ul. Pervomaiskaya 15-1
The Olkhon region in Siberia is an ecologically and geologically distinct region of 6,500 square miles along the west bank of Lake Baikal. It is home to 9,500 ethnic Buryats, who struggle to provide an adequate livelihood for themselves. The Olkhon Center was formed in 1994 and receives USAID funding. It is partnered with the E. F. Schumacher Society, with the goal of training an Olkhon agricultural cooperative extension team to further "sustainable agriculture practices" in the region. The center has focused on providing support and equipment to local production and processing of vegetables and meats.
Since its formation, the OCSA has brought specialists on sustainable agriculture and land planning into the region, and has distributed seeds, tools, and information on food preservation throughout the region. It has also created a training center in the school to teach young people canning and other food preservation techniques.
Current activities include the collection and distribution of information on food preservation. Additionally, the center is working to market and sell traditional hand knit products, and to investigate the possibility of building a wool processing facility.
The center is preparing for a Russian-American land planning team which will work with the village of Tolovka in the summer of 1996 to establish a Community Land Trust for sustainable land use.
OCSA has four part-time personnel, and benefits as well from the participation of school teachers who run the canning center, and a volunteer board which helps to distribute information.
Last updated: January 1997
A print version of much of the information contained in this NIS Third Sector Organizations section can be found in the The Post-Soviet Handbook (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1999).