On August 28, the Union of Reindeer Herders of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area has organized an environmental action “Thank you for a pure tundra!”, thus supporting the Federal Russian Government initiative “Clean Arctic”, aimed at eliminating accumulated environmental damage in high latitudes. In the area of the reindeer herders’ camp, 4-5 km of the Salekhard-Aksarka highway, they cleaned up: volunteers collected several dozen bags of various garbage, old tires, scrap metal, dry tree branches, and helped move the wood closer to the tents.
The “Thank You for a Pure Tundra!” campaign is aimed at cleaning the areas on the reindeer migration routes from garbage and has been held since 2014. Dozens of public organizations, entrepreneurs, reindeer herders, residents of towns and national settlements participated in the events, during which several dozens of tons of various wastes were collected.
Timur Akchurin, Executive Director of the Union of Reindeer Herders of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, believes that cleaning up even a small area will show that people in the forest and tundra will behave more carefully – these are not only favorite vacation spots, but above all this is the habitat of animals and birds. “Careful attitude towards the land and the environment is the basis for preserving the balance between the economic extractive enterprises and the indigenous peoples of the North, who lead a traditional way of life,” Akchurin said. – We must preserve the unique nature of the Arctic for future generations. This is our home and we must keep it clean”.
Initially, the environmental campaign in 2014 was conducted in the Salekhard city area by community members and students of the Yamal Multidisciplinary College and the Yamal Polar Agroeconomic Technical School. Later it was supported by communities of indigenous minorities of the North, reindeer farms and entrepreneurs. In 2017, municipalities of the autonomous district also took part in the campaign. In 2018 they were joined by the oil and gas industry enterprises.
In 2019, the environmental campaign “Thank you for a clean tundra!” stepped outside the region. This year the action took place in the Murmansk region. Also, the Union of Reindeer Herders of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area received letters of support from the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Chukotka Autonomous Area.
The Arctic Development Project Office (HQ in Moscow) provides informational support for this action.