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DOI:10.5593/sgemsocial2017/22/S06.009

REINDEER PASTURES AND LAND TENURE ISSUES

A. Alekseyev, P. Vitebsky
Thursday 28 September 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 4th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2017, www.sgemsocial.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-18-8 / ISSN 2367-5659, 24 - 30 August, 2017, Book 2, Vol 2, 65-72 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/22/S06.009

ABSTRACT

The fodder base is the basis for the development of reindeer husbandry and, consequently, the existence of indigenous peoples of the North. Currently lichen pasture areas continue to decline. Reduction of pasture areas can lead to a decline in production in the traditional sector due to the narrowing of its activities.
The development of reindeer husbandry is primarily determined by the state of pastures and their deer carrying capacity. For 01.01.2001 out of the total territory of reindeer breeding districts of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia ) – amounting to 2,456.5 thousand km2 (79.2% of the territory of the republic) - reindeer pastures occupy 918.9 thousand km2. And on the scale of the Russian Federation reindeer pastures occupy about one-fifth of the territory of Russia.
The standards were established for the sizes of reindeer herds in reindeer herding zones in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia): for the tundra zone – no less 1200 heads; for forest-tundra - no less than 1000 heads; for mountain taiga - no less than 800 deer and for taiga - no less than 500.
The area of grazing per one deer in the snowy period of the year (late autumn, winter, early spring) in the tundra zone of Yakutia is 40-43 ha.
The size of the grazing area per 1 reindeer for 6 pasture seasons of the year in the taiga zone of the RS (Y) is 75-80 ha.
In the mountain taiga zone, the area of grazing of one reindeer by season is: in late spring - 3,40 hectares (59,9%), in summer - 13,37 hectares (92,4%), in early autumn - 5,92 hectares (80 , 5%), in late autumn - 1.97 hectares (51.1%), in winter - 5.26 hectares (35.8%), in early spring - 3.82 ha (45.3%). For the entire year, that is in both the snowless and snowy periods of the year, one reindeer utilises 33.74 hectares of grazing or 61.9% of pasture land according to the project norm.
Today, data on grazing resources, reserve pastures, and carrying capacity is needed more than ever: how many reindeer livestock should be grazed on the territory, and hence the planned productivity and economic efficiency of reindeer husbandry, as well as the associated socioeconomic standard of living of the population engaged in this sector. Therefore, it is proposed to conduct a geobotanical survey of reindeer herding districts, to include reindeer pasture identification, mapping of their location, determination of the quality and stock of fodder plants, and establishment of carrying capacity. The problem of land is key to indigenous peoples for two reasons. Firstly, the land for the small peoples of the North is the material and spiritual basis of life. Secondly, the legal status of the minority peoples of the North is connected to their land rights. These are issues of self-government, issues of subsoil use, the solution of social development, culture, language.
It seams to us that granting to the indigenous peoples lands of traditional nature use, including reindeer pastures, water reservoirs, hunting grounds for free and permanent use, is the only correct solution to the problem.
At the same time, minority peoples should have compensation for the development of minerals. We recommend to bring into practice the direct conclusion of contracts under the chain of extracting company → local administrative authorities → direct land user, i.e. reindeer herder. It is necessary to establish special rights of indigenous peoples on the territory of traditional nature management.

Keywords: reindeer pastures, land tenure, issues, lichen pasture areas, to decline, the tundra zone, the taiga zone, mountain taiga zone, the size of the grazing area per 1 deer, 6 pasture seasons of the year, the rational use of pastures, the problem of land, compensation for the development of minerals.