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“Trickling down or spilling over?”
Mason, Simon
Paper presented at the ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops, Edinburgh, 28 March to 2 April 2003 This paper focuses on the linkages between international and subnational water conflicts in the Eastern Nile and Syr Daria Basins. It follows the notion of “conflict system”, to conceptualize dynamic linkages between different “water conflict arenas”. The aim of our paper is to categorize possible linkages, describe examples and explore implications for water conflict mitigation, with the goal of a better problem-solving potential. Download
Land Resources and Household Strategies in a Changed Socio-economic Environment – Sokuluk River Basin (Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan)
Shigaeva, Jyldyz
This conference paper examines past and current land use and its impact on land resources, as well as the formation of new livelihood strategies in a post soviet environment. The paper explores the case of a side valley (the Sokuluk River Basin, SRB) of the Chuy valley in northern Kyrgyzstan. This semiarid, and intensively irrigated area is one of the country’s most important breadbasket. Open Science Conference on Global Change in Mountain Regions, Perth, Scotland, 2-6 October 2005 Download
Changing Land Rights, Changing Land Use
Eriksson, Camilla
The aim of this paper is to identify, document and analyse the change in land use systems as a consequence of the privatisation of agriculture in Kyrgyzstan. Download
Anthropogenic dynamic and transformation of Kyrgyz range vegetation
Shigaeva, Jyldyz
In Russian. Proceedings of IUK Conference, November 25-26, 2005. Vol. 4. Bishkek, pp 225-235. Download
Dangerous Divisions: Irrigation Disputes and Conflict Transformation in the Ferghana Valley
Bichsel, Christine
PhD Thesis, University of Bern, Switzerland "The present study focuses on irrigation disputes and 'conflict transformation' in Central Asia. It analyses three projects by international and bilateral donors who share common approach to transforming irrgation conflicts in the Ferghana Valley. [...] Three major research foci guide this study. First, it addresses the environment-conflict nexus. It explores the relationship between irrigation and the occurence of inter-group conflict. Second, the thesis examines the prescriptive approach of 'conflict transformation'. It focuses on the norms and values that construe conflict and its mitigation. Third, the research addresses the issue of power. It examines both conflicts and interventions studied for their embeddedness in power relations." For further information, please contact the author
National and International Labour Migration
Rohner, Irene
Master's Thesis, University of Zurich, Switzerland Download
Land resources and household strategies in a changed soci-economic environment.
Shigaeva, Jyldyz
The sudden independence of Kyrgyzstan from the Soviet Union in 1991 led to a total rupture of industrial and agricultural production. Based on empirical data, this study seeks to identify key land use transformation processes since the late 1980s, their impact on people’s livelihoods and the implication for natural resources in the communes of Tosh Bulak and Saz, located in the Sokoluk River Basin on the northern slope of the Kyrgyz Range. In: Price M F, editor. Global Change in Mountain Regions. Sapiens, Duncow, Dumfriesshire, UK, pp. 227-228. Abstract.
"Should I buy a cow or a TV?"
Bichsel, Christine
International labour migration has become a strategy against poverty in many parts of the developing world. By remitting their earnings to the families they leave behind, migrant labourers have become a primary source of livelihoods for many of the world's poorest nations. The long-term consequences of this practice on local development are the subject of this study, based on reseach conducted in three rural communities in Mexico, India and Kyrgyzstan. NCCR North-South Dialogue 2005 Download
The impact of land use and climate on the river runoff of Sokuluk River Basin
Ershova, Natasha
PhD Thesis, Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, Kazakhstan For further information please contact the author
Livelihoods in transition
Shigaeva, Jyldyz
PhD Thesis, International University of Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyzstan For further information please contact the author
Anthropogenic dynamics and transformation of vegetation of pre-mountainous pastures of the Sokuluk River Basin.
Shigaeva, Jyldyz
Proceedings of IUK Conference, in Russian. Proceedings of IUK Conference, November 25-26, 2005. Vol. 4. Bishkek, pp. 210-219. Download
Substantiation of selection of research region on sustainable water resources management on the irrigation systems of Chui Valley of Kyrgyzstan
Ivanova, Natalia
The choice of the research region on sustainable water resource management is based on history, topography, river network, water distribution, geology, and soils. Focus is put on the effects of the economic transition and the availability of data on climate and soil. Based on that six criteria were defined and used for selection leading to the conclusion that Sokuluk river is a typical one for Chuy Valley of Kyrgyzstan. Bulletin of Agrarian Science. Download
Researching the future of pastoralism in Central Asia's mountains: Examining development orthodoxies
Kerven, Carol
This paper synthesizes research findings on contemporary mountain pastoralism in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, based on a longer review characterizing mountain agropastoralism in Central Asia. We focus here on the principal issues that have been emphasized over the past two decades in policy, programs, and projects regarding pastoralism in Central Asia's mountains. We conclude that this emphasis has largely been driven by two unproven orthodoxies about - The extent and causes of pasture degradation; and - The need for decentralization and pasture land privatization. Kerven C, Steimann B, Dear C, Ashley L. 2012. Researching the future of pastoralism in Central Asia's mountains: Examining development orthodoxies. Mountain Research and Development 32(3):368-377. Available here
Access to Water for irrigation in Post-Soviet Agriculture
Lindberg, Emma
Master's Thesis, University of Zurich, Switzerland For further information, please contact: Emma Lindberg
Natural resources in Kyrgyzstan
Bichsel, Christine
Poster presented at the ICRD, International Conference on Research for Development. 2.-4.7.2008, Berne, Switzerland. Download
Sustainable Use of Natural Resources in the Sokuluk River Basin.
Mamytova, Aina Oskonbaevna
Description of a seminar including purposes, tasks, programme, methodology, and training processes of the seminar. In a second part results and conclusions from each 'day sessions' are presented. Report from the ALS-Workshop commissioned to CAMP, Bielagorka, 2-5 August 2004. Download
Negotiating sustainable regional development – the relevance of meaningful spaces in times of change.
Liechti, Karina
PhD Thesis, University of Bern, Switzerland The thesis contributes to an improved understanding of how the ecological dimension becomes manifest in the negotiation of sustainable regional development, how meanings about an issue under negotiation are constructed, and whose ascribed meanings are decisive in concretising a way forward.
Making a Living in Uncertainty: Agro-Pastoral Livelihoods and Institutional Transformations in Post-Socialist Rural Kyrgyzstan
Steimann, Bernd
Why is rural Kyrgyzstan experiencing widespread poverty and a considerable divide between the wealthy and the poor – despite twenty years of independence and sustained efforts to reform the rural economy? Drawing on an innovative livelihoods perspective with a focus on institutions, the author illustrates how the Kyrgyz agrarian reforms of the 1990s have fundamentally altered rural property relations. Not only have the reforms redefined the economic value and social significance of land and other resources, they have redefined the livelihood prospects of the rural population. Existing disparities between the asset-rich and the asset-poor have been reinforced, and their social relations have increasingly become embedded in a poorly regulated economic system. The book provides a vivid example of the long-term effects of an agrarian “shock therapy” and shows how the introduction of seemingly “robust” institutions runs the risk of widening the existing gap between the rich and the poor. Download book (10.1 MB)
Legal and institutional framework for empowerment of rural populations in the Kyrgyz Republic
Ibraimova, Asel
PhD Thesis, University of Bern, Switzerland For further information please contact the author
Student mobility, experiences of return and employment in Kyrgyzstan
Thieme, Susan
The SRC’s Research Fellows Working Paper, October 2011 >>Download
Towards a System Dynamics Framework for Understanding Interactions of Head- and Tail-Users in Irrigation Systems in Kyrgyzstan
Gallati, Justus
Conference paper for the 24th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society July 23-27, 2006 Nijmegen, The Netherlands The paper outlines a conceptual framework for a dynamic model for collective irrigation management. Furthermore a preliminary causal loop diagram for the interaction of upstream- and downstream users is presented. The study builds on the results of a workshop with local participants in Kyrgyzstan on sustainable regional development and on the literature on collective resource management. Download
Problems of managing water resources for the irrigation systems of Kyrgyzstan under market economy conditions
Ivanova, Natalia
Presentation on Irrkutsk Scientific Conference. In Russian Irrkutsk Scientific Conference, Institute of Geography, pp. 185 - 187. Download
Conflicting strategies for contested resources: Pastoralists' responses to uncertainty in post-socialist rural Kyrgyzstan
Steimann, Bernd
Based on a case study in rural Kyrgyzstan, this chapter explores the multiple constraints which shape agro-pastoral practices today and how local households respond to them. To do so, it distinguishes between different forms of uncertainty, that is, social and political, livelihoods, knowledge and ecological uncertainties. Results show that Kyrgyz agro-pastoralists must respond to much more than ecological uncertainties only, and that the extent of these uncertainties differs a lot between the rich and the poor. Steimann B. 2012. Conflicting strategies for contested resources: Pastoralists' responses to uncertainty in post-socialist rural Kyrgyzstan. In: Kreutzmann H. (editor). Pastoral Practices in High Asia. Agency of 'development' effected by modernisation, resettlement and transformation. Dordrecht, Heidelberg, New York, London: Springer, pp. 145-160. Available here
Tracing glacier wastage in the Northern Tien Shan (Kyrgyzstan / Central Asia) over the last 40 years
Niederer, Peter
The status and dynamics of glaciers are crucial for agriculture in semiarid parts of Central Asia, since river flow is characterized by major runoff in spring and summer, supplied by glacier- and snowmelt. Ideally, this coincides with the critical period of water demand for irrigation. The present study shows a clear trend in glacier retreat between 1963 and 2000 in the Sokoluk watershed. The overall area loss of 28% between 1963–2000, and a clear acceleration of wastage since the 1980s, correlate with the results of previous studies. In particular, glaciers smaller than 0.5 km2 have exhibited this phenomenon most starkly. While they registered a medium decrease of only 9.1% for 1963–1986, they lost 41.5% of their surface area between 1986 and 2000. Furthermore, an increase in the minimum glacier elevation of 78 m has been observed over the last three decades. This corresponds to about one-third of the entire retreat of the minimum glacier elevation in the Northern Tien Shan since the Little Ice Age maximum. Climatic Change 86(1-2):227–234. Download
Migration and Livestock Farming: Competing or Complementary Livelihood Strategies
Schoch, Nadia
The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to the breakdown of a complex economic system and resulted in a huge economic crisis and rising poverty in Kyrgyzstan. As a consequence, predominantly economically motivated migration became an important livelihood strategy to diversify the sources of income. Remittances sent to the remaining relatives have become an essential income source for many households. Besides labour migration, livestock farming with the use of pastures remains important for rural ivelihoods. Though, evidence from research reveals, that on the one hand livestock farming is increasingly financed through remittances. On the other hand, migration leads to absence of work forces on household level. This setting of either complementing of competing livelihood strategies in rural areas of Kyrgyzstan are analysed within this study. The aim of the study is to understand the effects of migration on household organisation and livestock farming. Download
Natural resource institutions in transformation: The tragedy and glory of the private
Bichsel, Christine
The article focuses on continuity and change in natural resource institutions in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan. Two main trends have characterised the management of water, agricultural land and pastures since the country became independent in 1991. First, while natural resources were collective and state-owned during the Soviet period, they are now being gradually privatised and passed into individual or group ownership. Second, by contrast with central administration under the Soviet regime, after independence natural resource management has been and is increasingly being decentralised to the community level. We suggest that these processes have created a new concept of the ‘private’, defined as clearly assigned property rights as opposed to ‘commons’, and individual or group ownership as opposed to ‘public’ ownership. We attempt here to analyse how privatisation and decentralisation have created new property relations and new forms of natural resource governance. In: Hurni H, Wiesmann U, editors; with an international group of co-editors. Global Change and Sustainable Development: A Synthesis Regional Experiences from Research Partnerships. Perspectives of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, University of Bern, Vol. 5. Bern, Switzerland: Geographica Bernensia, pp 255-269. Download