Last update:
2019-11-02

Chuvashka village in Kuzbass (Kemerovo oblast) covered in black snow from coal mining, Russia

In the Kuzbass, coal mining razed forests, blackened rivers, contaminated the air with dust. Shor Turkic ethnic group says the region became a black moonscape. The environment and the people are vanishing.


Description:

Kuzbass coal basin with 58 mines is situated  in Kemerovo Oblast in Siberia, Russia, and the coal sector is the region’s main economic driver. Kuzbass provides 76 per cent of the 240 million tonnes of coal Russia currently exports per year [1]. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Chuvashka village in Kuzbass (Kemerovo oblast) covered in black snow from coal mining, Russia
Country:Russian Federation
State or province:Kemerovo
Location of conflict:Chuvashka
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Coal extraction and processing
Specific commodities:Coal
Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Since 2008, the Kuzbassrazrezugol company has reached a production level of over 40 million tons of coal per year. For 50 years, the Kuzbassrazrezugol Management Company have produced 1 billion 600 million tons of coal. The current development strategy of Kuzbassrazrezugol is aimed at further improving the quality and competitiveness of products and gradually increasing production volumes to 60 million tons of coal by 2035.

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Level of Investment:8,200,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:5000 people left living in the area from earlier 12,888, from which 199 in Chuvaskha
Start of the conflict:01/01/1971
Company names or state enterprises:Kuzbassrazrezugol OAO from Russian Federation - Main developer and coal extractivist
Relevant government actors:The Russian Government
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-Ecodefense Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia http://www.climatenetwork.org/profile/member/ecodefence
- Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)
- Revival of Kazas and the Shor people
-The Coal Action Network
-Pacific Environment
- Ecology and Action Anthropology (INFOE)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Shors
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths
Potential: Accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Violations of human rights
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Development of alternatives:The devastating coal mining project with 58 mines in the Kuzbassin, from which 36 in opencast have been polluting and degrading the environment and nearby villages such as Chuvashka for more than 50 years. Only one mine opening near Chuvashka, was stopped by the court decision from 58 in operation in the region. The project is still impacting the Chuvashka village and other nearby villages. No alternatives were proposed. It is more, the Kuzbassrazrezugol Open Joint - Stock Coal Company strategy is to increase the coal extraction to 60 million tons of coal by 2035.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Environmental activists, lawyer activists, local and indigenous people saw a victory by stopping a new mine project. However, the company continuous with devastating coal extraction and contamination. The whole villages and their people are vanishing.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1]

[1] Fern.org, Coal Action Network (2017): Slow death

in Siberia: How Europe’s coal dependency is devastating

Russia’s forests and indigenous Shor people
[click to view]

[2] The Guardian (February 2019): Toxic black snow covers Siberian coal mining region.
[click to view]

[3] Pacific Environment (2016): A Rare Win for Eco-Activists in Siberia
[click to view]

[3] Pacific Environment (2016): A Rare Win for Eco-Activists in Siberia

[4] End Coal 2017: Protests grow over Russian coal pollution
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[5] Bellona Foundation, 6 April 2017. Anna Neeriva. One Russian environmental group turns focus to coal. The Russian environmental group Ecodefense is conducting what it calls a “coal tour” of Russia to highlight issues of its mining and transport, and how, as the dirtiest of fossil fuels, its continued use in Russia contributes to global climate change.
[click to view]

[5]
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:ICTA-UAB
Last update02/11/2019
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