The paper describes the contemporary economic and social situation of the Uilta, an indigenous people on the island of Sakhalin. Particular emphasis is put on the legal and practical conditions for reindeer herding and fishing, the availability of labour resources, and the contribution of ethnically defined enterprises to securing Uilta cultural survival. Field research in 2001-2004 disclosed how the implementation of rights to land and resources works, or fails to work, on the local level. Through the analysis of the Uilta case, this report contributes to scientific debates on access to land and resource use.
Survival Experience in the Present-Day Context
Lyudmila I. Missonova
The spring of 2003 saw a number of key announcements relating to the Sakhalin oil and gas projects. After considerable speculation, the Sakhalin Energy Investment Company announced that it was to go ahead with a $10 billion investment to construct Russia's first liquefied natural gas plant to export gas to Northeast Asia. This article examines the wider context of Russia's potential as an oil and gas supplier to Northeast Asia. It considers the prospects for the numerous gas pipeline projects that are being proposed. It then focuses in detail on the prospects for oil and gas development offshore of Sakhalin. The background to the current projects is presented and the composition and current status of the major projects reviewed. The article then examines the processes that are helping to shape the projects and places Sakhalin with the wider debate of the impact of globalisation upon Russia's economic transformation. The paper concludes by assessing the prospects for the future.
Partnership or Conflict? A Reflection on the Etnologicheskaia Ekspertiza
For the indigenous peoples of northern Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East, Sovietization and industrial development—including onshore oil and gas development from the 1920s have resulted in the loss of language, ethnic homogeneity, and the lands where they practice traditional livelihood activities. Multinational offshore oil and gas projects commenced in the late 1990s. Sakhalin's indigenous people initially sought partnerships with the multinationals, but turned to protest in 2005, demanding among other things that companies complete an etnologicheskaia ekspertiza (anthropological expert review or ethno-cultural impact assessment). This is a relatively new Russian term and no methodological guidelines currently exist in Russian law. One of the offshore projects, the Sakhalin-2 Project, completed an international-style social impact assessment in 2003. The author compares this assessment and the World Bank social safeguard standards adopted by the Sakhalin-2 Project with the etnologicheskaia ekspertiza, arguing for the integration of Western and Russian approaches, in order to establish a sound scientific and legal basis for the assessment of socio-economic and cultural impacts of industrial projects on local communities.
By a twist of fate, Noglikskii District in northeastern Sakhalin Island, the Russian Far East, has ended up at the epicenter of huge multinational offshore oil and gas developments. The two most advanced of these are the projects Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2, whose operators are Exxon Neftegaz Ltd. (ExxonMobil) and Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd. or Sakhalin Energy (Shell) respectively. Sakhalin-2 started production in 1999, while Sakhalin-1 started production in 2005. Further projects to develop the oil and gas reserves of Sakhalin’s northern shelf are still in the exploratory phase. Another major oil company—British Petroleum (BP)—is planning to take part in Sakhalin-5, togetherwith its Russian partner Rosneft’. The Sakhalin-5 Project is focused more on Noglikskii District’s northern neighbor, Okhinskii District. As expected, Northern Sakhalin is experiencing significant consequences from these projects: ecological, social, and also cultural, as indigenous peoples still practice their traditional livelihood activities in northern Sakhalin. This article explores the local changes wrought by the Sakhalin offshore oil and gas projects in Noglikskii District. After providing a background to Noglikskii District, its people, history, and natural environment, the article focuses specifically on the relationship between the oil and gas extraction activities of the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 projects and the reindeer husbandry and hunting activities of the local populations. The article describes efforts by the companies to mitigate negative project impacts and to promote development opportunities. Company-community and company-contractor relations are also discussed.
An Exploration of Relations between Oil and Gas Companies, Communities, and the State
Florian Stammler and Emma Wilson
This introduction provides an overview of academic research and current practice relating to stakeholder dialogue around oil and gas development in the Russian North, Siberia and the Russian Far East. We discuss the two main strands of analysis in this special issue: (a) regulation and impact assessment; and (b) relationship-building in practice, with a particular focus on indigenous communities. We argue that an effective regulatory framework, meaningful dialogue, and imaginative organization of stakeholder relations are required to minimize negative impacts and maximize benefits from oil and gas projects. Self-interest, mistrust, and a lack of collective agency frequently lead to ineffective planning and heightened tensions in relations. We identify lessons to be learned from partnerships and initiatives already established in Sakhalin and Western Siberia, despite the lack of a stable legal framework to govern relations. This issue focuses on the academic-practitioner interface, emphasizing the importance of practical application of academic research and the value of non-academic contributions to academic debates.
Andrew A. Gentes
This article presents a first step towards creation of a demographic analysis of Siberia's exilic population during the nineteenth century. The article makes the argument that traditional Russian attitudes towards children were reflected on a macroscopic scale in the state's treatment of the children of criminals and other deviants deported and exiled to Siberia and the Russian Far East. The article uses a statistical approach as well as anecdotal materials to suggest some of the possible impacts the deportation of tens of thousands of children had on the later history of Russia.
The Risks Arising from the Absence of Strategic Environmental Assessment
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Russia has monitored several large-scale hydrocarbon extraction and transportation projects on the Russian shelf, revealing the chaotic nature of this large-scale industrial activity. An analysis of the early stages of project implementation has shown that, contrary to the claims of project designers, the projects are starting to have diverse, tangible, and often negative impacts on the natural and human environments. Risks can be grouped as follows: the loss of or damage to unique natural and cultural phenomena, major accidents, and indirect and cumulative effects on the environment or human communities. The author argues that completion of a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) before these projects began may have helped to significantly reduce these risks, and considers possibilities for institutional development of SEA in Russia, based on trans-sectoral partnership.
Trans-sectoral partnerships, sustainability research and the oil and gas industry in Russia
Notes on Seminar 1: ‘Sustainable Community Development, Social Impact Assessment and Anthropological Expert Review’ (26 November 2004, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge) and Seminar 2: ‘A Sustainable Future for Sakhalin Island?’ (9 March 2005, Leicester University)
Multinational oil exploitation and the survival of reindeer herding in north-eastern Sakhalin, the Russian Far East
Sakhalin's multinational offshore oil and gas projects signify hope for the region's economic regeneration. They also pose an environmental threat to the livelihoods of local natural resource-users, including Sakhalin's few remaining reindeer herders. For the herders over the past century, industrial development, particularly in relation to the domestic onshore oil and gas industry, has been associated with environmental degradation and loss of pastures, family cohesion, language and culture. The herders contrast the physical and mental freedom they enjoy living on the land to the constraint of village life. Their survival strategies are based on a certain freedom from authority and the formal law. Their desire for freedom is also manifested in a reluctance to engage with outsiders who could have a significant influence on their future. This paper explores the survival strategies of reindeer herding households and enterprises and the ways that they engage with outsiders such as state officials, NGOs and oil companies. The offshore oil and gas projects could result in further loss of important pastures and pollution of water sources, while project benefits may not reach some of Sakhalin's communities that are more isolated. However, the projects have catalysed global interest in the fate of Sakhalin's native peoples, oil company consultations have enabled herders to voice their concerns about the projects, and oil company-sponsored programmes may provide opportunities for the revival of herding and the reinforcement of native identity. This article considers some of the tensions between economic independence and security, between the democratic right to participate in planning processes and the desire to be free from state regulation, authority and outside intervention.
Andrzej Rozwadowski, Brian Donahoe, Olga M. Cooke, Dmitri Funk, Iraida Nam, Christopher Hill, Tero Mustonen, Brad Paige, and David G. Anderson
Peter Jordan, Landscape and Culture in Northern Eurasia Andrzej Rozwadowski
Andrew Wiget and Olga Balalaeva, Khanty: People of the Taiga: Surviving the 20th Century Brian Donahoe
Andrew A. Gentes, trans., Russia's Penal Colony in the Far East: A Translation of Vlas Doroshevich's “Sakhalin” Olga M. Cooke
Erich Kasten, Cultures and landscapes of the North-East Asia: 250 years of Russian-German research in ecology and culture of indigenous peoples of Kamchatka Dmitri Funk and Iraida Nam
Mertin I. Eren, Hunter-Gatherer Behavior: Human Response during the Younger Dryas Christopher Hill
Anna A. Sirina, Katanga Evenkis in the 20th Century and the Ordering of Their Life-World; Olga Ulturgasheva, Narrating the Future in Siberia: Childhood, Adolescence and Autobiography among the Eveny Tero Mustonen
Charles Hartley, G. Bike Yazicioglu, and Adam T. Smith, The Archaeology of Power and Politics in Eurasia: Regimes and Revolutions Brad Paige
Benedict J. Colombi and James F. Brooks, Keystone Nations: Indigenous Peoples and Salmon across the North Pacific David G. Anderson
Books Available for Review