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WWF will help Chukotka communities adapt to climate change

26 may 2020
Guest houses, traditional handicraft workshops, video archive of historical knowledge, development of ecological tourism and local handicrafts. WWF has supported 15 projects of residents of the Providensky District of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. Initiatives should help people adapt to climate change in the Arctic.
“In the modern world, it is impossible to imagine nature conservation without the support of the local people. Especially when it comes to coastal communities in the Arctic, which are perhaps the most affected by the changes taking place. And in our work we undoubtedly rely on the traditional knowledge and experience of indigenous peoples, - says Irina Onufrenya, Head of the Arctic projects of WWF Russia. “The selected projects will make it possible to practically implement adaptation to climate change and, at the same time, should reduce the risks of negative impact on ecosystems and provide support in the conservation of biodiversity.”
The projects will be grantes over 6 million rubles. And this is only the first stage of the Program on adaptation of the indigenous population to climate change in Chukotka. It is curated by WWF expert, President of the National Association of Rural and Ecotourism Iva Lebedeva.
“The project is long-term, so our cooperation is just beginning. In 2021, WWF plans to implement the next stage of the Project Initiatives Support Program, which means that those who did not manage to submit their projects this year will have the opportunity to do so next year, '' Iva Lebedeva said. - Already this summer, the Program will be extended to other villages of the Providensky urban district: Nunlingran, Enmelen and Yanrakynnot. And also two more settlements of the neighboring Chukotka region - Lorino and Lavrentiya will be covered. In these villages, we will support projects on traditional crafts and the development of ecological tourism. "
In the meantime, last week the first 15 program participants in a solemn atmosphere received personalized certificates that guarantee financial and expert support for projects. All of them were selected and evaluated by an expert commission.
Local activists recieved certificates
 The largest project was presented by the indigenous community "Chaplino". It includes the construction and arrangement of a Craft House in the village of Novoye Chaplino, a public space, a bone-carving, engraving and carpentry workshop, leather dressing, the organization of a family workshop for the production of souvenirs - traditional Eskimo canoe, folk clothing and footwear. Within the framework of this large project, a meaningful project "Heritage of Yupik" will also be implemented, which will serve to preserve the heritage of the Eskimos, popularize the natural and cultural values ​​of the territory, as well as develop ecological tourism.

Other initiatives are no less diverse: a project for the processing of fish products from a new community of the village of Sireniki, Providensky House of Culture with a project to organize a furriery, a video project on the traditional cuisine of indigenous peoples of the Chukotka Peninsula, and others.
“There is such a motto: Take only good things from the past and work on them now”. WWF supports the traditional way of life of the indigenous peoples of Chukotka, helps to preserve what was created by our ancestors, - said the head of the branch of the Association of Indigenous Minorities of Chukotka in the Providensky urban district, Lidia Soboleva. - I really liked all the projects, I am glad that all of them have been approved. We doubted, of course, that something could be done here, but when we read and saw that all the projects were spelled out in such detail, we realized that everything would work out ”.
The longtime WWFpartner - Beringia National Park - has become an important participant in the program. All projects will be implemented in settlements adjacent to the park, and most of them imply close interaction with the protected area.
“You receive support for the implementation of your projects from such a world-famous organization as WWF,” said Vladimir Bychkov, director of the Beringia National Park, addressing the program participants. - I hope that this support will push the development of our Providensky district. I also hope that these projects will become an incentive for further fruitful cooperation between the national park and residents of nearby villages."
For additional information please contact
Press officer of the Barents projectBarents sea ecoregional programme
Director of Biodiversity Conservation Program