Valery Kibenko, head of the Yamal sociological laboratory and junior researcher at the Arctic Research Center and the West-Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Sociology, together with another junior researcher from the Arctic Research Center, Sergei Zuyev, will cover over 1,300 km on snowmobiles to gather information on the socioeconomic aspects of life and the social wellbeing of the indigenous nomadic population who live a traditional lifestyle.
“The expedition will collect biological material from tundra residents for future environmental, medical and biological studies of the Yamal nomads that are conducted by the research center,” the website said.
As part of the Arctic Entrepreneurship Grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research implemented by the North and Arctic Region Economics Center together with the Arctic Research Center, the explorers will record interviews and gather information about entrepreneurship among the nomadic people. Scientists also plan to gather information about rare birds on the Yamal Peninsula for biologist Sofia Rozenfeld of the bird identification center at the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the Russian Academy of Sciences. She monitors Arctic bird populations on Yamal.
This will be the second research expedition to the Yamal tundra under this project. Pilot research took place in December 2016 when Mr. Kibenko and Mr. Zuyev in concert with officials from the Department of Indigenous Small-numbered Peoples of the North and representatives ofYamal-Nenets legislators, visited trading posts of the polar Urals and Yamal districts, reindeer breeders of the Panay and Yar-Sale tundras. The first expedition results helped outline the problems facing the tundra’s residents.
The researchers believe the Yamal nomads’ problems are important and must be addressed by the authorities, public organizations and the herders themselves. The expedition results will be the basis for analytical materials to be submitted to the relevant government agencies of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area.
Photo by Sergey Rusanov