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Lovozero - Traditional Nature Use Territory Proposed
Written by Philip Burgess   
Tuesday, 06 May 2008 01:00
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A Territory for protecting Traditional Nature Use is being planned in the Lovozero District An international expedition of three nature protection organisations Kola Biodiversity Conservation Center (Kola BCC), Kola Environmental Coordination Center (Gaia¦ and the Taiga Rescue Network v took place between April 19 and May 1 in the Lovozero district of the Murmansk region. The expedition crew was made up of anthropologists, biologists and photographers.


Under the lead of PhD Maksim Kuchinsky, the expedition members carried out field investigations in a reindeer herding brigade, collected interviews with the officials of the reindeer herding cooperative SKhPK (Tundra¦, and interviewed Sami civil activists and other representatives of the indigenous Sami people. The expedition was carried out in order to take forward the idea of creating a protected territory in the Lovozero district. Such a territory would support the sustainable development of traditional nature use, including reindeer herding, in the district, and would thereby protect the traditional livelihoods of the Sami people. The creation of such a territory has long enjoyed the support both of the reindeer herding cooperatives such as SKhPK (Tundra¦ and of the Sami public organisations (Public Organisation of the Sami of Murmansk Region, Association of Kola Sami). - A majority of the people that we interviewed agree on the necessity to create a protected territory in Lovozero district, that would support the development of traditional nature use (reindeer herding), protect the natural and cultural heritage, enable anti-poaching campaigns, and support the development of ethnic and ecological tourism in the district.


Such a territory would also make it possible to escape future conflicts associated with the realisation of other tourism and industrial projects in the region, says Vadim Likhachev of the Kola BCC. - The Lovozero district is the only large territory in Murmansk region where reindeer herding can still be exercised, the rest of the pasture areas having been destroyed by industrial activities or being used for military purposes. Murmansk region therefore has a great responsibility to protect this territory from any development activities that could destroy reindeer pasture areas and pose a threat to the traditional livelihoods of the Sami people, says Birthe Weijola of the Taiga Rescue Network. The material collected during the expedition will be used for planning a protected territory in Lovozero district, for preparing a book on reindeer herding and the tundra, and for preparing an anthropological film on reindeer herding and indigenous peoples in the Lovozero district.


Kola BCC has been carrying out activities to study the Lovozero district from an ecological and anthropological point of view since the year 2005. Vadim Likhachev, Maksim Kuchinsky, Birthe Weijola Kola Biodiversity Conservation Center Kola Environmental Coordination Center (Gaia¦ Taiga Rescue Network Press contact: Vadim Likhachev, +7 921 512 22 69 Photos from the expedition: http://foto.mail.ru/mail/lihva/2 Birthe Weijola EVS volunteer in Kola BCC 184209, Russia, Murmansk region, Apatiti, Lenina 6-29 tel/fax: +7 81555 66286


Kola Peninsula, Lovozero, Taiga, Taiga Rescue Network, Territory for protecting Traditional Nature Use
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