Listening to the herding community in Kyrgyzstan

An important part of the SIBELIUs project involves working with herders at selected case study sites to understand their requirements for information about pasture and to ensure their voices and priorities are heard in the development and distribution of new satellite-derived environmental products.

During February and March 2020, Batbuyan Batjav from CNPS and Aibek Karabaev from Mercy Corps conducted fieldwork at the project’s two test sites where they interviewed people from 201 herding households.

Batbuyan Batjav took many photographs during the fieldwork, which show life in the farming and herding communities and highlight many of the issues relating to pasture. In the following photographs the Ak Muz and Kazybek villages are in the At Bashy raion in the Naryn oblast, while the Ak Bashat and Jayyl villages are both from the Jayyl raion in the northern oblast of Chuy.

Figure 1. Yak grazing.
Yak grazing near Ak Muz village. Yak are very hardy animals and provide increased resilience for herding families.
Figure 2. The Pasture Committee office.
The Ak Muz Pasture Committee office.
Figure 3. A traditional Kyrgyz Taigan hunting dog
A traditional Kyrgyz Taigan hunting dog.
Figure 4. Melting snow
Melting snow provides a large percentage of the water needed for herding. Many herders are reporting that lower levels of snow are leading to water shortages.
Figure 5. On the move with livestock.
On the move with livestock.
Figure 6. Donkeys
Donkeys are often used for transport in Kyrgyzstan.
Figure 7. A herd on snowy pasture.
A herd on snowy pasture near Ak Muz village.
Figure 8. Typically these animals
These animals will typically feed on hay in the morning and out on the pasture in the afternoon.
Figure 9. Two camels
Two camels in a winter field.
Figure 12. The head of the Kazybek Pasture Committee
The head of the Kazybek Pasture Committee.
Figure 10. A key element of winter preparations
A key part of winter preparations involves storing sufficient hay for the animals. At Ak Bashat village.
Figure 11. Poor infrastructure
Pasture Committees often commission work to improve infrastructure, particularly regarding roads and bridges.
Figure 13. Water from the mountain
Water from the mountains is used to irrigate hayfield pasture.
Figure 14. Livestock and winter forage
Livestock and winter forage, the key element for surviving the winter.
Figure 15. Moving from one grazing area to another.
Moving from one grazing area to another.
Figure 16. A cultivated field in early spring
A cultivated field in early spring outside Jayyl village.
Figure 17. Naryn city
When Batbuyan and Aibek were working in the southern Naryn region, they stayed in a hotel in the Naryn city, which is long and thin, being sandwiched between two mountain ranges.


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