There was a good deal of media attention paid to the presence of over 30 students from around the world of reindeer herding in Kautokeino, Norway last month. Kautokeino of course is the largest centre of reindeer herding in the Sami area. TV 2 Norway made a short interview with DALAIJARGAL Gombo, a young Dukha student who was attending the Biological Diversity in course about why she was there and her hopes for the future challenges facing reindeer herding in Mongolia. She expressed faith that through collaboration with young herders from around the word, these challenges can be met. Watch the video here or below.
Last month, during the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, a number of Norwegian parliamentarians met with Dukha / Tsataan youth with whom WRH and ICR partners through the Nomadic Herders project in a session organized by ICR. (see story and photo essay here).
In tandem with this session, 12 reindeer husbandry youth were granted UArctic Scholarships through the UArctic EALAT Institute. The scholarships were granted to work with Traditional Knowledge in their own culture related to protected areas, reindeer husbandry and conservation of biodiversity in times of climate change. The scholarships were delivered by Ola Elvestuen, a representative of the Venstre party in the Norwegian Storting.
Last week Anders Oskal was in Mongolia to meet with Norwegian parliamentarians at the OSCE and to meet with Dukha youth with whom WRH and ICR partners through the Nomadic Herders project, and a workshop was held in tandem with a practical demonstration on the land related to traditional Dukha food – the making of bread in particular. Launch the photo essay below. The programme for the seminar is also below. Mongolia is home to the most southerly reindeer herding in the world and this entire Taiga region is experiencing rapid development and it is no exaggeration to say that this is some of the most threatened areas of traditional reindeer husbandry in the world.
The 2015 Autumn Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will be held on 15-18 September in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The Director of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, Anders Oskal, is taking advantage of the large number of Norwegian parliamentarians present to introduce the Nomadic Herders project in a side meeting to them and introduce them to Dukha youth who will inform participants about the various challenges and opportunities that are impacting Dukha reindeer husbandry at the present time. Parliamentarians will meet youth in a Ger and some will accompany the Nomadic Herders team on horseback for a field trip.
A big budget and highly stylized feature film has been released which revolves around the Tsataan reindeer herders in Mongolia. Called ‘Sodura’, the film has been made in Mongolia and features Mongolian actors and presumably used people who knew how to handle reindeer as the trailer shows extensive scenes of reindeer herding, herding and migrating. ‘Sodura’, is the name of the heroine of the film, who is played by the well known Mongolian singer Ochgerel. The trailer shows a highly dramatic storyline and Mongolian media is reporting that it will be an entry into the Cannes film festival of 2016. You can watch it below.
Dukha, or Tsataan reindeer herders are one of the smallest numbered herding groups in the world and face enormous challenges related to the breakneck speed of development in Mongolia and the development of nature protected areas around the Lake Hovsgol region where they live alongside many other challenges. The Nomadic Herders project led by ICR is a partner with several herding peoples in the taiga, including Tsataan.
After meeting with reindeer herding Dukha youth in Ulan Bator (see story and photos here) last week, Professor Svein Mathiesen and young Sami herder Issat Turi travelled to Northern Mongolia to meet with Dukha herders on the land to discuss the ongoing implementation of the Nomadic Herders project and heard from herders and their families at first hand why the future of herding peoples in the taiga is facing such difficulties.
The Association of Word Reindeer Herders (WRH) and UArctic EALAT Institute (UEI) are currently in Ulan Bator, Mongolia meeting with Dukha youth to discuss the ongoing Nomadic Herders project. Mikhail Pogodaev (WRH Chair), Svein Mathiesen (UEI Professor) and Issat Turi (Sami reindeer herder) here are pictured meeting with Dukha youth in Ulan Bator, with a subsequent meeting with Dukha and Mongolian partners in a rather incongruously located Yurt on the top of a high rise in the city which is experiencing breakneck economic development, as is the whole country. See a photo gallery of the meeting here. The youth participants were
”…Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to secure the Dukha´s unique culture, livelihoods and destiny if we act collectively, now. There is an urgent need to engage with the herders to record and promote their traditional knowledge, as well as to monitor biodiversity and the land use changes that are occuring in the taiga. Ongoing dialogue is also needed between herders, local governments, companies and others on land use and resource management.” Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director (in the foreword to the UNEP Changing Taiga Report (Johnsen et al, 2012) See www.reindeerherding.org).
Indigenous Duhka, Saami and Even reindeer herders meet at the UN World Environmental Day (WED) in Ulan Bator, Mongolia to discuss sustainable development, protection of nature and biodiversity.
The Nomadic Herder project is wrapping up a week of community consultations in the Tsagaannuur in northern Mongolia and in the taiga with reindeer herders. A photo gallery of the workshop and work in the field has been added to the Nomadic Herders gallery. More about the workshop ands the various activities carried out in the field to follow. View the gallery here.
ABC News have a video about the Dukha reindeer herders of northern Mongolia, one of the oldest reindeer peoples in the world. Also featured is Dan Plumley who has been working with Dukha reindeer herders for over a decade and is Director of the Totem Peoples Preservation Project.