A Nenets woman and her baby lead their reindeer across a new road that has been covered with insulation material while heading north to the Russian Arctic coast. The Nenets had previously been unable to follow their traditional migration routes because new roads constructed by Gazprom damage the sledges.
For centuries the lives of the nomadic Nenets tribes followed a predictable rhythm, regulated by the changing seasons and the grazing patterns of their animals. They have survived the inhospitable environment and Soviet Communism: but now they face the twin threat of climate change and the race for untold riches beneath their pastures. Up to 20% of the world’s undiscovered recoverable gas supplies are believed to lie under the Yamal Peninsula, and as the Russian energy giant Gazprom seeks to drill and industrialise the historic Nenets pastures their traditional way of life looks certain to disappear.