused mass starvation among the
reindeer herds, and researchers for the first time have linked these extreme weather events
on the coastal mainland in northwest Russia with sea ice loss in the adjoining Barents and
The most recent rain-on-snow event of November 2013 resulted in 61 000 reindeer deaths,
about 22% out of 275 000 reindeer on the Yamal Peninsula, says the paper, which warns
that these events seem to be increasing in severity.
The ICR and WRH team have been in Salekhard, the capital of the Yamal Nenets Autonomous Okrug for the whole week and yesterday, attended an international seminar on the outbreak of anthrax on the Yamal Peninsula this summer. The anthrax outbreak was an event that captured global headlines and aroused significant concern amongst herders and their advocates, as significant reindeer culls have been suggested, and a desire to reduce the number of active herders has also touted. Considerable unease and uncertainty within the livelihood has arisen as a result.
The seminar was a two day event and was opened by the Yamal Governor Dmitry Kobylkin and included presentations by multiple presenters from Russia, Norway, Finland, Sweden, UK, Germany, Canada and the US on various topics including anthrax outbreaks, pastures, reindeer health, education,
From the ICR/WRH team, presentations were made by Svein Mathiesen (“Social- ecological resilience of reindeer husbandry in times of Arctic change”), Johan Mathis Turi (“The role of traditional knowledge and management in the future”) and ICR board member Roza Laptander from the Arctic Centre, Finland, (“Turbulent periods in the history of Yamal reindeer husbandry in stories of tundra dwellers”)