Arctic Council Permanent Participants gathered prior to the 2nd Arctic Science Ministerial

October 24, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaBlogLeave a comment

Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH) has invited all Permanent participant (PP) of the Arctic Council Wednesday 24 October, 17:00 – 20:00 to Regent Berlin Hotel (Charlottenstrasse 49, 10117 Berlin)
prior to the beginning of the 2nd Arctic Science Ministerial meeting. WRH will host this side event for indigenous organizations to discuss agendas of the Science Forum and the Ministerial.

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October 23, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaBlogLeave a comment
photo by Svein D. Mathiesen

October 22, the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and Anders Oskal participated in the opening of the new Chinese Arctic Research Station in Akureyri Iceland, with the leadership of Chinese Polarinstitute


Two thousand participants at Arctic Circle assembly in Reykjavik

October 22, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaBlogLeave a comment

                     Over two thousand people from 60 different countries are taking part in the Arctic Circle assembly at Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre. This is the fifth time that the assembly takes place.

The assembly was founded by former President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.

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Discussing Barents cooperation

October 21, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaBlogLeave a comment

On October 15-16 about 150 participants were gathered in Tromsø (Norway) to discuss barent cooperation and the Barents Secretariat’s project funding.

Elna Sara and Mikkel Anders Kemi from the Interantional Centre for Reindeer Husbandry (ICR) took part at the conference and shared the ICR’s  and Association of World Reindeer Herders work and results on the Arctic Council project EALLU about indigenous youth, food culture and traditional knowldge. The Barents Secretariat has been supporting activities aimed to engage reindeer herding youth, to document and preserve traditional knowledge, to encourage people-to-people cooperation. The Barents Secretariat has also been a great supporter to the creation of the EALLU book about traditional food and knowledge, which has become the best book of the year at the Gourmand Awards. 

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CAFF Nomadic Herders project in cooperation with CLEO: Joint Indigenous Youth Programme for CAFF Congress and side events

October 15, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaBlogLeave a comment
During CAFF Biodiversity Congress in Rovaniemi

During the four days in Rovaniemi, the reindeer herding youth had been learning about different tools and knowledge systems for understanding climate change and other environmental changes affecting the Arctic biodiversity and indigenous livelihoods. The youth also helped to prepare and contribute to a special Nomadic Herders Youth Session (lavvu dialogue) focusing on indigenous perspectives on the changing Arctic. In addition, the youth was observing other sessions of the Congress and CLEO workshops to learn from and network with scientists and other participants.

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Arctic Biodiversity Congress 2018 9-12 October 2018 (Rovaniemi, Finland) Summary Highlights: 9 – 12 October 2018

October 13, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaBlogLeave a comment

Completed a major event in the field of ecology of the Arctic countries and regions – the Congress on Arctic biodiversity – 2018, organized by the Working Group of the Arctic Council CAFF (Conservation of Flora and Fauna Conservation) – Executive Secretary Tom Barry.

The congress was held in the region of the Northern Forum of the Province of Lapland (Governor Mikka Riipi). The Government of Lapland and the University of Lapland have done a great deal of organizational work and put considerable resources into holding such a representative event in a comfortable working environment.

Within the framework of the Congress, the Northern Forum held its international event – “Youth Eco-Forum – 2018” on the topic “Voice of the youth of the northern regions for the conservation of biodiversity” and a meeting of the Working Group on Environment and Biodiversity.

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Young ambassadors for reindeer husbandry

October 12, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaBlogLeave a comment

Sara Katrine Aleksandersen, Mathis Eira and Jon Ailu Utsi together with the other students from the Sámi High School and Reindeer Husbandry School are great ambassadors for reindeer husbandry. Today these youth met with the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen, and told him they want to work with him to preserve the pasturelands of Sápmi as a way to protect both biodiversity and the future of reindeer husbandry


Yamal Governor and President of Association of World Reindeer Herders discussed work perspectives

September 29, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaBlogLeave a comment

Yamal governor, Dmitry Artyukhov, and president of the Association of World Reindeer Herders, Sergey Kharyuchi, discussed promising areas of reindeer herding development in the Yamal Peninsula.

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Association of World Reindeer Herders and International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry at the INTERACT’s meeting in Yamal

September 25, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaBlogLeave a comment

Representatives of the Association of World Reindeer Herders and International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry (Svein D. Mathiesen, Sergey Khariuchi and Anders Oskal) at the INTERACT’s meeting in Salekhard 

Scientists from more than 10 countries gathered in Salekhard to develop strategies for the development of northern regions in a changing climate. A total of 50 people, they will participate at the INTERACT’s second annual meeting. A similar scientific meeting took place in Salekhard exactly one year ago, then they talked about the abnormal weather in Siberia and the Arctic. Scientists consider such interaction in matters of climate research extremely important. Representatives of the Association of World Reindeer Herders and the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry are taking part in this event.

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Forest fires and reindeer husbandry

September 13, 2018 • Svetlana AvelovaBlog, Challenges, Reindeer, Reindeer HerdersLeave a comment

The past summer will be remembered as hot and dry, as well as numerous forest fires that raged both in Sweden and Yakutia.

Situation in Sweden

Sami reindeer herders of Sweden described the damage caused to reindeer pastures by forest fires.
Approximately has 25 000 of hectare forest burned, whereof 21 500 of hectare where useful grazing lands and 31 out of 51 reindeer herding communities are someway affected by the fires.
The most severe forest fires within reindeer herding areas where in Jämtland (8500 of hectares), Dalarna (2500 of hectares) and Västernorrland (500 of hectares).
The regions of Norrbotten, Västerbotten also experienced some smaller forest fires, which were extinguished rather quickly.

Both primary and secondary winter grazing lands has burned, and it is hard to predict how the reindeer will act when arriving to the troubled areas this winter, and how it will impact the reindeer herding in the future.
As well as the reindeer herders, are the farmers, foresters and animal owners afflicted by the drought and fires. Many farmers have indicated for a reduced amount of fodder production, which in the long term also affects the reindeer herder whom purchases the ensilage from the farmer. One would therefore like to wish for a favorable winter season to come.
The climate has changed; and as reindeer herders one have no predictions on what to expect for the seasons to come, and cannot either surely know if it will be favorable for the animals.
The winter of 2017/2018 was for many reindeer herding districts rough, due to a lot of snow, resulting in exhausted animals.

The Sami Parliament in Sweden has been in contact with the responsible ministries of the Swedish government to apply for funding to excess costs due the fires and the drought. The reindeer herding are not yet included within the national intervention funding that the Swedish government appropriated to support Swedish farmers affected by the drought and fires.
Our member organization, Ruoŧa Sámiid Riikasearvi also remarks that this kind of catastrophe funding should not affect other funding related to reindeer herding.

Forest and Taiga forest are recognized as a threat to traditional reindeer herding, already stated in the Jokkmokk Declaration from 2017 at the latest World Reindeer Herders congress:

Note that forest and tundra fires are severly impacting reindeer herders, and urge authorities to give priority to reindeer pastures when fighting such fires.

Situation in Sakha republic

The total area of ​​fires over the past summer in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) has exceeded one million hectares. Fire extinguished from the ground and air. About a thousand people and over one hundred units of equipment were involved in extinguishing fires.
Forest fires over the summer occurred in Olekminsky, Vilyuisk, Namsky, Gorny, Nyurbinsky, Myrninsky, Ust-Maysky, Lensk, Amginsky, Tattinsky and Kobyaisky districts of the republic.
The situation was worsened by the air temperature, which reached over 30 degrees Celsius. In recent years, on the territory of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), there has been an increase in the cases of the approach of bears to human settlements. This is due to the increase in the brown bear population, the migration of bears due to crop failure, annual forest fires in the republic and neighboring regions.

As for reindeer herders, it should be noted that from the above-mentioned ditricts exposed to forest fires, traditionally reindeer herding is practiced in Verkhoyansk, Olekminsky, Kobiai, Zhigansky and Ust-Yansky ditricts. Although there is no specific information about the damage caused to reindeer husbandry in the media, given the general amount of fires in the republic, it can be assumed that the damage has been caused to some extent.

As reported on the website of the Department of Forestry of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), for some fires there was no threat to human settlements and economic objects and the projected costs for their extinguishment exceeded the predicted harm that could have been caused to them, in this connection, the decisions of the Governmental Commission for prevention and liquidation of emergencies and ensuring fire safety of Sakha republic  their extinguishing has been suspended.