Weatherproofing the peaks of Kyrgyzstan | Global Ideas | DW | 29.09.2015
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Weatherproofing the peaks of Kyrgyzstan

In the furthest reaches of the Tian Shan mountain-range, water is becoming scarce. Little is left of the once mighty glaciers thanks to rising temperatures. Change is inevitable but people are learning to adapt.

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Project Objective: Preventing further desertification and adapting agricultural practises - including cattle-farming and forestry - to deal better with water resources
Project size: Mountainous areas in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan
Project budget: 4,000,000 euros within the framework of the International Climate Initiative
Biodiversity: Home to more than 5,500 plant species (1,500 endemic) as well as rare ungulates including the argali - or mountain sheep - with its large majestic horns.

High in the Tian Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan, lies a rugged and arid landscape filled with glaciers. The meltwater feeds surrounding rivers and provides the basis for life for plants, animals and people in the region. But this habitat is under threat. The glaciers are shrinking thanks to climate change - up to 45 percent is expected to disappear by 2050. Soil erosion, mudslides and floods are becoming commonplace - leading to droughts and desertification.

German development organization GIZ is helping inhabitants prepare for the coming changes. The glaciers will melt but afforestation, changing crop rotation practises and implementing traditional knowledge should help those in the region deal with the environmental changes.

A film by Juri Rescheto

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