Сеть Арктических Организаций в Поддержку Коренных Народов Российского Севера

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New Forest Code in Russia: Needs of indigenous peoples are being ignored
Yvonne Bangert and Sarah Reinke, July 2005

Society of Threatened Peoples, Göttingen/Geneva, www.gfbv.de

Source: http://www.gfbv.de/inhaltsDok.php?id=530

A new forest code is set to reform forest utilisation in Russia. At the centre of this comprehensive package of laws is the privatisation of the forest areas for private use. Up until now the state has been the sole owner of the forest. The forest code continues what the land code of 2001 began: abolishing the established right of the population already settled there to use the land, pastures and now, the forest free of charge for there own use. These areas are being sold or leased. This also applies to anything built in the forest by the indigenous population. This ruthless privatisation is threatening to deprive particularly the indigenous peoples of their livelihood. Often they have no alternative to living in and off the forest. The collapse of the Soviet collective economy cost most of them their jobs. They usually do not have the means to lease land or forest, let alone to buy it. The group of investors, who can afford to bid in a merciless battle for land resources, is small. The majority of those dependent on hunting, gathering wild plants and fishing in order not to starve, are at risk of losing their livelihood. However, instead of addressing the particular needs of Russia’s indigenous peoples and ensuring their survival as well as that of their ancient traditions and economy, Putin’s government’s new law is depriving them of the few rights that Perestroika had granted them.

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