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 Seminar in the Altai Republic

Indigenous Issues
Land problem is still urgent in the Altai Republic. Turochak District's population is in danger of losing agricultural lands and taiga in the short run, unless republican authorities normalize land relations soon. Otherwise indigenous population will not be able to farm, harvest firewood, hunt, and gather mushrooms, berries, and herbs.
Seminar "Regulation Problems in The Field of Land Relations in Turochak District" was held on 29-30 November 2008 in Iogach Village. It interested local population a lot. More than 40 participants came from the district villages, 8 of them represented family and territory indigenous communities. A. Krachnakov, ethnic issues specialist of Turochak District; P. Krachnakov, head of Committee on Agriculture of Turochak District; B. Bocharov, key specialist of Rosnedvizhimost of Turochak District; N. Koshcheev, chief forestry officer of "Teletskoye" Forestry; A. Maikova, key specialist of Natural Resources Ministry in specially preserved natural territories; S. Shchigreva, head of ecological education of "Altaisky" State Reserve; and land managers of settlements' administrations took part in the seminar.
The seminar was urgent as by reason of privatization of agricultural enterprises and lands of the nineties many people can not properly get the right for land. There are several reasons for that. In the first place, before land-grabbing process of the past years sharers privatized land only in part due to the lack of funding and land-utilization documents. In the second place, district administration not so much assisted in execution of documents but misled population by assuring that the rest of non-privatized agricultural land would remain state-owned even after 2010 and villagers would have the run of it. And now they are going to put up a number of still unsold ground areas on the banks of Biya River and Teletskoye Lake for auction. Under such circumstances indigenous population relayed on government support in the form of laws. The laws seem to be but in truth the land goes into strange hands with increased speed.
Representatives of district administration, Natural Resources Ministry, and "Teletskoye" Forestry made their speeches at the beginning of the seminar. Boris Bocharov was the first to speak about agricultural lands in Turochak District. According to division into districts they are going to put up share lands, reserve land along Teletskoye Lake and riverside of Biya for coming auctions. Maria Demina, leader of the seminar, lawyer, deputy of the Altai Republic Legislative Assembly, explained people they had urgently to petition district administration for rating those land as of public use. Nikolay Koshcheev reported on forest land condition in Turochak District. M. Demina lectured on problems of land relations regulation in the Altai Republic (analysis of legislation) and exercise of rights of citizens to land. A role play took place at the end of the theoretical part of the seminar: players learnt how to parcel out land on account of land share. The play showed that district administration and representative office of Rosnedvizhimost illegally demand additional documents from citizens in process of execution of papers.
Many people came to the seminar with existing documents. It gave them a chance to have the best opinion about concrete issues. M. Demina by mutual arrangement with Information Center "Birlik" will give free legal advices to residents of Turochak District of the Altai Republic. Irina Solodukha
Director of Information Center "Birlik"

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