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Transformation of a regional system of environmental management in Western Siberia: historical retrospective

UDK 502/504 (091)

E.S. Volkova


By means of historical and geographical and system methods the main stages of environmental management in Western Siberia are allocated and analyzed. The periodization of process of environmental management allows to track quantitative and high-quality transformation of relationship between the nature and the person in different areas of Western Siberia.

Problems of environmental management began to be discussed actively by the international and Russian scientific community in the late sixties when influence of the person on natural ecosystems reached some critical point. Special concern was caused by that party of process of environmental management, to - tory concerned environmental pollution, emissions of waste of human activity. In general environmental management includes two interdependent processes: withdrawal by the person of any components of natural systems in the form of natural resources for ensuring activity and anthropogenic change of natural ecosystems, i.e. consists of use of any given components of the nature and their return "utilization".

The history of environmental management is story of economic development of the territory, its resursnosyryevy potential with the analysis of the happening changes in a condition of the environment. The nature of environmental management directly depends on type of economic activity which is conducted in the territory in a concrete historical interval of time and is transformed together with development of a socioeconomic system.

The West Siberian region moved into and accustomed within several millennia, and during the different historical periods any given types of environmental management caused by a set of factors prevailed. Peculiar features of the nature of Western Siberia: a flat flat relief, exclusive marshiness, pronounced width zonality of natural complexes, a unique set of natural resources - all this first of all predetermined process of development and an originality of types of environmental management of this territory. At the same time extent from the North on the South almost on two thousand kilometers created prerequisites for essential intraregional distinctions.

The history of development and settling, formation and transformation of types of environmental management, change of quality of the environment directly depend on requirements of society for necessary

products for development of economy in each certain historical piece [1]. For example, in northern areas of Western Siberia long time the traditional types of environmental management connected with activity of indigenous people prevailed; only in the second half of the 20th century in the conditions of the increasing world power shortage in this region the large-scale development was gained by production and transportation of oil and gas. These industries gradually took the dominating place.

Besides influence of natural and economic factors on economic development of the territory throughout the last four centuries very bright mark was left by a kolonizatsionny paradigm when suburban territories were considered as a raw appendage of the developed European regions of the country. And the most available and high-quality reserves of minerals demanding the smallest efforts on their production and processing were got. Such irrational use of natural resources is observed still.

The complex analysis of history of economic development and consequences of anthropogenic influence allowed to reveal changes in the nature of environmental management in the space-time scale (table).

It is obvious that in the considered territory the anthropogenic pressure on natural ecosystems amplifies eventually, temporary borders of each allocated stage are reduced, the speed of transformations increases. For Western Siberia it is explained first of all by the escalating needs for its mineral raw material resources and also existence of large territories for dumping of various waste of human activity (sewage, radioactive elements, emissions of oil and gas industry, etc.).

At the initial stages of economic development of society the environment predetermined accommodation of the population and specialization of economy. The analysis of economic activity of that time shows that all life of the ancient person was

Main stages of influence of human society on the environment of Western Siberia

Stage Time frames Types of economic loading Environmental impacts

The initial balanced interaction of the nature and society A paleolith - the end of XVI and the beginning of the 17th century Collecting, hunting and fishery; the beginning of development of agriculture and cattle breeding Adaptation of the person to the nature without violation of its integrity

Local impacts on the environment End of XVI and beginning of the XVII-XVIII century Extensive development of farmlands; fur trade, hunting, fishery Weak transformation of natural landscapes; reduction of the forest areas

The beginning of industrial influence XVIII - the beginning of the 20th century Increase in population; improvement of natural agriculture; active development of forest resources and mineral deposits Transformation of natural landscapes; change of a natural vegetable cover; drainage of swamps; sharp increase in load of the surrounding environment

Systematic transformation of the environment The beginning of XX - the 50th of the 20th century The growing production of mineral resources; large volumes of oil and gas production; the accelerated urbanization; expansion of acreage Transformation of natural landscapes; growth of scales of consumption of natural resources and environmental pollution

The present stage of a scientific and technological revolution the 50th of the 20th century - the present Technogenez; growth of population; intensive operation of mineral and forest resources Large-scale change of natural landscapes with urbanized; basic changes of ecological communications in natural ecosystems

it is subordinated to a task of the fullest adaptation to the existing environment [2]. In a paleolith (period of initial settling of Siberia) the severe climatic conditions of Western Siberia, small population and low extent of economic development created environmental management types characteristic for those times. Major activities of ancestors of modern Khanty were connected with hunting, processing of products of hunting and production of instruments of labor. Hunted mainly mammoths, rhinoceroses, deer.

Fishing was considered as minor business. Only at chats, Tatars, Shors, Tuvinians - togin-tsev primitive agriculture of motyzhny type and semi-nomadic cattle breeding was developed. Along with hunting and fishery, collecting became widespread. The considerable place in a diet of ancient people was taken by vegetable food.

Possibly, in the Neolithic which began in Siberia 7-6 thousand years ago there is a differentiation of forms of economic activity depending on climatic features of the places of residence. On the most part of Siberia the woods rich with an animal and a bird grew, the deep rivers abounded with fish, the climate was warmer and softer than modern. The population of the coast of the Arctic Ocean was engaged in generally sea trade, residents of North taiga areas hunted an elk and a deer, caught fish. A little later than the so-called complex appropriating economy with semi-settled accommodation, with seasonal migrations within rather small territory in the south extends [3]. The essential mark in the history of Siberia was left by andronovsky culture thanks to which in

more southern areas the making economy extended: extraction of the first metals began and the ancient metallurgy developed.

The nature of environmental management at that time was expressed in the balanced relationship between the nature and human activity - the population almost completely was defined by resource base of the territory of accommodation.

In the extensive territory of Western Siberia before arrival of Russians the different nationalities replacing each other lived. Local tribes often were at enmity among themselves, winning each other the lands, most suitable for activity. By 16th century the most significant political education - the Siberian khanate which represented the political association consisting of the certain uluses who economically are not connected with each other was created here. The population was engaged in hunting, fishing, collecting. Also agriculture rudiments were observed, but acreage remained small and did not change surrounding landscapes. The ancient settlements which arose at this time had small population and did not alter the environment. At this time considerable impact was made only by the fires caused, as a rule, by natural factors [4]. Till 18th century the natural, not changed by the person, landscape systems dominated - human activity adapted to a natural situation rather, than changed it.

Transformation of a regional system of environmental management in Western Siberia began along with active exploitation of natural resources, approximately at the end of the 16-17th centuries. At first it went slowly, and further speed

transformations increased, and the accompanying environmental problems began to accrue. This period in the history of Western Siberia was critical: eastern regions joined one by one the Russian Empire, and Siberia begins to play a role of a source of raw materials of the Russian state. The big place, even in scientific notes, was allocated to economic assessment - it was defined by the political and economic interests of the Russian state. So, approving udach - the ny choice of the area for construction of the Tomsk fortress, the scientist-traveler I.E. Fischer wrote: "Neighboring places are very fertile: the earth is corpulent, black, the rykhla also never demands fertilizer... this party is rich horses and a cattle, great variety of different fishes is found in the rivers, and position of the city with Kalmyks and Mongols is very favorable to the work of the auction" [5, page 29].

At a boundary of the 16th and 17th centuries the settlers from Russia founded the cities of Tyumen, Tobolsk, Berezov, Surgut, Tara, Tomsk, by Nary. In the 18th century there is a settling of the southern steppe part of Western Siberia which long time restrained hostility of the southern nomadic nationalities. Just by this time before the Russian population sharply there was a food problem which needed to be solved due to development of own land resource base as, according to the estimates of historians, in the huge territory of Western Siberia about 200-220 thousand people lived already [6].

Agricultural development began from first years of settling of extensive open spaces of Western Siberia. The manufacturing industry which is the most developed by the industry there was a processing of agricultural raw materials, and for its receiving new acreage were required, and so-called monarchic arable lands everywhere began to appear. Land and fodder resources of the southern forest-steppe and steppe zones where traditional maintaining nomadic cattle breeding was gradually replaced with more settled types of agricultural activity become the main value, being gradually transformed to large agro-industrial production.

Thereof initial changes in structure of landscape systems happen. First of all it was expressed in creation of pashenny, meadow and pasturable and residential complexes on the place of the reduced woods and natural steppe and forest-steppe vegetation. The relog with trekhpolny processing of the soil at which the site with the exhausted soil was abandoned was the main method of conducting agriculture. Gradually by the end

XIX the southern century more favorable in selskokhozyay-

the stvenny relation areas were almost completely mastered and transformed.

Traditional types of environmental management continued to remain dominating only with the native population: in the north - hunting, fishery, fur trade, in the south - primitive livestock production and agriculture.

Along with agricultural landscapes since the XVII century residential landscapes (typical landscapes of settlements) in the course of which formation there was a radical reorganization of the existing environment everywhere began to appear. In settlements this process amplified and continues over time to this day, gaining really grandiose and destructive character.

However in general to the second half of the 19th century Western Siberia in the economic relation was mastered extremely unevenly, and in some areas is very weak, its nature did not undergo so big changes under the influence of economic activity as, for example, the nature of the East European Plain [7].

The greatest inflow of the population happens at the beginning of the 20th century after construction of the Trans-Siberian railroad. Unlike pathfinders of the 17-18th centuries following furs on the North of Siberia, mass agricultural settling in the 19-20th centuries was dated for the most fertile southern steppe and forest-steppe areas. During this period it begins to be formed forest and mining industries.

For the most part of the population of northern and central parts of Western Siberia long time the wood was considered as the main wealth. It and now - the main resource of environmental management: the total wooded area exceeds 80 million hectares, a wood reserve here - about 10 bcm, annual gain - over 110 million m3 [8]. For northern territories economic activity on preparation and processing of wood becomes the prevailing type of environmental management. The largest volumes were prepared in prirechny forests as the river was the main transit artery. The main cabins were conducted along valleys of the Ob Rivers and Irtysh and their navigable and floatable inflows. The wood was used for city building, villages, villages, spent for heating and construction of the river fleet. Sharp reduction of number of fur animals in connection with their injurious destruction and wide circulation of the secondary small-leaved woods not only on cuttings, but also after the wildfires which are often provoked by the person was result of active logging works.

Shirokomasshtabno used water and fish resources. So, by the beginning of the 18th century many farms of taiga and forest-steppe zones were entirely focused on fishery. Around villages, specially created fisheries which are the peculiar fenced-off backwaters on the lake or the river were formed.

The history of formation of modern environmental management in Western Siberia began in the 50th

XX century - the stage of large-scale use of natural resources and systematic transformation of the environment began. The last wave of mass agricultural resettlement on the East connected with development of virgin lands falls on this period; the agricultural type of environmental management consolidated from Russian-resettlement and local native was finally created: in the south in steppe and forest-steppe areas stock-raising grain farms prevailed, meadow and taiga landscapes were used for pastures and crops of oats and a rye, in the tundra and the forest-tundra broader development was gained by hunting, fishery and reindeer breeding [8].

Ideas of natural wealth of Western Siberia and their value gradually changed. If in the XVI century the attention of the Russian industrialists and dealers was attracted first of all by furs, then in XVSh-XIX of centuries land and fodder resources of forest-steppe and steppe zones were of the main value. As a result of such managing the natural steppe landscapes almost completely degraded. Now where earlier raznotravno-tipchakovo-feather-grass and tipchakovo-feather-grass steppes dominated, agricultural areas stretch, and in certain areas the raspakhannost fluctuates from 45 to 90%.

Transformation in the sphere of environmental management especially distinctly began to be shown since the end of the 1960th when the largest fields of hydrocarbons in Western Siberia were explored. From the middle of the last century Western Siberia gains the increasing value as the main oil-and-gas area, the new perspective industry - the oil-extracting industry began to develop here. It caused rapid growth of population in the north, intensive construction of industrial facilities, settlements and consequently, strengthening of anthropogenic impact on the nature - the economic familiarity of some natural areas began to exceed 50% [4].

Formation of the West Siberian fuel and energy complex created a set of environmental problems. In places of oil and gas production since this period it is noted full-scale

environmental pollution: intensive pollution of the air environment and a surface water, hit of cancerogenic elements to the soil and vegetation. All this leads to sharp reduction of fish resources, creates difficulties with water supply. Mining industry in Western Siberia puts a big loss to forest resources. In a number of natural areas about 90% of the wooded area already fall to the share of the secondary woods. Degradation of forests as a result of large-scale anthropogenic influence became a current environmental problem for territories of the Yamal-Nenets and Khanty-Mansi autonomous areas, the Tomsk, Novosibirsk and Kemerovo regions.

Now the economy of Western Siberia develops the accelerated rates, continue to remain main types of environmental management such as, become already traditional, nedro-, leso-, water - and land use. All of them have the expressed regional focus.

For northern regions a basis of modern development are oil and gas resources, the new type of environmental management connected with mining was created here. The most part of local community is engaged in production and transportation of oil and gas. But further development oil and gas production in Western Siberia, accompanied with large volumes of emissions in the atmosphere, pollution of the soil and water, involves deterioration of natural waters, reduction of fish and hunting resources. The solution of environmental problems of this region demands immediate measures as Western Siberia still remains the traditional main supplier of furs which extraction is conducted by northern indigenous peoples. Anthropogenic degradation of cervine pastures became the universal phenomenon in the territory of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area. Complex pollution of almost all natural ecosystems waste when developing oil and gas is especially strongly shown in the Yamal-Nenets and Khanty-Mansi autonomous areas, in the north of the Tomsk region now.

Mineral and resource environmental management which has polyresource character is important for the central regions: large territories, huge amount of air and water, given to coal mines and oil wells, large stocks of construction resources are at the same time used. The mining industry, in particular coal, based on the extensive Kuzbass coal basin has Economikoobrazuyushchy value. With exclusively intensive load of the environment it is allocated Kuznetsk industrial

the area where the powerful enterprises of power industry, coal mining, ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, chemical industry are concentrated.

In the southern parts of Western Siberia the agriculture specializing as in agriculture - application of zernoparovy crop rotations and on the livestock production relying on use of a natural food supply remains a main type of environmental management. The southern steppe and forest-steppe zones differ in the longest and rather profound change of the nature under the influence of economic activity. Chemical pollution of soils is widespread practically on all territory. Active exogenous processes and an ovragoobrazovaniye are observed in Altai Krai, the Omsk and Novosibirsk regions.

Summing up the results, it is possible to note that negative impacts on the environment from a natural and economic complex of the West Siberian region, already considerable, amplify.

Unreasonable economic activity in extensive squares was resulted by almost irreversible changes of the environment which caused significant deterioration in human health, exhaustion of natural and resource potential. The near-term outlook of development of Western Siberia is in most cases connected with the proceeding commodity dependence of the territory. The number of the city-forming enterprises which main activity lies in the sphere leso- and water use, agriculture is reduced. It, in turn,

leads to powerful migration outflow of country people and loss of the labor skills of farming which are saved up for centuries.

Until changes in natural systems led to regional environmental disaster yet, it is necessary to reconsider traditional views of Siberia as on "there is nobody the donor", the supplier of natural resources, as on the extensive territory for waste disposal of anthropogenic activity. It is necessary to realize its territorial importance for Russia, to continue to develop not only primary sector of economy, but also branch of processing industry, to improve social and economic conditions of activity of local community.

Transformations in ways of use of natural and resource potential led to the fact that the next stage of development of the region is so far almost finished - initially available resources are got. These resources were mastered at the minimum expenses, rather simple technologies and extensive methods of development. There came the next stage which is characterized by still rather large volumes of stocks, but their production and processing demand intensive methods, use of more progressive ecologically safe equipment and technology.

Accounting of historical trends of development and the solution of the main above problems of environmental management in Western Siberia will allow to use in fuller measure natural resource base and labor potential of local community which were created in the course of environmental management throughout many centuries.

List of references

Regional environmental management: methods of study, assessment and management / under the editorship of P.Ya. Baklanov, V.P. Karakin: studies. settlement of M.: Lagos, 2002. 160 pages

Komarovo N.G. Geoekologiya and environmental management: studies. the settlement for the highest ped. studies. institutions. M.: To publish. Akademiya center, 2007. 192 pages

L.I. Shinkarev Siberia: from where it went and where it goes. Facts, reflections, forecasts. the 3rd prod., additional Novosibirsk: Zap. - Sib. prince publishing house, 1985. 608 pages

of the Problem of ecological education and education: organizational and methodical bases of implementation of the program of environmental protection of Tomsk / under the editorship of V.V. Ananyev. Tomsk, 1991. 103 pages

Tomsk. The history of the city from the basis up to now / otv. edition of N.M. Dmitriyenko. Tomsk: Publishing house Tom. state. un-that, 1999. 432 pages

F.S. Kuznetsova. History of Siberia. Part I. Accession to Russia: studies. settlement the 2nd prod. Novosibirsk: INFOLIO-Press, 2002. 256 pages N.I. Nikitin. Development of Siberia in the 17th century. M.: Education, 1990. 144 pages

E.M. Rakovskaya, M.I. Davydova. Physical geography of Russia: studies. the settlement for student. the highest ped. institutions: in 2 Parts M.: VLADOS, 2001. Part 1. 288 pages

E.S. Volkova, candidate of geographical sciences, research associate, associate professor.

Institute of monitoring of climatic and ecological systems of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science.

Akademichesky Ave., 10/3, Tomsk, Tomsk region, Russia, 634055.


Material came to edition 29.07.2010.

E. S. Volkova



The historical-geographical and system methods were used to identify and analyse the main stages of nature management in West Siberia. Periodization of the nature management process provides a means of studying quantitative and qualitative transformations of relations between a nature and the man in different areas of West Siberia.

Institute for Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems SB RAS.

Pr. Akademicheskiy, 10/3, Tomsk, Tomsk region, Russia, 634055.


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