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Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities Development Plan

Sakhalin Energy has been working with the indigenous peoples since its foundation in 1994. Since 2006, the Company has been implementing a partnership programme called the Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities Development Plan (SIMDP) — in collaboration with the Regional Council of authorised representatives of the Sakhalin North indigenous peoples and the Sakhalin Oblast Government.

Sakhalin indigenous peoples belong to four main ethnic groups: Nivkhs, Evenkis, Uilta and Nanais

The objectives of SIMDP are to:

  • improve the quality of life of the indigenous peoples of Sakhalin with the help of social development programmes suitable to the cultural characteristics of indigenous peoples;
  • promote the development of the potential of the indigenous peoples and their active participation in the implementation of the assistance plan, as well as the development and implementation of other economic, social, and cultural programmes;
  • assist the indigenous peoples in the preparation of the independent fund for sustainable development of the indigenous peoples; and
  • prevent or reduce the negative impact of the Company's activities on the indigenous peoples.

All decisions on the distrubution of funds should be taken by the representatives of the indigenous peoples elected from each district of their traditional habitation.

SIMDP is based on the international standards concerning indigenous peoples and including the principle of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). It was recorded in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) and is included in the new Performance Standard 7 on Indigenous Peoples of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Sakhalin Energy has become the first Industrial company to apply this standard successfully when interacting with society.

One of the significant tools to support the trusted and transparent relationships with the indigenous peoples is the Grievance Procedure, which streamlines the process of receiving, registering, and resolving grievances related to the implementation of the Development Plan).

The Procedure was developed with the participation of the representatives of indigenous peoples on the basis of general principles of the Grievance Procedure adopted by Sakhalin Energy.

One of the key areas for support under the Plan - traditional economic activities


Annual Monitoring of the Implementation of the Development Plan provides an opportunity to assess its effectiveness and to determine the need for changes in the programme.

The programme's awards:

2007 – International Finance Corporation (IFC) (a department of the World Bank Group for operations with private sector) included the experience of the development and implementation of the development Plan into its edition Stakeholders Engagement: a Guide of Successful Practices.

2008 – choice of the interaction model used within the framework of the Development Plan is recommended for use by the state authorities of the Russian Federation constituent entities (subsequent to the results of hearings in the RF Federation Council in 2008).

2010 – the SIMDP became a contest winner for the best social programme Good Deed in the nominated category of Cultural Revival at the All-Russian Festival of Social Programmes CoOperation.

2010 - the Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities Development Plan received the main award in the all-Russian Corporate Philanthropy Leaders contest.

2011 – the UN Global Compact Network Russia, jointly with the RF Public Chamber and the Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, held an international conference “UN Global Compact in Russia: Business and Indigenous People”. At this conference, Sakhalin Energy presented its experience of cooperation with indigenous minorities. As a result, the Company’s experience was included in the guidelines “Indigenous Peoples and Industrial Companies: Best Practices of Cooperation in the Russian Federation”.

2011 – at the 10th Annual Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (New York, USA 2011), the experience of tripartite cooperation under the SIMDP was approved as the best world approach for engagement.

2012 – the Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities Development Plan was included into the UN Global Compact International Yearbook 2011.

2012 – as a result of the off-site meeting of the Committee for Federal Structure, Regional Policy, Local Self-Governance and Affairs of the North of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation held in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the Plan was recommended for use by public authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

2014 – the Plan became a winner in nomination “Social projects” of “KonTEKst” contest hold by the Ministry of Energy of Russian Federation.

2014 – at the World Petroleum Congress Indigenous Minorities Development Plan presented by Sakhalin Energy was named one of the three finalists selected by the jury in the Social Responsibility category. Company also presented its experience in engaging with the Indigenous Minorities at a special site, Social Responsibility Global Village.

2015 – Sakhalin Energy’s exhibition stand Sakhalin: Cultural Heritage of Mankind received an award for The Best Thematic Exhibition: the Relevance and Professionalism at the Exhibition-Fair Treasures of the North – 2015. 

2016 – Sakhalin Energy became the awardee in the nomination Development of Local Communities and Volunteering at the IX Annual International Contest and Corporate Project Forum People Investor: Companies Investing in People. The winning project was dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Vladimir Sangi, the founder of Nivkh literature. On this occasion, Sakhalin Energy suggested holding a number of events at the local, federal and international levels. The idea was supported by the Sakhalin Oblast government. 

2016 – Sakhalin Energy’s exhibition stand Sakhalin Treasury Trove: Traditions and Innovations at the Exhibition-Fair Treasures of the North – 2016 was awarded two diplomas for preservation and support of the cultural heritage of Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities and for its contribution to the preservation of SIM culture and languages. 

2016 – Sakhalin Energy was announced the winner of the KonTEKst contest for its Social Projects. The winning project Preservation and Promotion of the Cultural and Linguistic Heritage of the Nivkh People of Sakhalin was dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Vladimir Sangi, the famous Nivkh writer. The project included printing of numerous publications as well as events that have taken place on Sakhalin, in Moscow and internationally. 

2017 – Sakhalin Energy won the Catchword All-Russian Public Award for the Preservation of Linguistic Diversity. The winning project Preservation and Promotion of the Cultural and Linguistic Heritage of the Nivkh People of Sakhalin, dedicated to the work of Vladimir Sangi, the famous Nivkh writer, received a special award as a Socially Responsible Business. 

2018 – the Sakhalin Oblast’s exhibition stand How the Earth was Born that was presented by Sakhalin Energy and the Regional Council of Authorised Representatives of Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities won the Grand Prix at the Treasures of the North International Exhibition and Fair. 

2018 – the Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities Development Plan was pronounced the winner of the Russian National Ranking Corporate Charity Leaders 2018 for its programme promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (this ranking was co-sponsored by the United Nations in the Russian Federation). 

2019 – the Sakhalin Oblast’s exhibition stand in the form of a Nivkh boat with a fish skin sail won the Grand Prix in The Best Regional Exposition as part of the Treasures of the North International Exhibition and Fair. 

The Company also implements other projects aimed at preserving the culture and the development of the potential of indigenous peoples. Detailed information can be found on the website www.simdp.ru