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Norway’s indigenous peoples join Russian scientists to observe climate changes

One of the problems the Saami want to solve is the poor crops of reindeer moss, which is the main food for the deer

TOMSK, November 26. /TASS/. Northern Norway’s indigenous peoples joined the SecNet international network of research stations, organized by the Tomsk State University, and will study the climate changes in the Arctic jointly with Russian scientists, the University’s press service told TASS.

"Low-numbered indigenous peoples of Northern Norway have joined SecNet, which is established to study the environment of Siberia and the Arctic," the press service said. "The Norwegian Saami, like the Russian Arctic zone’s indigenous peoples, have been facing problems arising from the global climate transformation and they are willing to take part in research hoping the results would attract attention of authorities to their problems, would help preserve and develop the northern territories."

The Norwegian Saami will assist researchers in their projects, for example, they will make observations and will take measurements at weather stations. They hope the joint work with scientists will attest to the existing climate and social problems in the region, and will favor a high-level strategy to preserve and upgrade the northern territories.

One of the problems the Saami want to solve is the poor crops of reindeer moss — the main food for the deer. The herders say due to milder winters the snow cover appears late and the moss does not grow well. It becomes harder to feed the animals as herders have to find new areas with fresh moss. If they fail to find a solution, the herders will have to deliver reindeer moss from more southerly regions, which is very expensive. Scientists from the Russian university say Russia’s indigenous peoples in the North also confront this problem.

SecNet is an international network of scientific stations, which unites researchers from Siberia and the Arctic to monitor and study the environment. The network features leading institutes from Russia, the UK, and Norway. The network’s partners are the University of the Arctic, the US National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), and the Canadian Mountains Network (CMN).