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IGCP 727 Geological heritage - sustainable management of geological hazards and water resources in transboundary region of Kyrgyzstan (2020-2021)

Project Updates - 2021

IGCP 727 project aim is to create an international collaboration consortium to study the natural resources and geoheritage connections for the establishment of a transboundary geopark in the southwest of Tien-Shan, an area with an outstanding geological heritage covering part of the territory of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Earlier in November, between 12th and the 16th, the project delivered a seminar on “UNESCO Global Geoparks in Central Asia: Opportunities and Potentials”. This seminar was organized by the   UNESCO office in Almaty, supported by the UNESCO IGGP Secretariat, the State Committee on Geology of the Republic of Uzbekistan, National Committee of Geologists of Uzbekistan and Ministry of Tourism and Sport of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

An international paleontological expedition took place in September-October in the Batken region (Madigen) - a potential UNESCO Geopark - with researchers from Germany, Russia and Kyrgyzstan. Objects of geological heritage and water resources were also studied. See the stunning photos from these expeditons below. All images by Dr. Alexey Dudashvili

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Brief outline of the project

This project's purpose is to create international collaboration to study natural resources and geoheritage connections for the establishment of a transboundary Geopark in the southwest of the Tien-Shan an area with an outstanding geological heritage.

The southwestern part of the Tien-Shan covers the territory of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. This region has a high potential for the implementation of future scientific and applied programs implemented by IGCP: Geoheritage for Sustainable Development; Global Change; Geohazards; Hydrogeology; Earth Resources.

It is a region with outstanding geological heritage sites that have international criteria. Our task is to preserve these objects as unique natural monuments. This will contribute to sustainable development and the involvement of local people in the development of the Geopark.

We plan to explore the potential of the geological heritage and create a Geopark. In this region of Kyrgyzstan, the pristine nature and culture of indigenous peoples have been preserved.

There is a lot of potential in our project for scientists who want to study and predict geological hazards as well as water resources. Therefore, we encourage you to cooperate.

Despite the fact that the Turkestan ridge is a good accumulator of moisture, there is a shortage of water in this arid region. This aggravates interethnic conflicts. The results of water resources research, assessment of natural water sources, and recommendations for their use, will help to mitigate the effects of climate change.

We look forward to international cooperation to research natural hazards and water resources in the driest region of Kyrgyzstan. We look forward to the support of international organizations, which will help us to involve local communities in the creation and operation of the Geopark. Local authorities should be involved in the development of the Geopark, which should support local activists.

The creation of a Geopark will become a deterrent that will distract the indigenous population from existing problems and re-evaluate their interaction with nature. The Geopark will solve a number of social problems, including poverty reduction and the involvement of women and youth. Rational use of natural resources and harmony with nature will allow reorienting indigenous people towards sustainable development and increasing potential through the use of unique natural heritage.

Our long-term goals: To use the potential of the geological heritage for the sustainable development of the most remote region of Kyrgyzstan; Establish a UNESCO Geopark that will contribute to capacity building in the region; The Geopark will improve the social situation of the indigenous people and the region as a whole, increase their knowledge of the geological heritage, and increase their knowledge of natural hazards and social processes taking place in their own region.

We plan to make recommendations and develop measures to reduce geological hazards and their management. These recommendations will be addressed to state authorities, submitted to scientific institutes of the Academy of Sciences, and will also be the basis for development for the local population.

 

Related information

  • duration: 2021 - 2022
  • Special topic: Geoheritage for Sustainable Development theme

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Photos: © Alexey Dudashvili