RAIPON Appeal to the public and mass media – protest action on Sakhalin 

The Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East is appealing to the public and mass media to SUPPORT THE PROTEST ACTION OF SAKHALIN’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES!

20 January 2005 has been chosen as a day of Protest Action on the part of the Sakhalin Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, with the support of Sakhalin ’s social movements and parties.

Two pipelines pumping oil and gas from the Okhotsk Sea shelf will cross the length and breadth of Sakhalin Island . These pipelines will cross 1,103 rivers and brooks comprising salmon spawning areas and will split the migration routes of wild animals and domestic reindeer in two. The full length of the land pipelines will lie on seismic zones of potential earthquake magnitude 8-9 and will cross 44 tectonic faults of different types no less than 55 times. The potential for danger to the population is clear and the impact these projects will have on Sakhalin Island ’s eco-system and close-lying areas of water is undoubted.

And yet these projects are already being implemented by the transnational companies Exxon, Shell, British Petro­leum, Sakhalin Energy and their subsidiaries, in serious violation of Russian legislation and international standards.

The economic benefit for Russia of the production sharing agreements signed between the Russian Federation and transnational companies is challenged by experts. Eight years of oil and gas extraction on Sakhalin Island have provided no benefit whatsoever to the island’s population. Not even a supply of gas to Sakhalin ’s settlements has been provided, as was promised eight years ago. But half a million people have begun to feel the damaging effects of this activity. A key sector of the economy – fishing – is suffering losses and phasing down.

The indigenous peoples of Sakhalin – the Nivkhi, Nanai and Ulchi, who have a traditional self-subsistence economy based on fishing, hunting, reindeer herding and wild plant gathering – disproportionately suffer the negative environ­mental consequences. Structural engineering has destroyed reindeer pastures and forests, work on the shelf has led to an abrupt decline in fishing and fishing limits for the indigenous population, while traditional handicrafts now form virtually the indigenous peoples’ only source of livelihood.

Industrial companies take no account of indigenous peoples’ interests. An analysis of published impact assessments showed that no consideration was taken of the cumulative, long-term negative impacts on indigenous traditional lifestyles. Long-term mitigation programs or programs to adapt indigenous peoples to the serious ecological consequences of the projects, which should be implemented in Sakhalin for the decades to come, are absent. The attempts of indigenous peoples’ organizations to negotiate with industrial companies with regard to assessing the long-term economic, social and cultural consequences have failed.

The absence of access to complete and reliable project information, the disinformation contained in published project documentation and the companies’ unwillingness to seriously dialogue with indigenous peoples’ organizations have forced them to commence a process of civil protest.

The Vth Congress of Indigenous Peoples of the North of Sakhalin Region, held on 29 October 2004, came to the following decision: “To commence a process of defence of our constitutional rights via protest actions against oil companies violating indigenous peoples’ rights according to the norms and principles of international justice and Russian legislation”. This decision has been supported by the Russian Association of Indigenous peoples of the North.”      On 15 December 2004 RAIPON and the Sakhalin Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North held a meeting at the Sakhalin regional Duma in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk with the participation of the Chairman of the Duma, 8 deputies, representatives of Sakhalin Energy, Rosneft, British Petroleum, Exxon and the head of the Sakhalin Administration’s Department for Indigenous Affairs. Participants in the meeting were again informed that Sakhalin ’s indigenous peoples are suffering the negative effects of intensive oil and gas exploitation. As a way of solving the problem, a draft Memorandum was submitted to stakeholders, calling for the following:

Unfortunately, the meeting’s participants were unable to reach an agreement and the Memorandum was not accepted.

Since the indigenous peoples of Sakhalin can see no other way to defend their lands and traditional lifestyle, they have decided to commence protest actions such as road blocks and pipeline blocks. The indigenous peoples and representatives of different NGOs will set up tents in the path of the pipeline and on the road leading to construction works. This action will commence on 20 January 2005 and its duration will depend on the response received from the oil and gas companies and authorities.

We call upon all those who are not indifferent to the destiny of the indigenous peoples and population of Sakhalin, and to the future Environment of the North Pacific basin, to appeal in support of the indigenous peoples’ protest action to the Russian authorities and companies implementing oil and gas extraction projects in Sakhalin, and to take part in the protest action that will commence on 20 January 2005 in the Noglikskiy region of Sakhalin Oblast. We ask all of you to send letters of protest to the Russian authorities and to the oil and gas companies working on Sakhalin island (with copy to RAIPON). Mailing addresses for the authorities and companies are attached. Please also send letters in support of Sakhalin ’s indigenous peoples to:

Sakhalin Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North: Address – Prospekt Mira, build. 245-Б, apart. 74, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 693000, Russia . E-mail: green-sakhalin@mail.ru Fax +7 4242 72 13 46

RAIPON: P.O. box 110 , Moscow , 119415, Russia . Tel/fax: +7 095 780 87 27; raipon@online.ru

For more information, please contact Olga Murashko or Yana Dordina at RAIPON: raipon@online.ru; murkre@aha.ru; yanadordina@hotmail.com


 Addresses of the RF authorities and companies implementing oil and gas extraction projects in Sakhalin


1.     Президент Российской Федерации В.В. Путин
        103132, Россия, г. Москва, Старая площадь, д. 4 (для почтовых отправлений)
        President of Russian Federation – Vladimir Putin
        Staraya ploshad, build. 4, Moscow , 103132, Russia

2.     Председатель Правительства Российской Федерации М.Е. Фрадков
       103274, Россия, г. Москва, Краснопресненская набережная, д. 2
        Chairman of the RF Government – Mikhail Fradkov
        Krasnopresnenskaya naberezhnaya, build. 2, Moscow , 103274, Russia

3.     Председатель Совета Федерации Федерального Собрания Российской Федерации С.М. Миронов*
        103426, Россия, г. Москва, ул. Б. Дмитровка, д. 26
        Chairman of RF Federation Council – Sergey Mironov
        B. Dmitrovka street , build. 26, Moscow , 103426, Russia

4.     Председатель Государственной Думы Федерального Собрания Российской Федерации Б.В. Грызлов
        103265, Россия, г. Москва, ул. Охотный ряд, д. 1
        Chairman of RF State Duma – Boris Grizlov
        Okhotny Ryad street , build. 1, Moscow , 103265, Russia

5.     Министр природных ресурсов РФ Ю.П. Трутнев
        123995, Россия, г. Москва, ул. Большая Грузинская, д. 4/6
        Тел: +7 (095) 254 48 00; Факс: +7 (095) 254 43 10; e-mail: admin@mnr.gov.ru
        RF Minister on natural resources – Yuriy Trutnev
        Bolshaya Gruzinskaya street , build. 4/6, Moscow , 123995, Russia
        Tel: +7 (095) 254 48 00; Fax: +7 (095) 254 43 10

6.     Министр экономического развития и торговли РФ Г.О. Греф
        125993, Россия, ГСП-3, Москва, А-47, 1-я Тверская-Ямская ул., д.1,3
        Тел: +7 (095) 200 03 53, 200 53 38, 200 52 77, 209 53 38; Факс: +7 (095) 250 37 37, 251 69 65;
e-mail: presscenter@economy.gov.ru
        RF Minister on economic development and trade – German Gref
        1 Tverskaya-Yamskaya street , build. 1,3, Moscow , A-47, ГСП-3, 125993, Russia

7.     Министр регионального развития РФ В.А. Яковлев
        103274, Россия, г. Москва, Краснопресненская набережная, д. 2
        RF Minister on regional development – Vladimir Yakovlev
        Krasnopresnenskaya naberezhnaya, build. 2, Moscow , 103274, Russia

8.     Генеральный прокурор РФ В.В. Устинов
        103793, Россия, г. Москва, ул. Б. Дмитровка, 15а
        Тел: +7 (095) 292 88 69
        RF General Prosecutor – Vladimir Ustinov
        B. Dmitrovka street , build. 15a, Moscow , 103793, Russia
        Tel: +7 (095) 292 88 69

9.     Губернатор Сахалинской области И.П. Малахов
        693011, Россия, г. Южно-Сахалинск, Коммунистический пр., д. 39
        Sakhalin oblast Governor – Ivan Malakhov
        Kommunistichesky prospect, build. 39, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 693011, Russia

10.   Полномочный представитель Президента РФ в Дальневосточном федеральном округе К.Б. Пуликовский
        680030, Россия, г. Хабаровск, ул. Шеронова, д. 22
        Тел: +7 (4212)31 30 44; Факс: +7 (4212) 32 65 31
        RF President’ Plenipotentiary Representative in Far East Federal Okrug – Konstantin Pulikovsky
        Sheronova street, build. 22, Khabarovsk , 680030, Russia
        Tel: +7 (4212)31 30 44; Fax: +7 (4212) 32 65 31

11.   Председатель Комиссии по правам человека при Президенте РФ Э.А. Памфилова
        Москва, ул. Стромынка, д.18, тел. 268-1321
        Chairman of RF President’ Commission on Human Rights – Ella Pamfilova
        Strominka street, build. 18, Moscow , Russia
        Tel: +7 095 268 13 21

12.   «Сахалин Энерджи Инвест Компани Лтд.»
        693020, Россия, г. Южно-Сахалинск, ул. Дзержинского, 35
        Тел +7 (4242) 73 20 00 Факс +7 (4242) 73 29 38
        119435, Россия, г.Москва, ул. Малая Пироговская, д.14
        Тел. Приемная +7(503)/+7(095) 956 17 50 Факс +7(503)/ +7(095) 956 17 78
        Sakhalin Energy Investment Company LTD
        Dzerzhinskogo street, build. 35, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 693020, Russia
        Tel: +7 (4242) 73 20 00 Fax: +7 (4242) 73 29 38
        Malaya Pirogovskaya street , build. 14, Moscow , 119435, Russia
        Tel: +7(503)/+7(095) 956 17 50 Fax: +7(503)/ +7(095) 956 17 78

13.   «Эксон Нефтегаз Лтд.»
        693000, Россия, г. Южно-Сахалинск, ул. Пушкина, 80
        Тел. +7 (4242) 46 88 20, 46 88 00, 48 81 11, 46 88 12, 42 29 22, 42 29 23,
       Факс +7 (4242) 66 88 95, Григорий Беляков (отдел по связям с общественностью) +7 (4242) 72 71 64 \ 60 \ 61 \ 62 \ 63
        Exxon Neftegaz Limited
        Pushkina street, build. 80, Yuzhno-Sakalinsk, 693000, Russia
        Tel: +7 (4242) 46 88 20, 46 88 00, 48 81 11, 46 88 12, 42 29 22, 42 29 23
        Fax: +7 (4242) 66 88 95
        Grigory Belyakov (Public Relations department) +7 (4242) 72 71 64 \ 60 \ 61 \ 62 \ 63