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Kerven C.,Odessa Center | Steimann B.,HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation | Dear C.,University of Central Asia | Ashley L.,Aga Khan Foundation
Mountain Research and Development | Year: 2012

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. The paper proposes that new research should critically assess these orthodoxies through more empirical and long-term field research. This will yield practical applications to improve conditions for Central Asian mountain pastoralists and their environment. Pursuing measures for addressing pasture degradation will require determinations of whether, where, how, and why degradation and desertification are occurring. Detailed field research is also called for on the processes and effects of decentralizing the power to allocate and manage pasture resources from national and regional state authorities to local communities, as well as on the long-term effects of privatizing pasture land. © International Mountain Society.

Bishwakarma B.K.,HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation | Dahal N.R.,Kathmandu University | Allen R.,HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation | Rajbhandari N.P.,HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation | And 4 more authors.
Climate and Development | Year: 2015

Simple and widely adopted sustainable soil management (SSM) practices, especially improvements in the management and quality of farmyard manure (FYM), have enabled many thousands of small-scale farmers in the Middle Hills of Nepal to increase organic matter in their soils. This has been achieved without increases in livestock numbers or in the quantity of manure available. The organic matter contents have increased in all of five time series of on-farm topsoil monitoring over periods of one to three years, at rates varying from 2% to 27%. Overall, the increase from 3.3% organic matter to almost 3.8% was highly significant. Systematic full-profile comparisons of forest soils against arable soils with and without SSM showed that the benefits are not confined to the topsoils, and that there were some lesser increases in the subsoils. Sustainable land management and improved FYM quality significantly improved total nitrogen levels. The effects on available P and K were inconsistent and only occasionally significant, with some indication of K decline in topsoils. The enhanced organic matter status of the soils was also reported to improve structure, workability, and moisture characteristics. The increase in soil organic matter can partially offset some of the substantial losses of carbon storage incurred when the forests were originally cleared, and contributes to the sequestration of atmospheric CO2. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

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