'Our Rivers are Black with Coal' - living with Siberia's mines

Hope, Matt
Date Written:  2018-05-29
Publisher:  The Ecologist
Year Published:  2018
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22925

A look at the aggressive coal mining industry in Siberia where local opposition and human rights are ignored, and indigenous communities and ecosystems are being destroyed.



"Like many indigenous people of Russia the Shor traditionally practice shamanism and our deep spiritual connection with our ancestral territories is expressed in ceremonies and sacrifices to the spirits. Our traditional economic activity include cattle herding, hunting and gathering as a main source of food."

"Now there is no beast in the forests, there are no fish in the rivers. It's horrible. Our rivers now are black with coal."

"I think a lot of people have to know where coal is bought, under what conditions it is mined. Because where they buy coal there is a lot of suffering. And we want other countries and Russia to develop alternative energy sources."

Yana was brought to my attention in a report by campaigners, Coal Action Network. Report co-author Anne Harris travelled to the region to meet the Shor people having their homes destroyed by opencast coal mines.

Harris has been heavily involved in the campaigns to stop new coal mines opening in the UK - successfully in the case of Druridge Bay in Northumbria, so far unsuccessfully in the Pont Valley in neighbouring County Durham. She wanted to make sure that those campaigns weren't just "outsourcing" the problem.

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