“Snowchange 2007”: correlation of ecology and traditions of the North
Republic of Sakha has been specially chosen as a place for meeting experts from different parts of the world. Particularly here the process of correlation of European industrialization and traditions of native peoples moves very painfully.>
The main aims of “Snowchange” are experience exchange in cultural and other spheres of life and analysis of changes in Arctic. The workshop calls for activation in indigenous peoples’ culture revival.
Native people feel their weakness in the face of the violent industrial developing. They practically don’t have reliable environmental information. It becomes the reason of fear of the unknown future. During the four day event experts, working with indigenous people of Alaska, Chukotka, Kamchatka, New Zealand and Lapland, made some recommendations for future working in Yakutia, included ecological knowledge and education. Also all participants appealed to republic government for supporting native people and taking into consideration their experience and interests.
According to the elders inhabitant of Yakutia, climate change has already had a direct influence on their lifestyle. Wild animals began to migrate from taiga to tundra. Not only temperature has changed. The weather at all became more unpredictable.
Correlation of traditional knowledge and ecological problems is the main idea of “Snowchange” workshop. The project started in 2000 by the team of Finnish experts supported by government and public organizations including Arctic program WWF. “Snowchange” won the prize for the best national ecological project, the prestigious ”Panda” Prize, from the Worldwide Fund for Nature, Finland in November, 2002.