Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Physical geography and climate
Population, economic development and infrastructure
Indigenous land use and dependence on the environment
Environmental threats
Map (1997)
Article collection

Indigenous land use and dependence on the environment

The fundamental subsistence of the Nenets and Izhma-Komi is reindeer breeding. The breeders move from their settlements close to the winter pastures in the forest tundra belt to the summer pastures in the barren tundra. While most are settled or semi-nomads working in brigades of state farms or their modern successors, the vast tundra areas are still roamed by individual reindeer breeding families. It is said there are families that never really were in touch with either Russians or the Soviet collective system. Traditional reindeer sledges are in use for transportation, although snow scooters, off-road vehicles, river boats and helicopters are used.

Nenets and Komi participate in commercial fishing, which, however, is not a mainly indigenous occupation in the okrug. Fishing still provides a subsidiary occupation for reindeer breeders, as well as other traditional occupations like hunting and gathering. Like everywhere in the Russian North, these occupations are in fact increasing in importance because of the difficult economic situation. Traditionally, hunted and trapped animals are wild reindeer, moose, wolf, otter, musk-rat, fox, polar fox, weasel, sable and other fur animals, hare, wolverine, and occasionally brown bear.

The quickly emerging oil industry in the area does not employ a significant amount of the local population, and almost nobody of the indigenous population.