Ablazhey A.   Campbell C.  

Local ecological knowledge and modern Industrial development in the Siberian North

Reporter: Ablazhey A.

ABSTRACT: This report examines local perception of changing approaches to industrial development and resource extraction in northern territories. Two large economic projects were used as an example: the proposed, but indefinitely deferred, Evenki Hydroelectric Power Station project and the constructed and now-operational Boguchansk Hydroelectric Power Station. It is shown that in the case of the Evenki project, local organization against the proposal, driven by concerns about sustainability, became one of the important factors that influenced the cancellation of plans for the construction of the station. In the case of the Boguchansk, construction plans were formed back in Soviet times. Today, in conditions of territorial flooding related to dam construction, local  self-consciousness manifests itself in a variety of forms. It is concluded that a state-sponsored neocolonial approach to development is evident when implementing economic megaprojects in the northern territories.  There has been a demonstrable transition from a strategy for the development of the northern territories. This once featured the long-term settlement of a significant part of the newcomer population in permanent villages. It now features the intensive economic exploitation of the hinterlands by workers involved in transient labour and shift-work practices. 

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