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1 Mai 2021

Society for threatened peoples

Report: Nornickel: Toxic business at the expense of indigenous peoples

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May 2021

The traditional way of living of the indigenous communities of the Russian Arctic is increasingly under threat: as well as suffering the severe effects of climate change, these peoples are also affected by the industrial exploitation of natural resources and the associated pollution. In May 2020, near the city of Norilsk in Siberia, 21,000 tons of diesel were spilled from a defective tank into the tundra, resulting in the heavy pollution of two rivers. This incident is one of the worst environmental disasters ever infl icted upon the Arctic. Norilsk Nickel, known as Nornickel, the company behind this, had already attracted attention due to its environmentally harmful business practices. This repeated pollution of the environment is slowly poisoning the ecologically sensitive habitat of the indigenous communities. The diesel disaster actually endangers even their subsistence: one year after the disaster, the food supply, for many, is no longer guaranteed.

However, the Nornickel group is showing no interest in addressing the problems of the indigenous communities and entering into a dialogue on an equal footing with their legitimate representatives...

And shortly after the oil spill in May 2020, wastewater contaminated with toxins was pumped into the Charajelach river from a containment basin at Nornickel‘s enrichment facility in Talnach. According to Greenpeace Russia, on the basis of satellite imagery, this is how Nornickel employees appear to be illegally disposing of waste...

[On 29 June 2020] A fire breaks out at a landfill site containing Nornickel‘s industrial waste. The smoke spreads over the tundra, harming flora, fauna and people...