People in Nenets Okrug learn to advocate for environmental rights
"Again we mention public interest to the environmental rights issues. This time we managed to bring representatives of indigenous peoples from remote villages of the Nenets Okrug to participate in the seminar, - shared the impressions Ekaterina Khmeleva, Advisor on Environmental Law, WWF Russia. "We hope that having learned about how to interact with industrial companies, authorities, how to protect their rights, the participants will be able to apply knowledge in practice."
The Nenets Autonomous Okrug is one of the priority regions for WWF Russia. The interests of oil and transport companies, indigenous peoples and nature conservation community intersect here. Local residents need to have a lot of legal skills to work effectively and at the same time not to cause damage to the environment.
Participation in public hearings, indigenous peoples rights in the field of protection of an original habitat and traditional nature management, competent ecological rights advocacy - all these issues were actively discussed during two days.
The leading trainer was Yulia Yakel, honorary lawyer of the Moscow Bar Association, director of autonomous non-commercial organization "Conservation of National Biological Resources". According to the expert, the seminar participants showed a high level of concern about the environmental situation in the region and expressed great interest in the subject of the seminar.
"Together with the participants of the training we prepared requests for information and appeals to the authorities about specific violations: on unauthorized landfills, on disturbance of the soil cover of the tundra, on sunken chemicals, outbreaks of anthrax and many others," says Yulia Yakel . "At the end of each day, we repeated the material in a game form, and we saw how the level of knowledge and awareness was increasing."
In their feedback, participants asked organizers to hold such events in the Nenets Okrug regularly, and not only for members of the public, but also for local government and municipal authorities.