Major international conference Arctic Frontiers 2014 has taken place in the city of Tromsø, on the north of Norway, from 19th to 24th of January. This 8th edition of the annual conference was dedicated to “Humans in the Arctic”. Arctic Frontiers is organized as an independent network and a leading meeting place for pan-arctic issues. The conference brought together around one thousand participants among them were representatives from science, politics, business, civil society, and indigenous peoples, all to discuss development on the north.
Arctic Frontiers began on Sunday evening with opening at Polaria expedition hall.
A short video from the recent EALLIN workshop held in Umeå, Sweden.
EALLIN is the Arctic Council SDWG project about Reindeer Herding and Youth. EALLIN workshops took place in Russia (Kolymskoe, Saint-Petersburg, Yakutsk, Salekhard), Norway (Kautokeino), Sweden (Jokkmokk, Umeå), China (Aoluguya/Genhe, Inner Mongolia), involving young reindeer herders, scientists and experts in the field of traditional knowledge, natural resources and environment, representatives of indigenous peoples, the executive and legislative authorities, NGOs and the media. The main purpose of the project is to maintain and further develop a sustainable reindeer husbandry in the Arctic, working towards a vision of creating a better life for circumpolar reindeer herders. The project is working towards knowledge building and experience exchange in and between local reindeer herding societies in the Arctic, with the emphasis on youth.
January 30, EALLIN workshop started in Umeå, Sweden. The workshop for reindeer herding youth was held in connection with the opening of the cultural capital city of Umeå 2014, and it going last from 30/01 till 01/02. Young reindeer herders met with Mikhail Pogodaev, Chair of the Board of the Association of World Reindeer Herders, Johan Mathis Turi, General Secretary of the Association of World Reindeer Herder and others, to discuss current situation and future of reindeer husbandry, to share and exchange experience and knowledge, to make recommendations in order to bring their voice to the Arctic Council.
Original source: NRK
Det er høyt under taket i festsalen i rødbanken i Tromsø. Og lysekronene som duver under den dekorerte himlingen ser tunge ut. Skulle de løsne fra taket de har hengt fra det siste hundre året, burde man ikke sittet under de.
En som likevel sitter under disse monumentale belysningsanordningene denne småkalde januardagen i Norden Paris, er Mikhail Pogodaev. Han er dog ikke alene, men han skiller seg ut fra den grådresskledde forsamlingen, der han sitter i sin røde drakt sydd under en annen himmel lenger øst.
19th of January 2014, Arctic Frontiers started in Tromsø, Northern Norway. The annual conference is being held from 19-24 of January, with the title ‘Humans in the Arctic’ and two main themes: ‘Health, society and environment’ and ‘Maritime operational challenges’.
Arctic Frontiers is an international arena addressing development in the Arctic. The conference discusses how upcoming opportunities and challenges may be handled to ensure viable economic growth and societal and environmental sustainability. The conference brings together representatives from science, politics, business, civil society and media, also attracting indigenous peoples.
Seasons greetings to all our friends, colleagues and reindeer herders everywhere from the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and the Association of World Reindeer Herders
ICR has just released a short film by Philip Burgess entitled ‘Keepers of the Land – Reindeer Herding, Biodiversity and Knowledge in the Arctic‘. The film is just over 9 minutes long and gives a short overview of reindeer husbandry across the Arctic and sub Arctic. The film is an outcome from the Nomadic Herders and EALLIN projects and introduces these projects and their goals and features interviews with Mikhail Pogodaev (Executive Chair of WRH) and Elena Walkeapaa a student, reindeer herder and participant / organiser of EALLIN. A key theme of this short film is the contribution that reindeer herders can make towards preserving biodiversity in the Arctic and that herders are supporters of protected areas in their herding lands as long as they can be active participants in the planning and implementation of such areas.
The film features original footage of herders and reindeer in Norway, Russia, China and Mongolia, along with footage fromthe various EALLIN and Nomadic Herders workshops that have been held over the last year in Sweden, Russia and Mongolia, along with some footage from the 5th World Reindeer Herders’ Congress in Genhe/Alougoya, China
Very interesting article about the little known Nenets rebellion against the collectivisation process initiated by the Soviet Union as it happened on the Yamal Peninsula. The article is by Roza Laptander who is one of the board members of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and is a Nenets academic who grew up on the Yamal Peninsula. She holds a PhD from Saint-Petersburg Institute of the Northern People, Russian Federation. Her spheres of her research include sociolinguistics, the Nenets language, ethnography, linguistic anthropology, socio-cultural changes, and multicultural and language contacts. She is currently engaged in the ORHELIA (“Oral History of Empires by Elders in the Arctic”) project where she works with Nenets reindeer herders in the Yamal Peninsula, their traditional knowledge and oral history about the past and Nenets reaction to present life in conditions of intensive development and industrialization of their traditional territories.
We have added a new series of photo galleries to the Reindeer Portal. Entitled ‘Scenes from Reindeer Husbandry’ we have started with image sets from four of the largest regions of reindeer herding in Eurasia: Sapmi, the Yamal Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). We will be continually adding images to these galleries and adding more galleries from the smaller regions of reindeer husbandry such as in the Taiga and elsewhere.
You can view the galleries here
At the Northern Forum General Assembly in Moscow last week, the importance of the collaborative work of the Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH) was highlighted by one of the key speakers, Mikhail Nikolaev. The General Assembly was attended by the President of Yakutia Yegor Borisov , the Minister of Regional Development of the Russian Federation Igor Slyunyaev , leaders and representatives from 16 regions of Iceland , the Republic of Korea, Japan, Finland, Sweden, the Russian Federation and many more. Also on the agenda is Arctic Agenda 2020: the possibility of cooperation between the Northern Forum and the Global Environment Facility ( GEF) (see Arctic Info).
Nikolaev highlighted how cultural cooperation between Arctic residents can proceed to economic interactions and noted the establishment of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry (ICR) was established thanks to the international work of WRH and noted ICR’s work in promoting this ancient livelihood in modern times.
You can read the full speech here (in Russian). Nikolaev is a Deputy of the Duma and member of the State Duma Committee on Regional Policy and the North and the Far East.
The Canadian chairmanship of the Arctic Council got under way this week in Yukon Convention Centre, in Whitehorse. The Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH) is an Observer to the Arctic Council. WRH is being represented at this years Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group and Senior Arctic Officials meeting (the y run concurrently) by International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry Director Anders Oskal.
Oskal had the opportunity to meet on a one on one basis with the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council.
Aglukkaq was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a Conservative in the 2008 Canadian federal election for the riding of Nunavut and is the first Inuk in Canadian history to be appointed to the Cabinet of Canada.
Oskal took the opportunity to discuss the role of WRH in the Arctic Council, and more specifically various initiatives regarding indigenous peoples and traditional knowledge.
China Daily, the widest print circulation of any English-language newspaper in the China (over 500,000 copies per issue, of which a third are abroad) has just published an extensive article on the Evenki herders of Aoluguya, near Genhe, in Inner Mongolia. The article features m,any of the same people who were active participants and attendees at this years 5th World Reindeer Herders Congress which was held on their territory for the first time. The article outlines the struggles this reindeer people have faced since their relocation from the forests closer to the city of Genhe and the loss of their rifles. The Congress is mentioned in the article as is the Aoluguya Declaration. With only 20 families remaining to live with their reindeer, the future for the livelihood is painted as being rather bleak in this article.
You can read the article below, or on the China Daily website here.
October 17, 2013 • Philip Burgess
• 5 WRHC
, Nomadic Herders
, Reindeer Herders
, UArctic EALAT Institute
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The culminating document from the World Reindeer Herders’ Congress is the final Declaration. Following the completion of the 5th World Reindeer Herders Congress in China, the final Declaration from this Congress has now been released.
The Declaration is an extremely important document for reindeer herders worldwide and represents in words their unique cooperation and also gives guidance to the priorities for the Association of World Reindeer Herders over the next four years.
This time around special attention was paid in the Declaration to the challenges facing Taiga reindeer husbandry and notes that taiga reindeer herding is under a threat of disappearing in China, Mongolia and such regions of Russia as Irkutskaya Oblast, Sakhalinskaya Oblast, Buryatia Republic, Khabarovsky krai, Tuva Republic, Amurskaya Oblast and others, and that the situation is still critical and needs urgent attention. The Nomadic Herders project was highlighted as having an important role to play in this critical situation. Other key themes included communication and information, the health of reindeer herders, globalisation and collaboration, pastures and biodiversity, youth, knowledge , research and education. You can read and download the full declaration below (in English)
Helena Omma was a keynote speaker to the Arctic Futures symposium that was held in Brussels yesterday (October 16, 2013). The entire day was broadcast live on the web and we have captured her presentation and can share it with you here. Her presentation was entitled ‘Reconciling land use conflicts with reindeer herding communities with economic development in the Arctic’. Besides introducing the audience to the world of reindeer herding, she discussed the ongoing situation facing herders in northern Sweden where extensive mining activities are planned on reindeer pastures and she also touched on the EALLIN project.
You can watch the video (17 minutes, in English) below.
This summer the 5th World Reindeer Herders Congress was held in the village of Alougoya and town of Genhe in Inner Mongolia, China. One of the social highlights of the Congress (it is held every four years) has been the holding of the World Reindeer Herders’ Lasso Championships. We have just added an extensive photo gallery of this years championships to the Reindeer Portal.
All the photos were taken Mikkel Anders Kemi who works for the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry.
See the full gallery here.
Helena Omma, vice chair of the Association of World Reindeer Herders is a keynote speaker at the Arctic Futures Symposium being held in Brussels today. The symposium is being organised by the International Polar Foundation.
Her talk is entitled ‘Reconciling land use conflicts with reindeer herding communities with economic development in the Arctic’
Watch live here
See full Programme here
Erna Solberg who has been leader of the Conservative Party since 2004, is expected to take office as the Prime Minister of Norway on 14 October 2013, after a centre-right coalition won a majority in the 2013 parliamentary elections.
She has served as a member of the Storting since 1989 and served as Minister of Local Government and Regional Development in Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik’s second Cabinet from 2001 to 2005. After winning the elections, she will be the second female Prime Minister of Norway after Gro Harlem Brundtland.
The International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry has a strong historical connection with the incoming Prime Minister. While she was serving under Prime Minister Bondevik as Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, she officially opened the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry via videoconference in Kautokeino in 2005. You can watch her opening speech below (in Norwegian).
At the 3rd Arctic Forum in Salkhard, the WRH, ICR and EALLIN project organised a ‘Chum Dialogue’ (See full story here) under the auspices of the ‘Training Future Arctic Indigenous Leaders’ umbrella. Dr. Svein Mathiesen, Professor at the UArctic Institute for Circumpolar Reindeer Husbandry was interviewed by YAMAL Region TV.
Between 24-25 September 2013 in Salekhard the III International Forum “The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue ” took place and the Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH) and the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry(ICR) were active participants, organising a side event under the EALLIN / Training of Future Indigenous Arctic Leaders at the Yamal Polar Agro-economic college. The team in Salekhard included ICR Director Anders Oskal, WRH Chair Mikhail Pogodaev, WRH Secretary General Johan Mathis Turi, and PhD student Anna Degteva.
The organizer of the forum is the Russian Geographical Society (RGS ) . The first forum was held in 2010 in Moscow and was devoted to the contemporary problems of the Arctic, the second was held in 2011 in Arkhangelsk, its theme was the creation of the Arctic transport system. The third forum focussed on environmental safety, ecology and health of the people of the Arctic region . 375 experts and representatives of relevant agencies of Russia and other Arctic countries were present.
Among the delegates to the forum were the presidents of Finland and Iceland, as well as the Russian leader Vladimir Putin . In his speech, he stated that the resource-rich Arctic today opens a new page in its history :
” In the Arctic regions of Russia , an active search for and development of new fields of gas, oil and other mineral raw materials, the construction of new large transport and energy facilities , revived Northern Sea Route. Working in the harsh Arctic environment is extremely complex and requires significant financial cost , and truly unique technological solutions . and for us it is obvious that the priority , the key principle of development in the Arctic should be and must be sustainable, ensuring a balance between the economic activity , the presence of human and environmental conservation . ”
Russian Geographical Society (RGS) First Vice President Artur Chilingarov spoke in favor of discussing the problems facing indigenous minorities in the North at the Arctic Forum.
Renowned polar explorer and Russian Geographical Society (RGS) First Vice President Artur Chilingarov opened the Third International Arctic – Territory of Dialogue Forum in Salekhard on Tuesday.
“Over the years, the forum has become a major event for Arctic policy,” he said. “The primary goal is to organize a broad-based and unbiased dialogue concerning all issues related to the Arctic.”
Environmental safety is the focus of the forum.
“Salekhard was not chosen accidentally,” he said. “It is located at the heart of oil and gas fields and environmental safety is important. It is a model for responsible environmental policy in the Arctic.”
In addition to environmental safety, other forum topics include regional health issues and the legal aspects of environmental protection, as well as likely climate change and cooperation scenarios in terms of providing relief to manmade environmental problems in the region.
The Association of World Reindeer Herders and the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry were noted in an article posted on the Russian Geographical Society website. The article is about the III International Arctic Forum being held in Salekhard September 24-25 . This year’s forum is dedicated to environmental safety and special attention will be paid to the problems of the indigenous peoples of the North.
Many indigenous peoples of the North are in Salekhard including experts from Russian and international organizations. Among them, Michael Pogodaev the Chair of the Association of World Reindeer Herders and Anders Oskal the Director of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry. Others include Rodion Sulyandziga , the first vice -president of the Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East of Russia (founded in 1990) , Aqqaluk Lynge , the head of the Inuit Circumpolar Council and Eric Gant , the Executive Secretary of the of the Indigenous Peoples Secretariat of the Arctic Council.
The Forum will also be attended by Alexander Mazharov, the Deputy Governor and Director of the Yamal Department of International and External Economic Relations. On the eve of the opening , he said:
The Government of Yamal is commited to the preservation of traditional ways of life of indigenous peoples. In this direction the government is constantly working to improve legislation and operate the program of grants for small nations produced products, programs to provide free housing , education and health care.
Read the full story here
The Russian Geographical Society invites researchers, experts, public and political figures, senior officials of the Arctic Council and observer countries to join them for the third time in a discussion of the modern condition and future of the unique natural area, the Arctic, on September 24-25, 2013.
The Third International Arctic Forum “The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue” will take place in Salekhard, the capital of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, located in the Arctic Circle.
The main subject of the forum is ecological security in the exploration and use of the Arctic’s natural resources.
Forum participants will discuss climate change scenarios in the Arctic and will try to forecast the consequences for the region’s ecosystem. They will analyze the current level of pollution and the risks of it increasing in the future, as well as the priorities in preserving the Arctic’s ecosystem. The discussion will also touch on the environmental security and health of the Arctic population and the impact of the region’s industrial development on the life of its indigenous people. Finally, forum participants will discuss legal regulation of environmental protection in the Arctic and the effectiveness of multilateral international agreements in environmental protection.
A translation of the report ‘Reindeer Husbandry and Barents 2030’ prepared by the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, in collaboration with NORUT, UNEP-GRID Arendal and others.. This report was commissioned by StatoilHydro ASA and undertaken by ICR. StatoilHydro commissioned four parallel scenario reports for the Barents Region on respectively climate change, socio-economic consequences, environmental issues and reindeer husbandry.The joint project was initiated as part of StatoilHydro’s preparations or a strategic action plan for future oil and gas developments in the High North.
You can read the report in English here and read/download the Russian translation below.
The 5th World Reindeer Herders’ Congress was held in China this summer (see 5 WRHC.org). This was the first time that the event, which is held every four years, was held in China. As part of the materials created specifically for the Congress, the brochure developed by the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry was translated and printed in Russian in order to broaden the distribution of ICR’s readership in the country where most reindeer and herders are. The brochure was handed out to all the attendees at the Congress. You can read and download it below.
The 5th World Reindeer Herders’ Congress was held in China this summer (see 5 WRHC.org). This was the first time that the event, which is held every four years, was held in China. As part of the materials created specifically for the Congress, the brochure developed by the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry was translated and printed in Chinese, the first time ICR materials have been translated into this language. The brochure was handed out to all the attendees at the Congress.
You can read and download it below.
Here on the Reindeer Portal we recently posted a story about Tracie Curry successfully defending her Masters’ thesis at Harvard University where she focussed on the landscape based challenges facing reindeer herders specifically in the Hammerfest region, a region which is the nexus of many of the issues facing reindeer and herders in the Fennoscandia region.
Tracie is also recently returned from the 5th World Reindeer Herders Congress that was held in Inner Mongolia, China and she has put her visual impression on the web for all to see, through her blog ‘Reindeerchronicles’. Her images give the viewer a great feel for the occasion. Check out her blog here.
Tracie Curry recently defended her Masters thesis in Landscape Architecture at Harvard University, entitled Herding on Thin Ice – An Excercise in Resilience and Adaptive Strategy. Interested in learning more about the drivers of change and development in the Arctic, and the impacts that these developments were having not only on the landscape but also the people who depend on these landscapes for survival, Curry was drawn to Finnmark and reindeer herding. For her topic, Curry looked closely at the case of Hammerfest, located on Kvaløya Island in the Finnmark region of northern Norway where families of herders are currently struggling to maintain their traditions in the face of multiple development threats. In her words,
The preliminary programme for the 5th World Reindeer Herders Congress, to be held in Aoluguya, Genhe County, Inner-Mongolia, China 25th – 28th of July 2013, is now available and can be downloaded here, or from the Document Centre. The Congress programme is an event filled week of scientific, cultural and organisational activities, and is being held in China for the first time.
More information about Genhe can be found here, about this years Congress here, photos from the previous Congresses here, and the registration page can be found here.
The UArctic EALÁT Institute was established as a legacy of the International Polar Year and grew out of the IPY EALÁT research project. The Institute was established in a formal ceremony in 2011 at the Sami Univesrity College in Kautokeino, Norway (photo galleries here) and since then has not only offered an online course (Adaptation to Globalisation – the Case of Reindeer Husbandry), but has coordinated numerous events and liased closely with other Arctic and indigenous peoples academic and other institutions across Scandinavia and Russia.
The UArctic EALÁT Institute now has its own web pages here on the Reindeer Portal where you learn about the Institutes work, and where future courses will be offered. Here you can also access a growing resource centre with documents and materials related to reindeer husbandry.
Late last year a workshop was organised by the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and the Stockholm Resilience Centre to further the work being undertaken in the Arctic Council Arctic Resilience Report. The Arctic Resilience Report is a science-based assessment that aims to better understand the integrated impacts of change in the Arctic. Its goals are to:
• Identify the potential for shocks and large shifts in ecosystems services that affect human well-being in the Arctic.
• Analyze how different drivers of change interact in ways that affect the ability of ecosystems and human populations to withstand shocks, adapt or transform.
• Evaluate strategies for governments and communities to adapt.
The 5th World Reindeer Herders Congress is fast approaching – July 25-8 in the village of Aouluguya, Genhe County, Inner Mongolia, China.
Registration will be open in a matter of days, meanwhile, you can now read the Agenda for the event. Please note that this is the agenda for the congress and the final programme will be published when the final details are confirmed with the local host. Read the Agenda online or download it here.
The Arctic Council met in Kiruna last week and the meeting signalled the passing of the Chair from Sweden to Canada. Much media coverage was given over to the issue of new observers to the Council (China was accepted as Observer after 10 years of trying, also India, Italy, Japan, Singapore and South Korea). China now can participate at the same level as…the Association of World Reindeer Herders (!) which is also an Observer to the Arctic Council. Membership of the Council has been a valuable and important tool for bringing the concerns and challenges of reindeer herders to the highest levels of government around the Arctic (see EALAT Information). The importance of Observer status to WRH will likely increase over time as the Arctic grows rapidly in strategic and resource importance.
Representatives of the indigenous Saami people told Xinhua on Tuesday that they were actively adapting, with “the best knowledge available”, to challenges posed by the changing environment in the Arctic region.
According to the Saami delegation participating the Arctic Council Working Group presentations here in Kiruna, the northernmost Swedish city within the Arctic circle, they were trying to learn the best knowledge and to cope with the challenges, particularly the changing situations for reindeer herding, typical means of the group’s livelihood.
“There were needs, of course, minerals, copper and perhaps cellphones, but one thing we can say for certain is that, the world that people also need food (reindeer products)”, said Anders Oskal, a Norwegian Saami, also director of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, voicing awareness been raised to the livelihood of his people just before the Eighth Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council.
We have added some new galleries to our redesigned Reindeer Portal – and one of our featured photographers is a colleague, Evgenia Arbugaeva, who this month has had her work on Mammoth Tusk Hunters featured in the renowned National Geographic magazine published this month.
Arbugaeva, a native of the Republic of Sakha, has kindly shared a series of her pictures from Sakha which you can view here on our new gallery pages. Arbugaeva has also supplied our front page imagery.
See the photo series from National Geographic here, and visit Arbugaeva’s webpages here.
While transferring our website to this new site, we have also updated our You Tube channel which you can visit here.
All our videos and videos that we like and would like you to check out are here, and one of the new features is cross platform display, so that the channel renders correctly for mobile devices.
Great edited footage below from a few years ago from the BBC Bruce Parry in the Arctic series of the Oskal family whose pastures are adjacent to the city of Tromso and who have to deal with multiple challenges on their migrations, as development on the coast has eaten up their pastures and bisected migration routes.
One of biggest challenges of transferring from an older version of a website to a new one is often the management of images and photo galleries. And images are important! Content without imagery is hard to wade through, especially on the web.
That is why we are pleased to announce the completion of the transfer of the entire activities and events photo gallery of ICR / WRH from 2007 – 2011 to the new website and available for viewing. There is some work needed to integrate it to WordPress, but the heavy lifting is completed! There are 57 galleries and over 2100 images.
View the photo archive here.
With the fall of the ‘Iron Curtain’ and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the global family of reindeer herding peoples was again able to meet, communicate, network and collaborate. The first reindeer peoples festival was held in Tromso, Norway in 1993 and reindeer peoples from across the circumpolar region gathered together for the first time. Through this collaboration the Association of World Reindeer Herders was consolidated and the cycle of World Reindeer Herders’ Congresses was initiated, which this year will be held in Genhe/Alougoya, in Northeast China, July 25-8. Previous Congresses have been held in Inari, Yakutsk and Kautokeino.
You can now review the historic first meeting through a fascinating photo journal that was compiled after this first event. The guest of honour was the renowned ethnographer and adventurer, Thor Heyerdahl. There were meetings, speeches and a number of cultural events such as concert which featured Nils Aslak Valkeapaa and a sporting event, the World Lassoo Throwing Championships, a keenly fought competition that continues to this day. Participants came from 12 regions in Russia and 7 countries.
The 5th World Reindeer Herders Congress will be held in Genhe / Alougoya between July 25-28 and preparations for this unique event that brings reindeer herding peoples together from around the world are ramping up. This is a good time to revisit the presentation by Mr Sa Guowen, Secreatary General of the Genhe Municipal Party Comittee to the World Reindeer Herders Congress in Kautokeino, 2009.
Genhe is in North East China in the inner Mongolia region. A large district of over 20,000 km2, it is also home to over 200 Evenki herders, making it among the world’s most southerly regions of reindeer husbandry, with much in common culturally with herders in Mongolia and in the Baikal region of Russia.
At the 7th congress of indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East (RAIPON) which took place in Salekhard, capital of the Yamal Nenets Autonomous Okrug during the last week of March at which a new leader for RAIPON was elected (Gregory Ledkov) who took the helm over from Sergei Haruchi; the Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH) was awarded the Vitus Bering award for promoting cooperation between indigenous peoples.
YASAVEY the indigenous peoples organisation of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug presented WRH with a letter stating their gratitude to WRH (see below)
The World Reindeer Herders Congress is going to be held in Genhe/Alougoya in July of this year, the first time that it will be held in China, home to a small number of Evenki herders. The Congress is held every four years and in 2009 was in Kautokeino, Norway. The Congress is a unique cultural and political event that brings together reindeer herders, scientists, politicians and more together. The Congress generally has an academic programme, a political programme and of course multiple cultural events. Details on the 5th Congress will be posted here as they become available. See a clip from the Yakutsk Congress below,
Mikhail Pogodaev and Johan Mathis Turi (WRH) and Anders Oskal and Svein Mathiesen (ICR) were in attendance at the Arctic Changes – Global Effects Arctic Environment meeting that was held in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden Feb 5-6. The meeting was attended by ministers and high level representatives from Canada, Denmark/ The Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, The Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States of America. They were joined by Arctic Council Permanent Participants representing the Sami Council and the Inuit Circumpolar Council, as well as other interested countries and organisations. Inuit Circumpolar Council, as well as Arctic Council observers from countries and organisations. Download the Arctic Environment Ministers Chairs conclusions here.
HSH Prince Albert and his wife are in Sami reindeer herding areas this week meeting with reindeer herders and reindeer herding youth. Pic: Sergei Gavrilov
HSH Prince Albert is in Kautokeino, the largest area of reindeer husbandry in the Sami reindeer herding of Norway, Finland and Sweden and Russia. He is attending and participating in a multiday seminar that has been organised by the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, the Association of World Reindeer Herders and the Municipality of Kautokeino.
Asides from spending the night in a lavvu with reindeer herders, the Prince and Princess will meet with herders and herding youth from around the Arctic, which includes presentations in an Ice Cinema which will build on the findings and work of the EALAT project on rendeer herding, climate change and loss of pastures. Prince Albert has devoted a great deal of time and resources to the issues arising from climate change in the Arctic.
The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples (UNPFII) is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.
The Permanent Forum holds annual two-week sessions. The first meeting of the Permanent Forum was held in May 2002, and yearly sessions take place in New York. As the 8th session of the UN Permanent Forum wrapped up, the Reindeer Portal took the time to make a short interview with new Chair of the Board, Mikhail Pogodaev about how the meeting was from the perspective of Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH), the connections made and why the UNPFII is an important process for WRH to follow
(Pic: ICR/ Johan Mathis Gaup) The 4th World Reindeer Herders Congress wrapped up on Friday April 4th with the delegates from Russia leaving the Thon hotel early Saturday morning at the start of which for many is a long trip home. Vassily Serotteto, a Nenets herder from the Yamal peninsula described the journey,
“First we drive to Murmansk, theny we fly to Moscow the next day. After that there is a flight to Salekhard and then Nyadma (Khudi, another Nenets herders) and I will find a helictopter that will take us back to our reindeer and families. It will take about 3-4 days.”
Read the whole story here
See all the Photo Galleries here
Photos and stories from Day 2 and Day 3 of the World Reindeer Herders Congress are now posted on the Reindeer Portal.
The professional day was followed by a visit to a Sami herd north from Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu where delegates tested snowmobiles, observed Sami slaughtering techniques and saw a test run of a new mobile slaughter house.
Read more on the Reindeer Portal
(Pic: Johan Mathis Gaup) The largest international gathering of reindeer herders in the world got underway today in grand style. VIP’s arrived by reindeer taxi from the Thon Hotel and were treated to all kinds of local foods and an extensive display of handicrafts from around the world of reindeer husbandry.
Dignitaries that included Elisabeth Walaas, the Norwegian Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, President of the Sami Parliament in Norway, Egil Olli, the State Secretary for Sami Affairs, Raimo Valle among others. Hundreds of people from across all the regions of the Sami area, reinder herders from Yamal Nenets, Taimyr, Buryatia, Sakha Yakutia, Chukotka, Mongolia, China and even representatives of reindeer husbandry in Scotland converged on the sports hall in Kautokeino.
Photos, more on the Reindeer Portal
The last minute preparations for the largest gathering of reindeer herders in the world are now underway. The Association of World Reindeer Herders is holding its 4 yearly congress in Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu in the heart of the Sami reindeer herding region. Most reindeer herding delegates will arrive on Sunday, March 29 and are hailing from Norway, Sweden, Finland, several regions in Russia, Mongolia and China.
There will be a week of exciting activities including science, spectacle and traditional knowledge with local reindeer herders portraying resilience through art, yoik, performance and of course reindeer herding.
The Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH) and the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry (ICR) have for the first time visited reindeer peoples and investigated reindeer husbandry in China in June of this year. WRH and ICR were guests of the municipal administration of Genhe municipality in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous region in northern China. The goals were the sharing of information and initiating cooperation with reindeer herders in this part of the world. This visit was a follow up to the visit by Evenki reindeer herders to Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu early this year, whereby WRH were invited to China and expressed an interest in joining the Association. The WRH visit coincided with the occasion of “Aoluguya Reindeer and Minority Culture Festival” held on 20-21 June in Genhe. The theme of the festival was reindeer husbandry in China. (See Aolugoya in Google Maps)
Cooperation of reindeer herders from Norway and Yakutia started in the 1990s, when a lot of foreign delegations were visiting Topolinoye, but the Norwegian delegation met with our reindeer herders. It consisted of Johan Matis Turi, Odd Erling Smuk, the General Secretary of NRL Anne Kathrine Rorholt and a very young Svein Mathiesen. This was the start of the establishment of the Asociaton of World Reindeer Herders.
Now it has been seen that the Association has been successful, and in March we’ll celebrate its 10th anniversary. As for me as a representative of the indigenous peoples of Sakha/Yakutia this is the most valuable cooperation, since it’s connected to reindeer herding, which is a traditional occupation of all 5 indigenous peoples of Yakutia. This cooperation has made great contribution to reindeer herders’ perception of their past, present and, crucially, their future.
During the last 10 years Sakha (Yakutia) has become a field of international cooperation. Our Government listened to us and looked for solutions to our problems with our participation. Five years ago a Program for the development of reindeer husbandry financed from the Republic’s budget was prepared and is in operation now.
Ingunn Ims Vistnes is a researcher at NORUT, based in Alta who has just successfully defended her Dr. philos thesis entitled ‘Impacts of Human Development and Activity on Reindeer and Caribou Habitat Use’. Her thesis is the result of nearly a decade of research into the impacts of human activity on reindeer habitat which has resulted in the publication of a number of refereed articles in international scholarly journals, 8 of which are in the newly published Dr. philos thesis. The study areas were primarily from examples in Norway, but examples from Alaska were also used.
There is a great deal of scientific, anecdotal and traditional knowledge available now that clearly shows that human activities have substantially reduced habitat for reindeer and that it is a process that is accelerating in all reindeer habitats. Habitat fragmentation and disturbance is a serious threat to populations of wild reindeer and caribou and semi domestic reindeer, thereby threatening the livelihoods of those people who depend on them. Fragmentation is taking place due to a number of impacts, that include roads, power lines, railroads, oil and gas development, industrial forestry, recreational development and leisure activities.
Oyvind Ravna recently defended his PhD thesis at the University of Tromso, in the faculty of law. Born in Tana, Ravna has worked for over a decade as a Land Consolidation Judge (jordskifterettsleder ved Finnmark jordskifterett). In September he will taking up a new position at the University of Tromso as an associate professor (førsteamanuensis ved Det juridiske fakultetet, Universitetet i Tromsø), investigating themes related to Sami land rights in general, with a focus on the land rights of reindeer herders. He is also an accomplished writer and photographer with several titles to his name on themes related to Sami and Nenets reindeer husbandry in the. At the moment he divides his time between Vadso and Tromso.
His thesis (in Norwegian) was entitled Rettsutgreiing og bruksordning i reindriftsområder. En undersøkelse av om beitebruk i reindriftsom¬råder kan gjøres mer tjenlig ved bruk av jordskiftelovgivningens virkemidlar. It was a detailed investigation into the working of the Land Consolidation Act from 1979 and especially the amendment to the same act from 1996, which introduced land consolidation as a means of solving disputes in reindeer husbandry. Ravna found that while the Court operates effectively for farmers and other land owners, it has been deficient when it comes to the rights and interests of reindeer herders when it comes settling disputes between reindeer herders and farmers. Ravna made a series of proposals as to how the Act might better service reindeer herders – the establishment of a special reindeer court along the lines of the current court, special education to improve lawyers and judges knowledge about reindeer husbandry and their cultural competence related to Sami issues and language, and he suggested how the legislation might be reworked to take account of its current deficiencies.
During the recent EALAT Information workshop (September 2007) and seminar on the Yamal Peninsula, a series of interviews were made with key people related to reindeer husbandry in the world’s largest reindeer husbandry region, including Sergei Haruchi, Dmitri Khorolia and Leonid Khudi. In this feature, we are reproducing the interview with Sergei Haruchi, who is Nenets, is the State Speaker of the YNAO Duma and is the President of RAIPON, the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North.
Thank you for very unique days on the Yamal Peninsula. It was most impressive to see how you use money to build local societies in Yamal. We have been in the tundra and we have been at the Yar-Sale seminar of the EALAT project. Please say some words about co-operation between indigenous peoples in the Arctic and the importance of having seminars like this one.
First of all I would like to stress that the main reason for our meetings and our co-operation is the fact that our reindeer herders face mutual problems. That’s why we appreciate these meetings. We look forward to having contacts in any field. We are always happy to co-operate. You have noticed huge changes here. Our position is that whenever there is a problem we are going to solve it. If one really wants one can overcome all hindrances. The main thing is to unite the forces of local self-government, indigenous peoples’ organizations, state authorities and chief of the enterprises. The reindeer herders themselves should also participate. This way one gets the results you can see here for yourself today.
During the recent EALAT Information workshop (September 2007) and seminar on the Yamal Peninsula, a series of interviews were made with key people related to reindeer husbandry in the world’s largest reindeer husbandry region, including Sergei Haruchi, Dmitri Khorolia and Leonid Khudi. In this feature, we are reproducing the interview with Leonid Khudi, who is Nenets, from a reindeer herding bankground, is the EALAT project coordinator for Yamal, is the Chair of the Reindeer Herders Union of Yamal and works for the regional administration.
Let us have a short talk about the work shop, about climate change, about the future perspectives of reindeer herding, oil and gas and what you would like to mention. These last days we had some very unique experiences in the tundra and celebrated the 80-years anniversary of Yar-Sale. What do you think about the importance of our co-operation and the organizing of work shops like we have done with EALAT. You are responsible for EALAT in Yamal.
During the EALAT Information workshop (September 2007) and seminar on the Yamal Peninsula, a series of interviews were made with key people related to reindeer husbandry in the world’s largest region of reindeer husbandry, including Sergei Haruchi, Dmitri Khorolia and Leonid Khudi. In this feature, we are reproducing the interview with Dmitri Khorolia, who is Nenets, and is the President of the Association of World Reindeer Herders.
What is the importance of information exchange and what will be the results of such seminars in the tundra?
It is very good and fine that this international seminar in the framework of the EALAT-project was held here in Yar-Sale in the Yamal district, the centre of Russian reindeer husbandry. It is really so that this is a district where the traditional ways of reindeer herders existence are preserved. And this is very important.
We have also talked about the establishment of a reindeer institute at the Yamal Peninsula. Could you comment this?
Of course it is very important for today’s Russia to have an educational establishment on reindeer husbandry for the youth. It is needed. That’s why today there exist proposals to establish such an institute for reindeer herders. For both Russia and for reindeer herders from around the world.
Do you think that such an institute can help to document traditional knowledge about reindeer husbandry in Yamal for the coming period so that we also in the future can have a strong reindeer husbandry at Yamal?
Of course this institute for reindeer husbandry which we must establish, shall reflect and generalize reindeer herders’ traditional experience and knowledge. There exists no science which uses the experience of reindeer herders. This knowledge is only used by the reindeer herders themselves. Both in Yamal and in Scandinavia, in Norway, Finland and Sweden their experience is not available to the general public. That’s why such an institute is needed. Let us call it the international institute for reindeer husbandry.
Dmitry Khorolia on the Yamal tundra
There are challenges in the reindeer husbandry. One of them is global warming. Do you, as a leader in the Yamal region, see some challenges?
Especially now, when we talk about global warming it is very important [with traditional knowledge]. Reindeer herders have always used observations and signs handed on by tradition. Still now they can predict what type of summer or winter is coming, prepare themselves for this in the right way and choose which pastures can be used under the given conditions and which can’t.
We have just left Yar-Sale. Several reindeer herders who participated in the seminar will have negotiations with Gazprom. They have begun to exploit oil and gas in the Sami regions too. Can you as President give some advice to the Saami reindeer herders as to how they should relate themselves to development that is coming to the Sami region?
Of course there are today several regions in the Arctic (in Alaska, in Canada, in Norway) where oil and gas exploitation takes place. Norway, Canada and Russia must use the experiences of these other countries in order to reduce the possible negative impacts on the traditional nomadic ways of living of reindeer herders. This is very important. My advice is to use the best experience from those countries which are ahead of us. I was in Canada. There they build roads, communications and exploit oil and gas. The Russian company Gazprom tries to do as good as possible. This is important. We don’t have to invent something new. We must use the positive experiences which already exists in this world. This is very important.
Please say some words about the lessons learned from this development.
Today Yamal is not only an oil and gas region, but also a region where the reindeer husbandry is kept and will be developed. How do the parties come to terms with each others? Relationships are not built overnight. Co-operation and information exchange have existed for quite a time now. Reindeer herders are asked where to build a road, a railroad or a sand-pit in order that the nature is not destroyed more than necessary. I often get questions about how it is possible for this busy oil and gas sector to be present here at all. One would expect that the reindeer husbandry would have died out here for a long time ago. But here in Yamal oil and gas companies and the reindeer husbandry do exist together in a perfect way and as a result the whole region prospers. This is fantastic.
We have hade nice days here. We have seen how skilfully you use money locally. We have seen an impressive slaughter house in Salekhard. Sami regions should be able to learn from this how State funds can be used locally for building up infrastructure.
Many of the good things which are done at Yamal have been borrowed by us from the Scandinavian countries. At the same time we have also things to tell to our reindeer husbandry colleagues in Scandinavia. First of all they can adapt traditional ways of living from us.
The International Polar Year was initiated by Arthur Chilingarov. You are the President of the World Reindeer Herders Association. Would you like to say some words on behalf of the world reindeer herders?
I would like to address myself to all Arctic states and especially to Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia. These are the super powers of the reindeer herding regions. This was my first point. My second point is that one in these countries exploits oil, gas and other natural resources. And wherever I am, I always give examples: Once there was a Norwegian reindeer herder who took reindeer to Canada and Alaska from Norway. He wrote in his diary that both gold, coal, oil and gas are good but that reindeer are God’s creatures. Reindeer were created for the Arctic peoples. All these natural resources will finally get depleted. Soon there will be no gas and oil left and new sources for light and heating will have to be invented. But the reindeer are here to stay there forever. Reindeer husbandry has a long history which stretches over many centuries. That is why this is so important. There exists an international organization for reindeer herders. It heralds that reindeer husbandry is its own civilization, a civilization which is connected with nature. This is very important too.
On behalf of the IPY EALAT project we would like to thank you as the local host for our very unique and impressive days on the Yamal peninsula.
Thanks to you from all of us
The ENSINOR workshop involving key stakeholders from indigenous peoples (including several reindeer herders), administration and oil and gas officials was held in Rovaniemi in December, organised by the Arctic Centre, Finland. Florian Stammler and Philip Burgess have coauthored this summary.. On 10-11 December 2007 the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland held a 2-day workshop involving key stakeholders from northern Russia, Finland and Norway. Among the participants were indigenous representatives, oil and gas industry personnel, NGO representatives, government personnel, and a mix of natural and social scientists. Several members of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry were in attendance, including Anders Oskal, Svein Mathiesen, Philip Burgess and Ole Isak Eira. The workshop was the final activity of the 48-month project “Environmental and Social Impacts of Industrialization in Northern Russia (ENSINOR)”, which was funded by the Academy of Finland January 2004- December 2007. The project has made comparative case studies of oil and gas activities in two key federal districts – the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO) and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (YNAO).
Anders Oskal, World Reindeer Herders Assocation and Director of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry made a brief presentation to the Senior Arctic Officials in Tromso today, as the SDWG gave a progress report to the SAO’s. All senior Arctic officials were present, including several new observers to the Council including China and Italy. In the morning, Anders Oskal took the opportunity to meet with State Secretary Liv Monica Bargem Stubholt to whom he presented an IP-IPY calender and a copy of Sophus Tromholdt’s book. In the afternoon, EALAT team member Dr. Monica Sundset gave Oskal, Burgess and WRH President Dmitry Khorolia a tour of the Arctic Institute for Arctic Biology at the University of Tromso.
The Arctic Council SDWG endorsed the EALAT project as an offical Arctic Council project today in Tromso. ICR Director Anders Oskal introduced the audience to the information and outreach portions of the EALAT project with a presentation. World Reindeer Herders President Dmitry Khorolia also made a follow up presentation accompanied by a short ICR film made from the recent EALAT workshop in Nadym. Positive comments about the project were made by Sweden, Norway and Canada. ICC and AAC also welcomed a project that was so clearly an initiative of indigenous peoples themselves.