Press Release: Arctic Reindeer Herders Convene in China

July 25, 2013 • Philip Burgess5 WRHC, Blog, Projects

5 WRHC PlenaryJuly 25-28th 2013 the 5th World Reindeer Herders´ Congress is convening in Aoluguya, Inner-Mongolia, The People´s Republic of China. This Congress gathers some 240 representatives of over 20 different reindeer herding peoples spread across the whole circumpolar region including 9 national states. The Congress is summoned every 4 years, and has been held earlier in Western-Siberia/ Russia, in Northern Finland, in Eastern-Siberia/ Russia, and in Northern Norway. This time it is hosted by Chinese Evenki herders.

“…The World Reindeer Herders´ Congress is the most important meeting arena and forum for the 27 different reindeer herding peoples of the world”, says Mr Mikhail Pogodaev, an Even reindeer herder from Eastern Siberia and the the Executive Chair of the Association of World Reindeer Herders. “…This is the place where we can all meet and discuss the situation for world reindeer husbandry, and where we try to find the best solutions for our common future as reindeer herders across the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions – a future that is not given.”

Download the Press Release Here

The 5th Congress has a special focus on taiga reindeer husbandry – the special type of reindeer herding that is found in the forested areas in Northern China, Mongolia and South-Eastern Russia. Taiga reindeer husbandry today faces special challenges, and this old, unique, indigenous and nomadic livelihood is even disappearing in some regions. Taiga reindeer herding also exists on the brink of the viable reindeer habitats north of the steppes, which is also a frontier of climate change impacts on world reindeer husbandry. Together, this constitutes legitimate concerns for the future sustainability of taiga reindeer husbandry.

The 4th World Reindeer Herders´ Congress held in Norway in 2009 unanimously decided to have the next Congress in 2013 in Aoluguya, Inner-Mongolia, China. The hosts of the 5th Congress are the Evenki Reindeer Herders and the Evenki Cultural Centre of Aoluguya, supported by the Aoluguya Township and the Genhe Region Government.

“…This 5th Congress is actually the most successful we have had in terms of participation from different reindeer herding regions and peoples,” says senior Sámi reindeer herder and Secretary General Mr Johan Mathis Turi of the Association of World Reindeer Herders. “…This in itself is an important achievement for our unique people-to-people collaboration, that is stretched over vast geographical distances across the circumpolar north.”

Topics for discussion at the 5th Congress includes: Sustainable reindeer husbandry in face of globalization, challenges of taiga reindeer husbandry, reindeer herders´ health issues, as well as engagement of reindeer herding youth as part of the Arctic Council project EALLIN – Reindeer Herding Youth. The Association of World Reindeer Herders has been a Regular Observer to the Arctic Council since year 2000.

Contact – Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH):
• Executive Chair Mr Mikhail Pogodaev, tel. +7 911 916 9780 ,
• Secretary General Mr Johan Mathis Turi, tel. +47 950 48331,

More information: &

Download the Press Release Here

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