GRID Polar Division News

Working with Reindeer Herders to Conserve Biodiversity

The Nomadic Herders’ project engages with reindeer herders in Far East Russia to conserve biodiversity. Between March 15-18, 2013, the Nomadic Herders/EALLIN workshop “Role of Youth in Preservation of Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic” was held in Yakutsk, Russia.

The workshop included over 100 participants, and was supported by the Government of Sakha Republic (Yakutia), the UNESCO Office in Moscow, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its Arctic cooperation grant. It was coordinated by GRID-Arendal, the Association of World Reindeer Herders and the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry.

The workshop brought together scientists and experts in the field of traditional knowledge, natural resources and environment, reindeer herders, representatives of indigenous peoples, the executive and legislative authorities, NGOs and the media. The objectives of the workshop included:

  • Promoting the role of youth in reindeer herders and inspire them to continue working within reindeer husbandry and promote the networking among reindeer herders and also between reindeer herders, scientists, local politicians and others;
  • Building the capacity of reindeer herders to monitor and contribute to observations of biodiversity status, trends and conservation;
  • Exploring the relationship between biological diversity and reindeer herding practices;
  • Advancing the dialogue and general understanding between reindeer herders and the scientific community, in order to identify integrated objectives for biodiversity conservation that can accommodate livelihoods needs of local reindeer herders, whilst conserving and protecting biodiversity.
  • Contributing lessons learned to CAFF, the wider Arctic community, and other international forums (e.g. the CBD, UNESCO forums, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues).

The full workshop report is available here in English

Full workshop report in Russian

Workshop summary in English


Photo: Reindeer herder in Iengra © Björn Alfthan

Tuesday 18 Feb 2014