The Danish-Greenlandic Project
for Assistance to the Indigenous Peoples of Russia
Head of Office,
Committee "Natur og Folk i Nord"
(NFN; Nature and Peoples of the North),
project responsible NGO
The objectives of this project harmonise with the policy of Denmark-Greenland in promoting sustainable development throughout the circumpolar North and fostering circumpolar co-operation among the Arctic nations in support of this policy, notably through the creation of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS) and the Arctic Council.
Phase 1 of the project ran from March 1, 1997 until May 31, 1998, with financial support amounting to DKK 1,612,350 from Miljostyrelsen, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (DEPA). Phase 2 started up after a short delay on July 1, 1998 and will run until December 31, 2000. DEPA is supporting Phase 2 with DKK 4,153,100.
Goals: The goal of Phase 2 is to further strengthen the capacity of RAIPON and the Russian Indigenous Peoples' movement, thereby enabling them to ensure sustainable development and environmental rehabilitation in those regions where traditional land use takes place.
Objectives: The objectives of this Phase 2 are as follows:
- to strengthen the Indigenous Peoples representative structures, regionally and nationally.
- to enable the Indigenous Peoples to address the local problems and concerns within the field of environment etc. by establishing a network.
Description: In Phase 2, the work will focus on:
- the use of traditional knowledge and other experiences of Indigenous Peoples
- Indigenous Peoples' influence on the environmental health of their territories
- the conservation of indigenous subsistence life styles
- continued employment of a project co-ordinator, a project deputy co-ordinator and an assistant
- to strengthen the competence of RAIPON personnel through training in the English language
- to arrange two seminars, SIPERA (Seminar on the Indigenous Peoples and the Environment of the Russian Arctic) 2+3, in co-operation with UNEP/GRID-Arendal and Arctic Council - Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat; prepare reports from SIPERA 2+3.
- to arrange a regional SIPERA and produce a report on it
- to assist at 3 meetings of the RAIPON Co-ordinating Council
- to continue the mapping of specific environmental, ecological and economic problems in the regions
- to continue the identification of projects in the regions by detailed descriptions and need assessment, including indigenous corporate business interests and prospects for joint ventures, environmental projects, etc.
- to start up some of the 38 projects thus far proposed
- to continue promoting the awareness of indigenous knowledge and sustainable development through processing and dissemination of environmental information
- auditor's reports
- to establish contacts with Danish and Greenlandic organisations, institutions and enterprises
- to establish contacts with national and international donors
- to establish contacts with consultants in Denmark and Greenland
- to co-ordinate activities according to the invited tenders for projects and joint ventures, etc.
- to improve and extend data bases initiated in Phase 1
- to maintain contact with the Project Co-ordinator and other relevant parties in Russia
- to promote the awareness of the situation of the Indigenous Peoples of Russia in co-operation with other partners
- to establish and maintain contact with relevant international fora on aid to Russia
- to report to DEPA
- to evaluate and finalise Phase 2
- auditor's reports
- funding from Danish and International donors
- manpower in Russia and Denmark
- transfer of knowledge to Russia
- technical assistance to Russia
NFN is well aware of the critical situation of the Indigenous Peoples of Russia, and therefore welcomes other initiatives to assist or support the Indigenous Peoples of Russia, among those, the initiative taken by UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
NFN wishes to establish and maintain contact with relevant international fora involved in giving aid to Russia. At the same time NFN is afraid of overlapping activities. It is of utmost importance that existing projects will be co-ordinated with proposed projects. NFN has over the last couple of years had excellent communication with ICC-Canada, and is looking forward to a similar relationship with UNEP/GRID-Arendal, not only on this project but also with respect to the continuation of SIPERA. NFN has the opinion that the best co-ordination will be executed by RAIPON. Most positively, we have noted the Comparative Analysis presented by Pavel Sulyandziga, project co-ordinator of the Danish-Greenlandic Project and 2nd vice-president of RAIPON (see below).