Reindeer-herding regions are sharing news and speaking for the unified concept of development

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Timur Akchurin, the executive director of the Union of Reindeer Herders of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, spoke by phone with representatives of public organizations of indigenous peoples of the North in Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug (Yugra) and Nenets Autonomous Okrug, as well as Krasnoyarsk Krai, including Taymyr. He told about the news of the reindeer-herding regions to a correspondent of the news agency “Sever-Press”.

The president of the Union of Reindeer Herders of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug Stepan Kechimov informs that reindeer calving began in the region, this year about 20 thousand reindeer calves are being expected. To preserve and to strengthen health and disease resistance of the animals, reindeer herders and reindeer-herding farms are provided with compound feed and salt feed every year. The corral-fenced method of reindeer husbandry is being developed in the region, since forests account for more than 50% of the entire territory of the region, and the middle taiga zone prevails. The regional law on development of reindeer husbandry, the regional state program “Sustainable development of indigenous ethnic minorities of the North”, the concept of development of supplying and processing of wild-growing plants for the period up to 2030 and development of tourism are in effect.

Among the various measures of state support that exist in the region Timur Akchurin marks payment of subsidies per one reindeer of the breeding stock in the amount 1000 rubles and 20 thousand rubles for a child born in the nomadic camp. Representatives of indigenous ethnic minorities of the North receive payments for expenses related to education and accommodation with the aim to receive driving licenses for snowmobiling vehicles and water transport, as well as permits for storing and carrying weapons.

The vice-president of the Russian Association of indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East in Ural Federal Okrug, a deputy of the parliament of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug Alexander Novyukhov told the representative of the public organization of Yamal that the reindeer herders and fishermen of Yugra were not subjected to the coronavirus epidemic. Nomadic camps are provided with medical antiviral preparations and medical masks. River vessels are equipped with antiseptic dispensers, and their crews receive masks.

According to Semyon Palchin, the commissioner for rights of indigenous ethnic minorities in Krasnoyarsk Krai, the situation in tundra is stable, and there are no cases of the coronavirus. He believes that it is necessary to closely observe the pasture turnover for rational use and preservation of pastures. According to Semyon Palchin, it is necessary to study the Scandinavian model of reindeer husbandry, to adapt it to the Russian specifics and to adopt it. Also it needs actively to involve the scientific community in development of reindeer husbandry, to use the positive experience of the Soviet period. According to the commissioner, it is time to create the Institute of nomadic reindeer husbandry to educate specialists in the branch, which, among other things, would provide scientific support based on traditional knowledge formed over centuries.

Nikolay Maymago, the deputy head on affairs of indigenous ethnic minorities of the North in Taymyr, agriculture and fisheries of Taimyr municipal district, thanked the Union of Reindeer Herders of Yamal for consultative assistance in establishing of the Union of Reindeer Herders on the territory of Taymyr and for provided standard constituent documents. According to him, reindeer calving is taking place on the Peninsula, and about 50 thousand calves are being expected. 97% of domestic reindeer population in Krasnoyarsk Krai is concentrated on Taymyr - about 120 thousand reindeer. The region has the state program “Preservation and development of the traditional lifestyle and economic activity of indigenous ethnic minorities”, under which mobile nomadic housing, stoves, generators, navigators, satellite phones are purchased for the period of 5 years.

From 3 thousand to 15 thousand rubles are paid for shooting wolves, depending on the gender and age group of a predator. Residents of Taymyr also have an interest in development of alternative power engineering, and nomads are provided with wind generators. Nikolay Maymago and Timur Akchurin agreed to work on the issue in the sphere of alternative energy. Development of this direction will allow charging a flashlight, a cell phone, to organize lighting in a dwelling in tundra conditions and, as a result, saving the budget of tundra population. Nikolay Maymago tells that currently work is being conducted on Taymyr on increase in nomadic payments up to the minimum subsistence rate around the region, now nomads of Krasnoyarsk Krai receive 8 thousand rubles.

Yuriy Khatanzeysky, the vice-president of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East in the North-Western Federal Okrug, the president of the Association of Nenets people “Yasavey” in Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the adviser to the governor of Nenets Autonomous Okrug, says that just as in Yamal, reindeer calving began, mass calving is planned in the second decade of May, more than 70 thousand calves are being expected. The state of reindeer herders and reindeer is normal, they are provided with everything necessary to conduct economic activities. Currently, more than 170 thousand reindeer are grazed on the territory of Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Potential of the pastures allows about 1.5 times increasing the number of reindeer.

The chairman of the board of the Union of Reindeer Herders of Nenets Autonomous Okrug Vladislav Vyucheisky adds that it was a long spring, and mass calving will approximately begin on the 18th-20th of May, there were no natural disasters, and the calf crop will be good. The barrenness of the breeding stock in Nenets Autonomous Okrug has been low for several years. The average viability of the livestock makes 91%, and fatness of reindeer is normal. In connection with the coronavirus pandemic, additional first-aid kits were delivered to reindeer herders. They are also preparing to vaccinate reindeer.

Several reindeer-herding farms are planning to test the innovative system for registration of reindeer, to introduce electronic reading corrals and to upload the received data to the information system. Implementation of the pilot project on introduction of the innovative registration system will give an impulse to systematization of information in the sphere of reindeer husbandry, which can be applied in other reindeer-herding regions of the country. Timur Akchurin believes that the information collected in the regions of the country could form the basis of the unified information database of reindeer husbandry in the Russian Federation.

“Such database is necessary to create the unified system of registration of reindeer, operative acceptance of various information touching upon the branch and also for systematization of information on indicators in northern reindeer husbandry and their unification for all reindeer-herding regions of the country”, said the executive director of the Union of Reindeer Herders of Yamal. – “The database will serve as visual justification to receive necessary measures of state support and will allow seeing the full picture being formed in the branch. For example, on the basis of the data from the database we could track the amount and quality of supplied reindeer meat in the country. There are figures for pork, beef and other types of meat, but not for venison. Registration is kept in fragments”.

Timur Akchurin notes that each region has its own specifics in measures of state support for reindeer husbandry. For comprehensive and long-term development of the branch it is necessary to adopt the federal law on reindeer husbandry. The first step towards its adoption is in development of the strategic document, namely, the concept for development of reindeer husbandry in the Russian Federation with the region-by-region basis. According to the representative of the public organization, the document will serve as an impulse for economic unification of the reindeer-herding regions and will allow local authorities to focus financial efforts on certain areas of market specialization. It will serve for necessary stability of the branch, will act as a tool for preservation the lifestyle of indigenous peoples and will become a factor of economic development of the arctic territories.