The state of the environment and trends in mountain areas

Feb 25, 12 The state of the environment and trends in mountain areas

The state of the environment and trends in mountain areas

A. The past two decades show an increasing estimate of the mountains as a major, global ecosystem of the source of economic, cultural and environmental resources of the world community.

According to the UN Centre for the Study of Our Common Future (Center for our common Future, 1993), mountain ecosystems, occupying one-fifth of the earth's surface, with 10% of the world and being a rich and unique centers of ethnic, cultural and biological diversity, pantries hydropower and mineral resources will be directly HH1 century to determine the quality of life for more than half of humanity, which will undoubtedly affect the pace and quality of human development in general.

But historically, that the development of mountain communities and areas characterized by political and economic marginality with respect to the surrounding lowland areas and government centers of power. The inhabitants of the mountains almost no effect on the national and regional decisions and actions, even when it comes to decisions directly affect the fate of resources to ensure their lives. Learn more about KOMATSU service manual!

Analysis of the Mountain Forum (1997) showed that the inhabitants of mountain areas, remote from the political, cultural and administrative centers are experiencing increased difficulty in meeting their spiritual, social, economic and household needs, as well as the lack of state control and security.

All this leads to exclusion, marginalization and poverty of mountain residents, illegal cultivation of illicit crops, plants containing narcotics, smuggling, poaching, and illegal gang hideout groups. For this reason, the mountains are increasingly becoming a zone of tension and conflict.

Historically, the mountains, with their large vegetable, animal, water and mineral resources that are hosted on a relatively small spaces, have been and remain an ever-increasing scale suppliers of resources for lowland civilizations. Summer grazing, logging, mining, engineering, construction of dams, mines, roads, and much more – the arena of exploitation of mountain areas for the prosperity of the plains. By the end of XX century economic and social situation of mountain areas and the people inhabiting them on all the continents became negative: poverty, population, depopulation, degradation ekosredy and resources, the loss of ethnic and cultural traditions, ethnic tensions, conflicts, migration and information problems.

This traditional lifestyle, this so-called development of the mountains have to be radically changed by creating a new global strategy for sustainable development of mountain areas. In addition, mountain ecosystems are complex, fragile, sensitive to tectonic processes on global climate change, as well as human impact. This leads to extreme geotectonic, weather and climate, environmental situations and disasters. With increasing availability of the mountains and the acceleration of the pace of their socio-economic development in the new millennium, these threats, if not to take preventive action, will continue to grow: soil erosion, combined with the high seismicity, is increasingly leading to landslides, mudslides and avalanches, the permanent changes terrain and environmental conditions.

Therefore, in the last decade of XX century, more and more sound and urgent issue for the need for political, institutional and social action for the protection and sustainable development of mountain areas of the planet. Not accidentally, the International UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), Agenda XXI century is formulated as a Managing fragile ecosystems: sustainable mountain development.

The world's attention to global problems of mountain areas, harmonization and adoption of relevant programs, decisions and actions will ensure the sustainable development of mountains, and their positive impact on the progress of mankind, to prevent or neutralize, at least, reduce the negative impacts of geo-tectonic, climatic and environmental disasters and to promote harmonious socio-economic, ethnic and cultural formation of mountain peoples and countries.

At the global, regional, national, regional and local levels to solve a difficult dilemma: on the one hand it is necessary to develop a strategy to preserve and protect the natural environment of mountains, on the other hand, to ensure the socio-economic development of mountainous countries and territories, and rational, environmentally safe, exploitation of mining resources.

To solve this dilemma requires a complex organizational, legal, conventional, research and other efforts by international organizations, national governments, nongovernmental agencies, research centers, local authorities and the public of the mountain (Global Agreement, the global policy recommendations of international mechanisms, national mechanisms and local mechanisms (Byull. Mountain Forum № 0, Pilot issue, 1997, p. 5-6). Emergency povysotnaya, climate, soil, temperature and light heterogeneity in a mountain environment, its relative inaccessibility, very favorable for the natural biological diversity.

For example, in Kyrgyzstan, a relatively small area constituting only 0.13% of total land area of ​​the planet, a sufficiently large representation of almost all taxonomic groups. If the number of birds per thousand square kilometers in the whole world is equal to 0.012, in Kyrgyzstan – 1.86.

The world community, to individual states, and especially in front of the mountain country, a noble, a strategic task to keep these, often the last bastions of biological diversity, these islands in the ocean long ago changed the plain land is unsuitable for the survival of many species of plants and animals. Every year 4-5 thousand species are disappearing, which is 10 thousand times greater than the natural rate of extinction. The growing population of people brought together a variety of organisms to such low levels that had not been on earth since the end of the Mesozoic era, ie, last 65 million years.

The task of saving species is not simple, because mountain islands of endemic plant and animal species face an ever-increasing human pressure: acid rain, global warming, deforestation and soil narrows an already narrow habitat range, and inability to move into other kinds of latitude makes them especially vulnerable. For example, in Kyrgyzstan, the biomass of man and farm animals on the order of magnitude higher than the total biomass of wild animals and birds! In other words, the 500 species of wild animals and birds is 10-20 times less resources than 10 domesticated species. It is clear that 10 species – a reduction of resistance, while 500 species – its preservation.

Two. Negative trends in the development of mountain areas are especially pronounced in Central Asia.

Extensive use of mountain resources, land in the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union, the difficulties of state formation, reduced production, the destruction of regional and interregional economic, cultural and information links, social and medical protection, and more people put the mountains of Central Asia to the brink of survival. (Data APMIN, CSD, 1997, ICIMOD, 1997).

Prior to the Government, public and departmental agencies, research centers and public organizations of the Central Asian mountain regions are difficult problems of transition to a conscious nationality, ethnic (regional) development policies in mountain areas. Will create a national mining programs such as exist in some countries (Switzerland, Austria, Pakistan, Nepal), as well as to develop and approve an interstate convention (Mountain Charter) to address the transboundary mountain issues.

Understanding the complexity of solving these problems, the President and the Government of the Republic of Kyrgyzskoy show the political initiative and contacted in 1998 by UN Secretary-General and the heads of many states with a proposal to proclaim the International Year of Mountains, in order to:

a) focus the international community to address the mountain of problems, not only at national but at regional, interregional and global levels, increased participation in the process of international organizations, governments and nongovernmental organizations, public and media;

b) to convince the international community, governments of countries in the mountain need to move the mountain areas on the conditions of mere survival to the conditions of their sustainable development;

c) to approve the international community and government awareness of the need of innovation, financial and operating principles that allow reverse flow of resources from the mountain regions, the need for the direction of the revenues generated from the mountains, directly at the disposal of local authorities;

g) to give new impetus to the development of global, regional and sub-regional exchange of information on the current status and problems of mountain areas of the planet;

d) learn how to be broader and deeper poverty, depopulation of the mountains, the marginalization of ethnic groups, the loss of linguistic and ethno-cultural traditions and practices of economic activity in the mountains;

e) initiate the creation of comprehensive state or national programs for sustainable development of mountain areas and the people inhabiting them.

As you know, the initiative Kyrgyzskoy Republic, used by many states, a success. In November 1998 the UN General Assembly proclaimed 2002 the International Year of Mountains. For the preparation and holding of the International Year of Mountains in the Republic of Kyrgyzskoy A.A.Akaeva Presidential Decree (1999) established the National Center for Mountain Development, to coordinate actions in solving problems of the mountain state, departmental agencies, research institutes

National Academy of Sciences, the International Institute for Gore, as well as other scientific centers of the country. When the government of Kyrgyzstan has been a committee to develop a National Programme of measures on preparation and holding of the International Year of Mountains in the country. This program was developed and approved by Presidential Decree in January 2000. Kyrgyzstan's leading position in the proclamation of the International Year of Mountains, in the formation of national action for its conduct, recognized by the world community and the coverage in international magazines on mountain issues.

In particular, the development of the National Strategy and Action Plan for the sustainable development of mountain territories of the republic was initiated by the Asian Development Bank and implemented by ADB Project – Reta № 5878 is in the organic unity and close connection with the above mentioned decisions and actions of the Government, civil society in Kyrgyzstan.

The Government of the Republic not only agreed with the need to create a National Strategy and Action Plan for sustainable development of mountain areas, but also provided full support and assistance at all stages of the document.

Three. Relevance of the National Strategy and Action Plan for the sustainable development of mountain territories of the republic, the importance of mountain issues included in the document, challenges and opportunities, their solutions can be clearly understood after a brief assessment of the overall condition of the country, after a comparative analysis of the conditions of socio-economic development of the plains and mountain areas, and after meeting with the scale of threats to human security and well-being of the natural environment of mountain areas.

Proceedings of the socio-economic and human Development Framework adequately represented in a number of documents of national importance: the annual National Human Development Reports (1995 to 2000.), CDF (Comprehensive Development Framework), the National Programme of activities for the International Year of Mountains in Kyrgyzskoy Republic (2000), Common Country Assessment (published by the Center for Social and Economic Research – CASE, in cooperation with the National Committee of Kyrgyzskoy-1999.) and a series of issue papers and national-level programs, such as The draft strategy and action plan for biodiversity conservation (1998), the program Araket , Manas , etc.

In this section of the National Programme and Action Plan of the documents included information selectively illuminating the current state, the rate and quality of the environment and resources in the mountainous regions of the country, human development indicators, as well as comparison of the socio-economic potential of the lowland and mountain areas.

4. Kyrgyzskaya Republic – a small, mountainous country located in north-eastern Central Asia, its area is -199.9 km2, occupies only 0.13% of the planet's land surface (approximately equal to the area of ​​the UK). Almost 90% of the territory is located above the level of 1500 m above sea level. The population-4.8 million (Census 1999)., Live in rural areas 66%, while in the city – 34%. The distance to the nearest ocean – about three thousand miles, which determines the overall aridity and continental climate. High mountains create the conditions for an abundance of mountain ecosystems. On the territory of the Republic identified 22 classes of ecosystems, of which 14 mountain, (E.Shukurov, 1998, see Table 1).

Table 1. Ecosystems of Kyrgyzskoy

The mountains formed a variety of local climates, from excess heat and lack of moisture in the piedmont plains and up the excess moisture and lack of heat in the highlands. The peculiarity of the environment in Kyrgyzstan is a high degree of complexity due to the dominance of the high mountain ranges, which are surrounded by desert plains 40% of the almost useless for life. For agriculture and settlements can be occupied by not more 7-10% of the total area, and both this area has been steadily declining because of increasing construction of settlements, irrigation and road communications. Thus, the country has very little effective resource area.

Sharply continental climate and large elevation changes greatly increase the basic energy costs required to maintain a minimally acceptable standard of living (home heating, warm clothing, increased transport costs, overcoming obstacles and mountains, etc.) – at least in the 1.5 – 2 times as compared to the plain. The entire territory of Kyrgyzstan, and particularly the mountainous areas (ie 90%), due to the geo-morphological dynamics and fragility (earthquakes, avalanches, landslides, floods), and also because of the severity of the climate, is located in the zone of risky agriculture that does not allow to get guaranteed yields (National Human Development Report, 1998). Great natural and economic value of the second republic to natural grass ecosystems are used as pastures and hayfields (middle and cryophilic grasslands and steppes, occupying approximately 30-35% of the territory). High mountain ecosystems of Kyrgyzstan played a vital role as a natural condenser water in Central Asia.

With kyrgyzskoy territory in the Aral Sea basin (approximately one third of the waste), the Tarim, Balkhash and Issyk-Kul annually receives up to 50 cubic km water, and glaciers and snowfields are concentrated on 13 annual water supplies. This is determined by the particular situation of countries in Central Asia, where water plays a key role in ensuring the environmental and socio-economic stability. In addition, the rich and diverse mountain ecosystems of Kyrgyzstan are the source of tremendous recreational resources and tourism facilities that have national, regional and global importance. On non-transient values ​​of mountainous areas of Kyrgyzstan for the planet can get an idea of ​​comparing them with the world's biodiversity indicators (sm.tabl.2).

Table 2. Species diversity and concentration of the species in the Republic of Kyrgyzskoy

The table shows that the concentration of species in Kyrgyzstan, for most groups, an order of magnitude higher than on the planet.

Five. Even from the foregoing brief sketch of the natural resources of Kyrgyzstan should be the conclusion of the urgent need for their conservation, management, and creating a strategy and action plan for sustainable development. The fact is that all existing 22 classes have a strong ecosystem of the republic (often catastrophic) and the human pressures are centers of environmental stress.

For example, much of the territory of the Republic (20%) is in the zone of perpetual snow and ice, unfit for life, but in need of strategic defense, as