Reindeer herders in Southern Yakutia conduct negotiations with Evraz mining company

December 15, 2014 • Alena GerasimovaBlog, Challenges

bugatOn Monday, December 15th, public hearing on construction of mining plant “Timir”, which will be implemented by EVRAZ Company, was held in Neryungri (Southern Yakutia, Russia). During the meeting it was noted that the number of academic institutions of Yakutia were engaged in researching of “Taezhnoe” minefield, particularly, the Arctic Centre of Archaeology and Human Paleoecology under the Academy of Science in Sakha Republic (Yakutia), the Institute of Regional Economy of the North, Institute of Humanitarian Research and Indigenous Peoples of the North, as well as experts from the Ministry of Nature Protection in Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and specialists from Neryungri district administration.

According to Vasiliy Okhlopkov, senior research associate at the Institute of Humanitarian Research and Indigenous Peoples of the North, significant impacts on ethnic environment during mining activities while developing “Taezhnoe” minefield are not expected. Small parts of reindeer pastures belonging to “Bugat” Evenki nomadic community fall in the area of slight stress. The Eastern-Siberian Pacific Ocean oil pipeline is located to the west of these reindeer pastures. Potential losses, which might be caused by mining impacts toward traditional activities of “Bugat” community, estimated as compensation in 64 660 rubles.

Experts from the Institute of Humanitarian Research and Indigenous Peoples of the North gave their recommendations for the EVRAZ Company, among them the main recommendation was to find a way of mutually beneficial cooperation.

Among other proposals were: prohibition to future EVRAZ employees of carrying fire-arms, hunting and fishing; alcohol prohibition during developing work at “Taezhnoe” minefield; to include representatives of “Bugat” nomadic community in the board during inspections of the territory of this industrial development.

However, during discussions at the public hearing, which was also attended by the head of “Bugat” nomadic community Alexander Grigoriev, it became clear that reindeer herders and EVRAZ Company have already found arrears of common interest. Thus, EVRAZ is ready to provide health service to the members of “Bugat” at their hospital. EVRAZ is also interested in supplying reindeer meat.

But, it is expected to have more than 600 employers at the “Timir” station. Reindeer herders would need to raise the total number of reindeer. “Bugat” nomadic community has only 162 reindeer, and Alexander Grigoriev suggests to provide minors support to organize leisure activity in yakutian taiga.

Source: AKMNS RS(YA)


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