University of Central Asia’s Mountain Societies Research Centre and partners launch Herders’ Manual in the Kyrgyz Republic
19 October 2011, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic – The University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Mountain Societies Research Centre and the National Centre for Competence in Research North-South (NCCR North-South) launched its Herders’ Manual for the use of pasture committees and livestock herders of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The event featured a panel discussion with 20 herders from Osh, Jalal-Abad, Batken, Suusamyr, Chui, Naryn and Issyk-Kul regions, including those originally interviewed during the information collection stage for this manual. The launching event was moderated by Mr. Abdumalik Egemberdiev, Director of Pasture Department in Agriculture Ministry of the Kyrgyz Republic. The participating herders, the contributing specialists and the pasture department members shared their experience and discussed the strategy for the implementation of the Herders’ Manual through on the job capacity building of the pasture committees in the country.
The manual was developed as a tool to facilitate capacity development of village institutions, herders and other relevant stakeholders for the sustainable management of pastures. Supported by the Mountain Partnership and The Christensen Fund, it aims to share knowledge and promote the adaptation of innovative and sustainable livestock and pasture management practices, and contribute to a positive change in livestock management and sustainable pasture management in rural areas of the Kyrgyz Republic.
“In 2010 and 2011, local researchers used both primary and secondary research methods to collect information on pasture plants, pasture monitoring and pasture pest control, as well as livestock breeding, health and production management. This community participatory approach enabled researchers to link herder’s knowledge with existing scientific data,” said Dr. Nasreen Dhanani, Deputy Director and Director of Research, University of Central Asia.
In June 2011, the draft manual was shared with field experts, researchers and participants at the International Symposium on “Pastoralism in Central Asia: Status, Challenges and Opportunities in Mountain Areas” to ensure relevance and usability of the final manual. It was attended by more than 140 researchers, policy makers, and development practitioners from Central Asian countries including Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Other international participants in the symposium came from Mongolia, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Australia, the United States, West Africa, and Europe.
“The manual blends traditional and scientific knowledge to provide simple, effective tools for improving both animal and pasture productivity and consists of three main sections: Key Pasture Plants, Pasture Management, and Livestock Management. Data is organised in a digestible and easy-to-use format for herders, planners, and scientists,” said Dr Inam-ur-Rahim, Senior Research Fellow and manual’s co-author.
The Mountain Societies Research Centre (MSRC) is a university-wide, interdisciplinary research center dedicated to addressing the challenges and opportunities within Central Asian mountain communities and environments. The MSRC’s goal is to support and enhance the resilience and quality of life of mountain societies through sound research on the sustainable development and management of their physical, social, economic and cultural assets.
The report is available in English and Kyrgyz online at: http://www.ucentralasia.org/Resources/Library