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Russian nomads threatened by gas reserves

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Russian nomads threatened by gas reserves


The harsh and remote plains of Russia’s Yamal province are home to the Nenet tribe. Climate change makes their 150 kilometre yearly journey from north to south harder. That is because the reindeer struggle to walk on the tundra once the snow has melted. Climate change has also affected the amount of food available for the animals. Less moss means they are getting weaker.

Now there has another problem. They are living on top of the planet’s biggest gas reserve. Underneath their land is enough gas to heat the world for five years. Russian energy giant Gazprom wants to increase drilling in the region, from where it already gets 90 percent of its gas. The Nenets worry this will destroy the ecology and disturb reindeer herding. They want Yamal to be preserved for their grandchildren and fear Gazprom will eventually move them from the region. Now the UN has called on Russia to protect the Nenets’ way of life from commercial companies.

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