Traditional Knowledge

Revival and dissemination of Kyrgyz traditional pastoral knowledge and practices

Through the ; network "Pastoralist-Pastoralist
Since ancient times, the life of the Kyrgyz has been inextricably linked with pasture land and livestock breeding. Natural pastures and the forests, rivers, animals and plants located on them constituted a special ecosystem that served as a habitat for our ancestors, a basis for food, a factor in the formation of their worldview and way of life, as well as an inexhaustible source of artistic inspiration. They deeply revered the nature around them and knew how to live in harmony with it.
They passed on their knowledge of respect for nature and rational use of pastures, traditional skills of grazing and raising livestock from generation to generation. Unfortunately, many of this traditional knowledge has been lost and forgotten. Several generations grew up in the village who did not inherit this knowledge and skills, which negatively affected the state of pastures and livestock farming in our country.
Changes in climate, natural landscapes, flora and fauna have forced scientists around the world to turn to traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples in search of possible answers to these challenges. Our task was to find these people, preserve their valuable knowledge and skills, promote their dissemination and application in pastoral communities of Kyrgyzstan.

The main goals of the project
- Collecting traditional pastoral knowledge about environmentally sustainable, economically feasible and climate-resilient pasture and livestock management skills and lifestyles, by identifying the best pastoralists;
- Dissemination of knowledge and experience through the Summer Fair of Pastoral Knowledge;
- ; Assistance in the creation of an informal network of Kyrgyz pastoralists to exchange experiences and popularize pastoral knowledge and skills.

Project objectives
- Identification of custodians of Kyrgyz traditional pastoral knowledge in the country;
- ; Collection, analysis, processing of the collected traditional pastoral knowledge;
- ; Creation of an informal network of Kyrgyz pastoralists;
-  Popularization and dissemination of traditional pastoral knowledge and skills.

Location of the project
The research of the project was conducted   in all regions of Kyrgyzstan, as well as in places of compact residence of ethnic Kyrgyz in Turkey and China.

The project was attended by
- livestock breeders, users of pasture lands, based on traditional knowledge, enthusiasts of pasture animal husbandry;
- keepers of traditional knowledge, experts in grazing and keeping livestock, lifestyle and life of livestock breeders;
- scientists, specialists in the field of agriculture;
- students of the country's universities and agricultural colleges;
- regional divisions of ARIS, RAS and other programs and projects, NGOs working with the village;
- partner organizations and groups in foreign countries with a related pastoral culture.

Main project results
- ; A competition was held among students of universities and agricultural colleges, who provided ; application forms and essays about pastoralists to participate in the competition.
- The experts of the RDF selected and carefully evaluated   application forms   about pastoralists,   provided by the participants of the competition, describing the knowledge and experience of the best pastoralists.
- According to the results of the competition, the best pastoralists were identified throughout the country and in-depth research was carried out with them, they were also prepared to participate in the Summer Fair of Pastoralists.
- In the summer of 2010,   summer fairs were held in the South and North of the country, at which   participants of the fairs were presented with the revealed methods, skills of pastoralists, and an active   was organized; discussion of them with the participants.
- In   within the framework of the school "Pastoralist-Pastoralist" in the summer of 2010   a series of educational seminars and trainings were held.
- As a result of the above activities, the formation of an informal network of pastoralists “Kyrgyz El Kazyna” was initiated.
- Also, within the framework of the project, practical exchange visits were organized for pastoralists to apply their traditional knowledge and experience.
- ; All collected materials and data were organized, analyzed and   published   in a series of brochures about Kyrgyz traditional pastoral knowledge and practices "To help the livestock breeder" (See details in the section "Publications").

Key facts
Years of implementation:; 2008-2011
Place of realizationChui, Talas, Naryn, Issyk-Kul, Batken, Osh and Jalal-Abad regions
Donor: ; Christensen Foundation, USA
Partner: jamaat "Kok-Oyrok"
Contact: ;