Transformation Processes in the Eastern Pamirs of Tajikistan. Changing Land Use Practices, Possible Ecological Degradation and Sustainable Development
The dissolution of the USSR and the independence of Tajikistan resulted in significant structural changes in the political and socio-economic frame conditions. In particular, the Eastern Pamir, as a peripheral and ecological disadvantaged region, has been affected in all its socio-economic exchange patterns. The Pamir region was especially dependent on subsidies provided by the economic integration into the Soviet supply system. Animal husbandry has been the allocated task and one of the few economic activities feasible. Fossil energy, basic food and other commodities for daily and episodic use have to be imported. In consequence of the political changes the market access for meat and related products has been partly lost. Presently imports occur under competitive free market conditions.
The results of changed frame conditions are shortages in the food and energy supply causing an increased vulnerability of the people. Besides strong external factors with severe effects on local livelihoods internal reasons contribute to insecure living standards and possible negative ecological effects as well. The main reason is the transition from a collective, state-controlled to an individual or cooperative use of the pastures. Due to the conversion from public to private control and management land access rights are under negotiation and the irrigation of winter pastures has collapsed. This leads to a probable degradation of pastures which might be enhanced by a growing and unsustainable collection of firewood. The project aims at clarifying the coherence of the socio-economic and ecological frame conditions and quantification based on remote sensing and geo-ecological methods. Based on envisaged research results concepts for the improvement of livelihood strategies might be derived.
- funded by Volkswagen Foundation