Russo-Finnish Reindeer and Tourism Seminar to Be Held in Yamalo - 19 March, 2003

An international seminar "Reindeer-Breeding and Tourism" will be held in Tarko-Salo, a centre of the Purov region in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area (western Siberia) on Wednesday.

The regional governor's press service has informed RIA Novosti that the heads of the Association of the Reindeer Breeders of the World, the Russian Union of Reindeer Breeders and the Yamalo-Nenets Reindeer Breeders' Union were behind the initiative to hold the meeting.

The autonomous area today boasts the biggest herd in Russia - more than 670,000 northern reindeers, while 13,000, Nentsy, Khanty and Selkups live a traditional nomad's way of life to rear them.

The autonomous area's system of measures to protect and develop the northern reindeer-breeding sector as an ethnic activity of northern people was highly praised at an Arctic Council conference last year.

Finnish guest Lassi Valkeappaa, the director of the Saama region Scientific centre, will present those attending the conference with reports from the Arctic Council of the Northern Forum and the Bering-Euro-Arctic region, as well as the Russian and Finnish frontier services.

The main subject of a speech to be made by Raimo Niemi, the director general of the Kometos firm, will be the development of co-operation between Yamal and Finland to master new technologies in the reindeer meat processing sphere.

The seminar will also focus on co-operation in the sphere of traditional hunting and reindeer tourism. Experts will talk about the unique nature of reindeer-breeding and how it can be marketed, reindeer preparation and the role of the family and educational establishments in this process.

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