Пастбища и биоразнообразие: педагогам и студентам рассказали о природных ресурсах Иссык-Куля

Pastures and Biodiversity: Educators and Students Learn About the Natural Resources of Issyk-Kul

05 June 2023

The Public Foundation "СAMP Alatoo" continues its collaboration with the Kyrgyz National Agrarian University named after K.I. Skryabin in the field of knowledge enhancement and digital skills. This time, the training for educators and students from relevant faculties was organized in field conditions. Participants spent almost a week in the village of Bokonbayevo in the Issyk-Kul region.

The training program combined theory and practice. CAMP Alatoo staff prepared presentations and mini-lectures, providing future specialists in the agricultural sector and their mentors with accessible information on natural resource management. Jyrgalbek Kozhombirdiyev, the coordinator of CAMP Alatoo projects, conducted a brief course on pasture monitoring. He emphasized the participants' attention on land degradation, which worsens the state of resources. The issue sparked interest among students, who, by asking questions, attempted to independently identify the main causes of this process. One of the ways to combat degradation is monitoring the condition of pastures. The methods and tools for assessing vegetation cover and soil in modern conditions have changed their format: from collecting and recording data on paper, they have transitioned to using digital devices. Participants were introduced to the mobile application "Pasture Monitoring," along with instructions on its usage.

The theme of applying digital technologies continued during the introduction of educators and students to the topic of biodiversity conservation. For this purpose, the Public Foundation "СAMЗ Alatoo" also developed the "Tabiat Kenchi" application. Through this digital program, users collect data about the plant and animal life, receive informative facts about predators listed in the "red" book, national parks, and reserves of Kyrgyzstan. The application is actively used by the game wardens of the "Baibosun" public micro-reserve, who shared their experience in creating a natural zone, showcased photos and video fragments of animals inhabiting the "Baibosun" territory. Unique footage was obtained thanks to camera traps installed in the micro-reserve for observing and monitoring animals. The presence of the snow leopard indicates the "integrity of the reserve's ecosystem, and therefore, preserving the predator is the main mission of 'Baibosun,'" said Eldos Alysherov, the head game warden. The "Baibosun" team accompanied the participants on a trip to the Kashka-Tor gorge and the reserve, during which they used the "Tabiat Kenchi" application, but due to unpredictable weather, it was not possible to thoroughly explore the local flora and fauna and obtain a complete picture. Nevertheless, students used the collected data in a theoretical session on the basics, methods, and mounting of herbarium, conducted by the teachers of Kyrgyz National Agrarian University named after K.I. Skryabin.

As part of the "culture and recreation" segment, students were invited to spend their time productively and try their skills in the game "Conservation of the Snow Leopard and Its Habitat." According to the conditions, participants, divided into teams, competed in attracting and preserving the snow leopard in their territory. The game required them to employ logical and tactical thinking to find paths and solutions that determined the position of each team.

At the end of the training, the results of a survey that participants took before and after the training were summarized. A comparative analysis of the results showed that after the training, the level of awareness and knowledge of students in biodiversity, pasture, and herbarium-related issues significantly increased.

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