Herders have had to become used to a fierce and unpredictable climate in the Arctic
Arctic special Sami reindeer herders struggle against Arctic oil and gas expansion
19th October, 2011
Climate change and a rise in oil and gas exploration are bringing a host of problems for the indigenous Sami reindeer herders in the Arctic regions
I like to call it the climate super tanker – it was easy to get going, but it is very hard to stop it
It’s almost midnight when the sun finally disappears and the snow begins to harden. Here in the distant stretches of northern Norway, two herders are preparing to move almost 2000 reindeer to their summer pasture. In the back of their snowmobiles are the essentials: a bottle of vodka, an axe, some rope and several knives.
Inside their portable cabin, empty beer bottles and dirty plates lay at the end of the beds. For the main herder, Isak Mathis Triumf, this tiny space is his home for several weeks at a time. A foldout table and a small fire separate the men. There are no photos or pictures on the walls – it’s where they sleep and eat. 'If I didn’t spend most of my time out with the reindeer, I’d go crazy in here,' he said.
Isak’s three young daughters are joining the migration tonight. He leads them to the edge of a frozen lake where he knows the reindeer are feeding on lichen. Despite the loud clattering if the snowmobiles, the sounds of bells hanging from the reindeer’s necks echo through the air. The eldest daughter follows slowly behind, using her iPhone to take videos of her sisters racing each other across the snow.
Every so often,...
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