Gas and reindeer herders at the source of the heat for Europe

I just watched a two part programme by the english language Tv channel of Russia, Russia Today. It has some very good footage and visual impression of the situation at the place where most of our European Gas comes from (which is also my number one field site since the mid 1990s). Lots has changed since then. Most of the industrial installations filmed there were not there when I first arrived there. Consequently, herders have come to experience industrial development really differently. This TV programme is focusing a lot on what Gazprom all does for compensating and not harming reindeer herding, but towards the end Dmitry Puiko, who goes through the Bovanenkovo deposit every year is quoted with some quite critical remarks too. I think this sort of material should be interesting for the public as it shows a bit what’s going on the ground where our gas comes from. Not that this is the whole picture, but it’s the picture you can get if you don’t go there yourself, or if you go there on a guided tour. For more analysis, the Yamal case has been increasingly well studied, also because Nenets  reindeer nomadism is so emblematic as a vital Arctic livelihood. We have  started partnering with one community on Yamal called “Ilebts” and try to implement research results and a declaration (www.arcticcentre.org/declaration) from our work as now the giant South Tambey deposit is going to be developed. Some other colleagues have published great stuff on Yamal in Russian, e.g. Novikova’s and others recent social impact assessment book. At this point I can also highlight that we have an Arctic extractive industries working group EIWG (www.arcticcentre.org/eiwg) at IASSA, and if you do research on this topic, you are welcome to join. Just drop us a line.

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