Russia's Circumpolar Territories Inhabited by Indigenous Peoples: Economic and Legal Aspects of Development

Russia's Circumpolar Territories Inhabited by Indigenous Peoples: Economic and Legal Aspects of Development

Stanislav Lipski (State University of Land Use Planning, Russia) and Olga Storozhenko (Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6954-1.ch022


The Arctic zone of Russia includes nine regions (five of them partially). In total, it covers an inland area of 4.9 million square kilometers and 0.2 million square kilometers of islands. Traditionally, land management has been well developed in Russia as a part of public policy with its established goals, including carrying out different land reforms. However, during previous years, the level of land management in the country as a whole and in the Arctic zone, in particular, has decreased significantly due to a number of economic, organizational, and legal factors. Various federal and regional legislative acts regulate a range of issues related to the activities of indigenous peoples and land management. However, a character of such regulation is neither consistent nor sufficient. Notwithstanding the fact that all territories of Russian Arctic inhabited by indigenous people are recognized as the specially protected natural areas, those territories are still engaged in business activities.
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In this chapter, the analysis focuses on the specific features of social relations (both those already regulated by federal and regional legislative acts and those which have not received legal recognition yet) arising from the development and exploration of the AZR territories for various purposes (including the use by IPN) and in a view of the land management decisions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Lands: A land that is systematically used or appropriate for a particular economic purpose and differentiated upon its natural and historical features.

Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation: The territories located in within the Arctic Circle and defined by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation (2014) “On the Land Territories of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation.”

IPN: The indigenous peoples of the North of total population below 50,000 people inhabiting the territories of traditional settlement of their ancestors and preserving the traditional way of life closely connected to nature.

Protection of IPN Land Rights: International and national documents, the activities of international non-governmental organizations and public authorities of Russia and its subjects aimed at implementing rights protection.

Reindeer Pastures: The forest and other grasslands, swamps, as well as disturbed and other lands located in the tundra, forest tundra and northern taiga areas, suitable for reindeer grazing.

Land Management: The measures and activities aimed to study the lands conditions, planning and organization of their rational use and protection, including the territories inhabited and used by the IPN for their traditional living.

Specially Protected Natural Areas: The lands of nature reserves, nature reserves, natural monuments, wildlife reserves, national parks, arboretums, botanic gardens. Also, the specially protected natural areas include the territories formed for the IPN traditional way of life and activities.

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