“Mountains with glaciers bring blessings to the lives of folk. Valleys with glaciers give pastures for healthy livestock.”
The Altai, parts of which were included on the World Heritage List in 1998 is a region brimming with unique features that give it a striking beauty and a particular importance for the biological diversity of its plants, mammals, reptiles and fish. Through the centuries, Altaians have developed a unique ecological culture, including an entire spectrum of moral values and an unusual philosophical view of the world. Altai’s mountains are sacred places to the clans and tribes of the indigenous population.
Each valley, each mountain peak, each spring has its own spirits, or masters, known in Altaian as ‘eezi’. All nature is animate; the natural world around humans is full of spirits and each living being is of divine descent and serves a divine purpose. The sacred places, plants and animals recognized and protected over millennia by local and indigenous Altaian communities prove that the first environmental conservation and ecology movement arose long before the appearance of modern nature reserves and parks.
Deals between oil companies and governments for drilling and fracking bring new dangers to this land.
Watch "Crush" by Agency Rush
1:35 minute animation made for Greenpeace on Arctic Drilling/Fracking in Siberia
Article: "Altai communities and snow leopards threatened by pipeline"
About "Land Has Breath" and this UN Project
The United Nations University together with Aleine Ecological movement of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan’s Academy of Sciences - Institute of Zoology and Parasitology, and Foundation of sustainable development of Altai, collaborated as partners in the coordination, production and dissemination of 3 short videos dealing with Central Asian Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Change. Collaboratively made with Indigenous storytellers, the videobriefs are told in local languages, respect Intellectual Property rights and provide storytellers with media training, resources and a fair media engagement model for future projects. The final videos played alongside other international climate change videos at a locally coordinated forum event and later at a special screening at the National Museum of Denmark during the Copenhagen COP15 meeting.
Special thanks to Slava Cheltuev and his family, and the people of Kosh Agach Raion; Gorno Altaisk State University for scientific data; Gorno Altaisk Meridian for archive Nature Park Quiet Zone Ukok” for logistics. Developed and produced for United Nations University (UNU) by UNU Media Studio & Foundation of sustainable development of Altai, in association with UNU-IAS Traditional knowledge Initiative and The Christensen Fund. More information Our World 2.0 and UNU IAS-TKI
Ivan was born in 1978 in Omsk, a city in southwest Siberia. He graduated from the Omsk State University, History Department. In 2002 he finished college at the Sverdlovsk Film Studio in Ekaterinburg. In 2005 he finished the Highest Courses of Film Writers and Directors in Moscow. In addition to studying theory, he has worked as an assistant director during the filming of documentary and feature films and also as a director of a local TV station. He directed the documentary television series "The Time of Myths" about the traditional culture of the Khanty and the Mansi, two indigenous peoples of Russia’s northwest Siberia. In 2004, he completed a documentary entitled "Tiny Katerina", which chronicles three years from the life of a small Khanty girl and her family who exist in harmony with nature and follow the rites of their traditional culture, until the oil industry disrupts their livelihood. This film has received awards at several international festivals.