2012.09 Dmitry Berezhkov. Coal mining in Kemerovo oblast, Russia

In Kemerovo Oblast, West Siberia, the coal-mining industry is extracting “black gold” while destroying the environment and the rich traditional culture and natural resource management of the Shorts and the Teleut– two of Russia’s small numbered indigenous peoples. The development of resource-intensive industries in Kemerovo Oblast has high environmental costs.

This includes the deterioration of land, the production of enormous amounts of industrial waste, environmental pollution with emissions and discharges from smelting, chemical, coal-mining and other industrial enterprises, a reduction in the biodiversity of industrially-developed areas and other negative environmental consequences. The situation is exacerbated by the high concentration of environmentally hazardous enterprises in the relatively small area of the Oblast, as well as the considerable dilapidation of process and treatment equipment.

The worst affected are the indigenous communities, whose livelihood still largely depend on the rivers and other natural resources. So far they have never been consulted nor compensated for their losses.


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