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Finding a place to feed: Kyrgyz shepherds & pasture loss

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"The foolish shepherd could overgraze pasture in one day" traditional Kyrgyz saying Kyrgyzstan, Tian Shan Mountains, Naryn Region My name is Sariev Dootkasy. Now I am fourty five Our income is mostly from livestock breeding We keep our own livestock and other people's too. There are different grasses on this pasture. The pasture has sunny and shady slopes. Sunny slopes have Kokomeren, Betege and Shivak grasses. Shady slopes mainly have thin grasses. The wetlands have Olon chop and Kemirchek grasses. My name is Anarkul Bakirdynova and I am thirty seven years old. I have three daughters and two sons, this daughter is Aidana. She's five and the eldest son is seventeen. My husband's name is Dootkasy. Together with him, we are grazing livestock. We make felt and treat the wool. During the day, we do routine work. Washing, and coooking. Every two and a half hours, we milk the mares. During all this time, we are preparing food. We do this until evening. Fir trees are becoming rarer and the water is decreasing. The forest provides cool air and shade to cattle. All is connected in nature and its good that firewood and water is close. We noticed some trees are starting to dry out and go yellow. Many of them are falling down because of the wind. Last year, we had dry weather, there was no rain and the grass dried out. Because of the dry grass, the livestock suffered and provided less milk. Also, it was difficult for the sheep. Because of the deep amount of snow, there was a hunger amongst the livstock. Some of the livestock died and the mares provided less foles, so we have a smaller herd. Changes in climate have occured. The surrounding glaciers never used to melt during the summer time, now, they have dried out. Because of last winter's snow, they survived this summer but they are small. Last year, you could not even see the glaciers on the mountains. To compare the glacier size from before, when we used to drop rocks down into its crevasses, we knew from its echo that the glacier was higher than a tree. Now, such glaciers have completely disappeared. Livestock should be grazed during early morning coolness, not in the hot afternoon sun, otherwise they will not get fat. the hot weather has a negative impact. Its is harmful for people. particularly for people with high blood pressure. People are also affected by sunstroke. The yurt is very good for resting. The yurt provides shade and its cool inside. In former times, we kept strict pasture schedules. Now we also try to do this, but each farmer doesn't follow this strictly because of lack of technical and economic possibilities. We have winter, summer and spring pastures. We have to choose the right location of pasture for breeding, which pasture for when it rains, and which pasture for when it is hot. We are united with the forest and nature and nature is united with humans. The weather is also strongly related. As a result of declining precipition, the share of arid and semi-arid zones in Kyrgyzstan could increase from 15% in 2000 as high as 50% in 2100. The area and productivity of the highland pastures in the inner Tian Shan, Ak-Say and Alai Valleys may significantly reduce. Kyrgyzstan's glaciers are predicted to reduce from 64% in 2000 to 95% in 2100. [source: Kyrgyz Republic's Second National Communication to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change 2009] Director Ivan Golovnev Made in association with Aleine Ecological Movement of Kyrgyzstan, Professor Emil Shukurov and The Christensen Fund

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 9 seconds
Country: Kyrgyzstan
Language: English
Producer: United Nations university/Aleine Ecological Movement of kyrgyzstan
Director: Ivan Golovnev
Views: 97
Posted by: unuchannel on Dec 29, 2009

Shepherd Dootkasy and his wide Anarkul share their family's observations and traditional adaptation to the changing climate in highland pastures of Kyrgyzstan's Tian Shan mountains.

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