Oil extraction and benefit sharing in the illiberal context of the Russian Arctic: The case of the Nenets and Komi-Izemtsi indigenous people

Lead Author Maria, Tysiachniouk
Institution Contact Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University and the Centre for Independent Social Research in St. Petersburg Centre for Independent Social Research Ligovski 87, office 301, St. Petersburg, Russia
Co-Authors Laura Henry, Bowdoin College, US Machiel Lammers, Wageningen University Jan van Tatenhoove, Wageningen University
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.2 Resource development and building capacity in Arctic communities
Datetime Thu, Sep 15, 2016 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text What role do transnational networks play in indigenous efforts to manage the effects of oil development in the illiberal context of the Russian Arctic? This paper provides a comparative analysis of the development of benefit sharing arrangements between the Russian oil company Lukoil and the indigenous people of the Russian Arctic, i.e. the Nenets and the Komi-Izemtsi, informed by the concept of governance generating networks. The Nenets people are recognized by the Russian state as indigenous and receive compensation for land extraction and damage to the environment. The Komi-Izemtsi are not recognized domestically, in contrast to their global recognition by liberal institutions, such as the United Nations and the Arctic Council; they received no compensation, despite suffering from oil spills and oil infrastructure development. In response, the Komi people partnered with local NGOs and global environmentalists to pressure Lukoil. Lukoil eventually signed a socio-economic agreement on benefit-sharing and compensation with a Komi-Izemtsi NGO In an effort to coopt the indigenous group and prevent further transnational environmental mobilization. Ultimately, the cases show how cooperation across scales within a global network can empower indigenous people in an illiberal state to influence resource distribution, although these agreements may weaken broader demands for environmental protection.
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