The Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area
© RIA Novosti. Alexey Filippov

Scientists to examine effects of Yamal development on indigenous peoples’ health

Scientists from the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area will be looking into the effects that industrial development in the area is having on the health of the indigenous population of the village of Nyda, the Nadym District, a spokesperson for the governor's news service was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying. The medical and environmental research expedition will set out on June 1.

The village of Nyda is located in the center of a gas and oil field that has been in operation for a long time. The study will help predict the implications that industrial development may have on the area.

"Employees from the Research Arctic Center plan to spend two weeks in the village of Nyda to continue a study launched in previous years. The study focuses on the traditional environment of the indigenous population across Yamal and the impact that the local diet and the environmental and socio-psychological factors are having on the health and longevity of local people, including nomadic people," RIA Novosti reports.  

The next expedition, which is scheduled for the end of July, will take medical scientists and ecologists from the research center to the village of Gaz-Sale in the Tazovsky District and to fishermen's summer nomad camps in the lower reaches of the Taz River.

Project leader and Deputy Director at the research center Andrei Lobanov said that based on the analysis of the findings from previous research, medical scientists had recommended that their patients use local food to deal with health problems that people living beyond the Arctic Circle tend to have. Now the scientists will have the opportunity to determine if their recommendations have proven effective.

"The expedition will be part of a major research study that aims to analyze the positive and negative aspects of the health of the northerners and find practical solutions to existing problems," Mr Lobanov said.