Reindeer Herders Without Reindeer: The Challenges of Joint Knowledge Production on Kolguev Island in the Russian Arctic

Alexey O. Pristupa, Machiel Lamers, Maria Tysiachniouk, Bas Amelung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Kolguev Island in the Russian Arctic has a unique tundra ecosystem and an indigenous Nenets population whose livelihood is traditionally based on reindeer herding. The Nenets faced a major crisis in 2013–2014 when the reindeer population collapsed. Widely different explanations for this collapse were put forward. This lack of a shared perspective points at the failure of genuine joint knowledge production (JKP) in the island’s UNEP–GEF’s ECORA project (2004–2009). The ECORA project aimed to achieve integrated ecosystem management by stimulating dialog and mutual learning among indigenous people, state agencies, and scientists. This paper analyses the failure of ECORA’s JKP, using a recently developed framework of conditions for successful JKP. The results suggest that ECORA met none of these conditions. It failed at bringing the scientific and indigenous knowledge systems together, and the produced knowledge did not resonate with indigenous people’s perception of living in Kolguev.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Arctic
  • ECORA
  • ecosystem approach
  • indigenous involvement in natural resource management
  • indigenous peoples
  • integrated ecosystem management
  • joint knowledge production
  • Kolguev Island
  • reindeer herding
  • Russia

Field of science

  • Political science

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