#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. For the first time in the Russian Arctic, the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) procedure was launched in October 2021. A month later, the company held a second round of consultations. And so the parties signed an agreement on FPIC for the program of resettlement and development of the village of Tuhard.
Tuhard was founded in the 1970s for the Norilskgazprom builders and eventually became a place of residence for the indigenous people of Taimyr – the Nenets. According to the new regulatory requirements, a sanitary protection zone is established around the enterprise, within which permanent residence is not allowed. The company offered to build a new settlement for residents with modern infrastructure, including for nomadic reindeer herders.
The agreement of the parties was reached as a result of three rounds of direct expanded consultations with the population.
“The Nornickel’s decision to carry out this resettlement with the requirements of international standards, enshrined in the UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, and the standard of responsibility of the Arctic zone residents to the indigenous peoples of the zone, adopted by the Ministry of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, this is the first experience of the kind in our country. And the fact that today the final decision has been made on the choice of the site for the construction of the new village, that the residents of the village gave their collective consent to participate in the resettlement program, which will be developed together with the company, then put into practice, is very important on a national scale”, Mikhail Todyshev, a lawyer in the field of protecting the rights of indigenous peoples, gave an assessment of the event.
As noted in the Nornickel, the agreement was developed in accordance with international standards and contains the conditions for resettlement and compensation. These are quite serious demands that the parties made to each other, and Nornickel has taken on serious obligations.
In recent months the Council of Representatives has held consultations with all the residents of the village and discussed the topic of resettlement, all new infrastructure and a place for the new Tuhard.
“There is a lot of work ahead, because our council is the main link between the company and residents. In the coming years, we will all be here on site in Tuhard to control the construction process and coordinate all the parameters. I consider it extremely important that it is we, the indigenous Nenets, residents of Tuhard, who now choose what we need, how and where our children will live”, commented Igor Yamkin, head of the Tuhard village Representatives Council.
Grigory Dyukarev, President of the Taimyr Indigenous Peoples Association in the Krasnoyarsk region, also spoke about the prospects for the new settlement. He stressed that together with the signed agreement, a new settlement is being born, even if so far only in the people minds.
“This is certainly a life improvement, in all aspects hopefully. Today, the Tuhard residents’ children study in Dudinka. Tomorrow they will have the opportunity to study here, on the spot, and live with their parents. That is, not to come home only for the holidays, but to constantly be in the family. What could be better than the happiness of a child who can see mom and dad every day. What else? A modern house of culture, modern workshops for the processing of reindeer products, fish. On the one hand, these are products on our table, and on the other – jobs. Plus, the new settlement will not be very far from the Norilsktransgaz production base, and we understand that the needs of this company and others, such as Rosneft, will expand. Jobs will also be created in this sector. And these factors combination should lead to the fact that the quality of life here will be better for people”, Dyukarev shared.
“Modern reindeer herders live in the tundra in small mobile houses or tents, but over time, for some reasons of health or age, it becomes necessary to move to the village. And we intend to use the resources of the Krasnoyarsk region, in particular, the Ministry of Agriculture, so that, according to their programs, residential buildings for reindeer herders in the new village will also be built”, said Grigory Dyukarev.
Consultations on the choice of architectural solutions for the new village will begin this year. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2026.
Text: Victor Tsaryov