Journal of Alpine Research / Revue de géographie alpine

When Shepherds Mine Mountains: The Impact of Artisanal Mining on Agropastoral Systems in Kyrgyzstan. Case Study of Naryn Province

In 2009, Kyrgyzstan adopted a community-based pasture management model. While agropastoralism is the main subsistence activity for 65% of the population living in rural areas, pastures are also an essential resource for other activities, such as mining. By analysing a rural municipality where agropastoralism and mining co-exist, we explore the impacts of artisanal mining activities on community-based pasture management and territorial resilience. Our key findings show that mining income is capitalised in the form of livestock, and that the mechanisms for animal herding by agropastoralists who are not involved in mining activities and who live on the periphery and have little access to formal decision-making processes are at risk of further marginalisation. Furthermore, the lack of mechanisms for collecting and analysing data on the state of the natural resources necessary for agropastoralism, such as water and pastures, poses a risk to community-based pasture management. Finally, in...

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