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“Indigenous animals of the Arkhangelsk region” photo exhibition and discussion in NARFU

Elena Kudryashova, Rector of the Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University, inaugurated the photo exhibition “Indigenous Animals of the Arkhangelsk Region”. The initiative of Jan Turov, director of the “Economic Programs Foundation”, was supported by Mrs. Kudryashova personally.

“Indigenous animals of the Arkhangelsk region” photo exhibition and discussion in NARFU

“The Arctic is a very complex system, including biological. breeding processes that occur quickly in the south, in the Arctic are much slower and more complex. This once again determines the great importance of conservation of unique fauna of our region. Mezen horse, Nenets reindeer herders dog – Nenets Lailka, reindeer and Kholmogory cow have a special place here.”. – Elena noted.

“And it is very important, that there are non-governmental organizations such as “Economic Programs Foundation”, which raise questions of preservation of cultural and natural heritage of Arctic. Special thanks to the director of non-profit organization Yan Turov for the initiative and preparation of photo-exhibition” – added the rector.


“We set tasks to draw attention to the Arctic’s native livestock breeding of scientists, researchers, government representatives, business, and the public. Especially we need the attention of young people – students and young workers. I believe that it is their active participation in the revival of rural Arctic territories that is one of the key factors in this direction of work”, emphasized Yan Turov, Director of the “Economic Programs Foundation”, in his speech.

“The preservation of the traditional environment of the indigenous people of the North and the Pomors is included in the agenda of the priority programs and projects of our organization.” – Turov also noted. “The presented photo exhibition is a very important event, a relevant signal in the program of preservation of indigenous animals breeding and development of rural economy.”

“Today we are talking about animals and the need to preserve them in the territories where they were created. This is our northern culture, our national treasure, which must be multiplied. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the organizers of this thematic photo exhibition, designed to show its visitors the beauty of animals of indigenous species and breeds of the Russian Arctic. The purpose of the exhibition is to show the audience the value of these amazing animals”. – stressed Irina Yurieva, PhD Agricultural Sciences, Senior Researcher, Head of the Mezen Horse Breeding Center of the Arkhangelsk Research Institute of Agriculture (Primorsky branch of Federal Research Center of the Arctic Complex Studies named after Nikolay Laverov).


“Indigenous animals are a historically inscribed part of the local landscape, one of the leading ecological link of the local natural and geographical environment. And if the Nenets dog is a friend and indispensable assistant of the man, the northern reindeer breeding and Mezen horse breeding is already a branch of economy. The life of the indigenous people of the North literally revolves around the reindeer. And Mezen horse breeding is a significant part of economy of the three peasant farms in Mezen”, – supplemented Irina Borisovna.

The opening ceremony continued in the format of on-line and off-line round table with the participation of experts and authors of works from Moscow, Salekhard, Naryan-Mar, Saratov, as well as from Mezen district of Arkhangelsk region.

“The Arkhangelsk region has unique natural, human and resource conditions. And the loss of such values as Mezen breed of horses, reindeer, traditional northern dogs – it is a huge loss both for the natural complex, for genotypes of farm animals, and of course it is a loss of national identity – because with their departure the whole way of life is destroyed. – said Natalia Spasskaya, author of the work, PhD of biological sciences, scientific secretary of the Zoological Museum of Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov. “We would like to see this initiative continued in a broader sphere in terms of training economists, engineers, who have a tremendous role for the Arctic.”


“This is a really unique event that deserves a lot of attention.” – Tatyana Romanenko, Ph.D. Biology ., director of the Naryan-Mar branch of Federal Research Center of the Arctic Complex Studies named after Nikolay Laverov, told the participants. “Northern reindeer breeding belongs entirely to the indigenous peoples of the North. In the Arkhangelsk Region and Nenets autonomous area these are the Nenets and Komi. Indigenous peoples are still able to live in unity with nature, their peculiarity reflected in the way of life and culture. The routes of Kanin reindeer herders’ pasturing routs, extending to Pinezhsky district of Arkhangelsk region, were fixed by the charters of Ivan the Terrible in 1535. The preservation of ancient Nenets traditions in everything – clothes, narty or Nenets national sledge, Tynzei or national reindeers guiding stick, as well as in the Nenets Laika. Without it reindeer breeding was impossible a few centuries ago and today. There is a degeneration of the breed today. The ecosystems of the north of the Arkhangelsk region and Nenets autonomous are as well as other factors create favorable conditions for indigenous cattle breeding. At the same time it’s important to balance the interests and find points of contact between the indigenous communities and subsoil users. The preservation of reindeer breeding, which is of strategic importance for the Russian Arctic, should be a priority.”


“Congratulations on Russian Science Day and the opening of a wonderful photo exhibition. Since 2020 together with the Economic Programs Foundation we have been carrying out the Nenets Laika – Russia’s Legacy project, with financial support from the President Grants’ Foundation. The Government of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District and local authorities understand the importance of preserving the Nenets Laika as part of northern reindeer herding,” said Timur Akchurin, executive director of the Union of Reindeer Herders of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District.

“Northern reindeer herding is an indicator of the state of the environment in the Arctic. If man, animal and nature develop in harmony, our state will develop in harmony. We have successful experience in the district in implementing projects of taiga & hedge reindeer breeding. In order to stabilize the herd together with the “Economic Programs Foundation” we initiated the project “Nomad’s House” aimed at development of the similar reindeer breeding farms in the territory of the Arkhangelsk region. We believe that the project will get the second breath and will be supported by the executive and legislative authorities. I consider very good the initiative of “Economic Programs Foundation” on creation of “Centre of the indigenous animals breeding station” aimed for revival of the village, attraction of the youth, because the revival of the village will help in revival of Russia and also to become a leader on reindeer economy”.

“Photography of Nenets culture – reindeer, Nenets Laikas – is very important in today’s world, it doesn’t lose its exoticism to the rest of the world. Through photography we can convey to the world the beauty and life of reindeer herders, namely the beauty of reindeer and dogs. My photos have been published in National Geographic, were in the TASS (Russian Telegraph Agency) Top 100, which means they remain extraordinary. The preservation of reindeer directly affects the culture of the Nenets people. Without reindeer the importance of the Nenets as a people would disappear,” stressed Anton Taybarey, a representative of one of the Nenets tribes, a native of the village of Varandey, Nenets Autonomous Area, in his speech from Moscow. He is a graduate of NArFU (Northern (Arctic) Federal University, a professional photographer, and an active participant in projects of the “Economic Programs Foundation” and other organizations that preserve the cultural heritage of the Nenets and other indigenous peoples.


As one of the results of the meeting was Yan Turov’s suggestion of further joint work on formation of the scientific and practical section of knowledge – indigenous studies. First of all, Irina Yurieva, PhD Agricultural Sciences, Senior Scientific Associate, Head of the Mezen Horse Breeding Center of the Arkhangelsk Research Institute of Agriculture (Primorsky branch of Federal Research Center of the Arctic Complex Studies named after Nikolay Laverov) agreed with it. Other experts supported this proposal and also confirmed their readiness for new meetings and active cooperation within the framework of the directions presented during the discussion.

From Russian sources of “Arctic Partnerships”.

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