February 23, 2014 • Philip Burgess
(Source: UNESCO) Local communities develop nuanced systems of knowledge specific to their natural surroundings. The Sami language is a prime example of that intimate relationship between the physical environment and language. Located in the Arctic, Sami reindeer herders have developed a sophisticated terminology to describe their unique and variable milieu, which reveals interrelated-aspects of the impacts of climate change.
Sami reindeer herding is practiced in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. One of the centres for herding, in Guovdageaidnu (Kautokeino), Northern Norway, involves 1,700 people and 93,500 reindeer. Snow covers the ground more than seven months of the year and reindeer survival is dependent on the ability to access
lichen through the snow. Given the extremely variable conditions of the Arctic, the Sami must make timely strategic decisions to ensure the herd’s well-being.
February 28, 2013 • Philip Burgess
This international workshop is part of the EALLIN project, a project which has been endorsed by the Arctic Council under the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG). Entitled EALLIN: Reindeer Herding and Youth, the workshop is supported by the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the UNESCO Office in Moscow, which is leading the international project “The network system of open resources of traditional indigenous knowledge to mitigate and adapt to climate change in the polar regions.” Participants will include scientists and experts in the field of traditional knowledge, natural resources and environment, reindeer herders, representatives of indigenous peoples, executive and legislative authorities, NGOs and the media. The workshop will be held hand in hand with the UNESCO workshop and the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the famous reindeer herder Il’ya Spiridonov.
The main purpose of the EALLIN 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 will work towards knowledge building and experience exchanges in and between local reindeer herding societies in the Arctic, with an emphasis on youth. To this end the project will focus on youth involvement, place-based workshops, local capacity building, new technology implementation, networking, dialogue between herders and industry, as well as circumpolar co-production of video and multimedia by youth.