The population in the Pamir-AlaiMountain faces difficulties to sustain its livelihood in this harsh mountain environment. Not only the limiting bio-physical characteristics of the high mountain ecosystems for agricultural production, but also remoteness from markets and the aftermath of the transition from Soviet system to market economy pose challenges to local societies. Livelihood issues and land degradation are often closely interrelated. It is therefore important to understand people's major concerns and needs to formulate adequate measures mitigating both degradation and livelihood issues. Below, the major socioeconomic and socio-cultural issues as indicated by the local population in the different pilot sites are discussed.
The major livelihood needs as determined by the local population in the project area broadly cover the sectors of 'infrastructure and supply', 'local economy', 'subsistence farming' and 'public services' (see the table below). Notable is the commonly high prioritization of better energy supply and in particular reliable electricity provision. Further, improvement of water distribution infrastructure (drinking and irrigation water) also constitutes an urgent need for all three geographic regions. The population aims at increasing self-sufficiency and production for income generation through expansion of irrigated land, intensification of agriculture and livestock farming as well as processing of local market products. The deteriorating health care and education systems are also fields of major concern.
Major Economic and Socio-Cultural Needs
|Western Pamirs||Eastern Pamirs||Alai Mountains|
|Local Electricity Generation||xxx||xxx||xx|
|Improvement of Energy Supply||x||xxx||xx|
|Expansion and Improvement of Irrigation System||xxx|
|Improvement of Drinking Water Supply||xxx||x||xxx|
|Better Access to Markets for Selling Products||xx|
|Development of Livestock Breeding and Increase of Herd Size||xx|
|Development of Forage Base for Livestock||xx|
|Development of Education Sector||xx||x||x|
|Improvement of Local Medical and Veterinary Services||x|
|Establishment of Local Micro-Enterprises for Product Processing||x|
Source: Pilot studies and community-based needs prioritization.