Theme 6: Pastoralism--Oral Sessions

Presenter Information

Daler Kaziev, Cornell University

Description

Herding practices among semi-settled agropastoral communities in the Pamir-Alai Mountains of Central Asia are subject to seasonal variations, making climate change adaptation urgent. Livestock keeping is an essential part of the local economy in the Alai Valley of Kyrgyzstan. Focusing on collaborative efforts to develop traditional ecological calendars in the village of Sary-Mogol, Alai valley, Kyrgyzstan, this study seeks to demonstrate the relationship between snow and herding practices.There are four distinct seasonal migration patterns such as baarloo spring, summering jailoo, autumn kyzdoo and wintering kyshtoo. The relationship between these migration patterns and biophysical events such as snow accumulation (fall), snow cover (winter) and snowmelt (spring) and snow free (summer) has not been examined, yet these relationships are critical to anticipating climate change impacts on seasonal decisions of the local herders. Based on qualitative analysis of forty semi-structured interviews among herders and farmers in Sary-Mogol village over three field seasons, we developed a pastoral calendar for the community. Traditional ecological calendars are a type of place-based knowledge about the cycle of repeated ecological events (biophysical cues) that can be tracked to time livelihood activities. Our results show that snow accumulation, snow cover, snowmelt and snow free periods are essential cues to anticipate snow cover change and seasonal herding decisions. The revitalized ecological calendar is an example of building anticipatory capacity in response to climatic changes at the village level. Therefore, similar calendars could be revitalized for other agropastoral communities in specific places and climatic conditions.

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Revitalizing Pastoral Calendars: Snowcover, Seasonal Migration, and Pastoral Decisions from Alai Valley of Kyrgyzstan

Herding practices among semi-settled agropastoral communities in the Pamir-Alai Mountains of Central Asia are subject to seasonal variations, making climate change adaptation urgent. Livestock keeping is an essential part of the local economy in the Alai Valley of Kyrgyzstan. Focusing on collaborative efforts to develop traditional ecological calendars in the village of Sary-Mogol, Alai valley, Kyrgyzstan, this study seeks to demonstrate the relationship between snow and herding practices.There are four distinct seasonal migration patterns such as baarloo spring, summering jailoo, autumn kyzdoo and wintering kyshtoo. The relationship between these migration patterns and biophysical events such as snow accumulation (fall), snow cover (winter) and snowmelt (spring) and snow free (summer) has not been examined, yet these relationships are critical to anticipating climate change impacts on seasonal decisions of the local herders. Based on qualitative analysis of forty semi-structured interviews among herders and farmers in Sary-Mogol village over three field seasons, we developed a pastoral calendar for the community. Traditional ecological calendars are a type of place-based knowledge about the cycle of repeated ecological events (biophysical cues) that can be tracked to time livelihood activities. Our results show that snow accumulation, snow cover, snowmelt and snow free periods are essential cues to anticipate snow cover change and seasonal herding decisions. The revitalized ecological calendar is an example of building anticipatory capacity in response to climatic changes at the village level. Therefore, similar calendars could be revitalized for other agropastoral communities in specific places and climatic conditions.