Exposing oil exploitation in the Russian Arctic

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Feature story - 29 March, 2012
The Arctic Council is meeting in Stockholm today, and government representatives will discuss the sustainability — or not — of Arctic oil.

This video was made by Greenpeace Russia Acrtic campaign team, who has just returned from a trip to the West Siberian oil fields operated by Gazprom and Rosneft to expose the true impact of oil in the Arctic.

Zhenya Belyakova of Greenpeace Russia said about this video:

"Administration of the districts and settlements is closely linked to the oil companies operating on their territories. Unfortunately, these relations are often characterized by notorious corruption. According to the national legislation and the local social and economic support programs, the oil companies must coordinate their plans on new oil fields development with the local indigenous population. The oil companies are also obliged to compensate the local indigenous people for the withdrawal of their lands out of traditional use and for the damage caused by oil development.

In conversations with the Nenets, we heard that the level of compensations they receive has absolutely nothing to do with the scale of the caused damage. The value of the land they lose, the value of the future of their people cannot be counted in money and snowmobiles.

Most of them still trust the local administrations and get easily deceived. Fairly often, at meetings between the communities and oil companies, the head of the settlement asks all indigenous people who came to put their signatures in the list of their names, ostensibly to confirm their presence. Later, they find out that they signed an agreement on the withdrawal of their community lands for the benefit of an oil company."

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