Monitoring the condition of pastures (CACILM) [Kyrgyzstan]

Central Asian Countries Initiative for Land Management (CACILM).

technologies_1137 - Kyrgyzstan

Completeness: 80%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
{'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 'Azamat Isakov', 'user_id': '2277', 'unknown_user': False, 'template': 'raw'}
SLM specialist:

Dzhumabaeva Salamat

САМР Alatoo


SLM specialist:

Wiedemann Christoph

САМР Alatoo


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1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.5 Reference to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Approaches (documented using WOCAT)

Mapping as a tool for the development of pasture use plans (in the frame of CACILM)

Mapping as a tool for the development of … [Kyrgyzstan]

Mapping (development of pasture area maps) for the use of pastures with the participation of all stakeholders, as a basis for a balanced distribution of cattle depending on the capacity and seasonality of the pastures (in the frame of CACIM).

  • Compiler: Azamat Isakov

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Monitoring the state condition of pastures.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


The monitoring of pastures is one of the powers of the Pasture Committee; It serves as a basis for developing a pasture use plan. This is a new task for the Pasture Committees, which requires specialized knowledge. Therefore, a simple method for evaluating pasture condition was developed:
1. Select an area on which the yield will be determined (place the prepared frame with an area of 1m2), specify the position coordinates (control points) of the selected area on the map using GPS.
2. Indicate the name of the area and information on the condition of the pasture area (erosion, salinization, etc.).
3. Photograph the area, which allows for a visual comparison of the vegetation development during the year.
4. Assess the vegetation cover inside the frame and measure the height of the vegetation with a ruler. Identify the types of plants in the square and divide them into palatable and non-palatable. Arrange the plants in the pouches, write notes about the place of withdrawal of the plant and indicate the date of withdrawal (use a pencil).
5. Determine the yield of the studied forage lands with the cut-sample method: the grass is mowed on 1 m2 (with a 5-fold repeatability). The cutting height should be 7-8 cm for hay, 4-6 cm for short grass pastures, and 6-7 cm for tall grass pastures. Move the frame consistently 5m diagonally from the corner of each control point.
6. Weigh the sample in raw condition and after drying and divide into palatable and non-palatable.
7. Calculate the yield for each type of pasture.
(in the frame of CACILM)

Purpose of the Technology: This approach enables a timely detection of changes in the condition and productivity of pastures under the influence of both anthropogenic and climatic factors. It also facilitates an assessment of such changes, in order to prevent and eliminate negative processes of pasture degradation.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: Specialists from CAMP Alatoo together with Kyrgyz Designing Institute on Land Management “Kyrgyzgiprozem”.developed a farmer's method to assess the productivity of pastures and conducted a training seminar on "Monitoring of pastures". Currently, each ayil okrug (A/O, aiyl okrug is an administrative and territorial unit consists of a group of villages, which has a local self-government) of the pilot area has a person responsible for the monitoring of pastures. The obtained data are updated, compared and linked to weather conditions (temperature, precipitation).

Natural / human environment: Naryn province is located at an altitude of 1800-4500 above sea level. Annual precipitation - 200-500 mm in summer (April-October) and 100-200 mm in winter (November-March). The population is traditionally involved in animal husbandry. The pasture vegetation is rich in diversity. Different altitudinal belts, the variety of climatic conditions and the exclusivity of the regional geographic areas determine the diversity of pasture vegetation and hay harvest. They differ from each other according to content and grass composition, as well as yield and forage quality.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:

Kyrgyz Republic

Further specification of location:

Naryn province

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If precise area is not known, indicate approximate area covered:
  • 10-100 km2

This technology serves 90,688 ha of spring / autumn pastures and 85,752 ha of summer pastures.

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions
Comments (type of project, etc.):

Technology was introduced in 2009. Since 2009, there has being introduced the farm method to assess the state of pastures.

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Land use mixed within the same land unit:


Specify mixed land use (crops/ grazing/ trees):
  • Agro-pastoralism (incl. integrated crop-livestock)



Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 1

Longest growing period in days: 150; Longest growing period from month to month: From May to September

Grazing land

Grazing land

Extensive grazing:
  • Semi-nomadic pastoralism

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): A lack of funding for pasture monitoring, which was implemented by the Kyrgyzgiprozem Institute, led to the fact that the condition of pastures had not been assessed in the past 20 years. Respectively, no adequate measures to prevent the degradation were taken. - Pasture committees are not able to conduct the pasture monitoring, even though the responsibility for it has been attributed to the Pasture committees according to the Law "On Pastures"; - The use of the described technology will enable an adequate assessment of pastures and taking measure to prevent the degradation of pasture ecosystems (expert's point of view).

Semi-nomadism / pastoralism: In summer are moved to high pastures. In autumn after the harvest, the fields are used for pasture.

Constraints of mines and extractive industries

Constraints of recreation

Livestock density: 25-50 LU /km2

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • pastoralism and grazing land management

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

management measures

management measures

  • M2: Change of management/ intensity level
  • M3: Layout according to natural and human environment

Основные мероприятия: управленческие

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover
  • Bq: quantity/ biomass decline
  • Bs: quality and species composition/ diversity decline

Main causes of degradation: population pressure (The intensive use of available pasture has led to the their greatest degradation.)

Secondary causes of degradation: soil management (There were no persons responsible for pasture management, and if they were, they did not perform their functions.), overgrazing (The increase in the number of livestock has led to degradation of pastures.), change in temperature (Climate change (a decrease in rainfall in the growing season and increase in temperature) also affect the condition of pastures.)

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • prevent land degradation
  • reduce land degradation

Secondary goals: prevention of land degradation, mitigation / reduction of land degradation, rehabilitation / reclamation of denuded land

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

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Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

Example of calculation of pasture capacity.

Location: 3, Uphimskiy pereulok, Bishkek

Date: 2010-04-20

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: high (Must know how to conduct monitoring of pastures and pasture vegetation.)

Technical knowledge required for land users: moderate (Should know palatable and non-palatable plants.)

Main technical functions: water harvesting / increase water supply, promotion of vegetation species and varieties (quality, eg palatable fodder)

Secondary technical functions: improvement of surface structure (crusting, sealing)

Change of land use practices / intensity level: Results of pasture monitoring provide an opportunity to assess their condition and take steps to reduce the load on pastures where there is overload.

Layout change according to natural and human environment: Redistribution of livestock in pasture areas, depending on the condition of pasture has partially changed the existing grazing scheme.


САМР Alatoo, 3, Uphimskiy pereulok, Bishkek

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

other/ national currency (specify):


If relevant, indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (e.g. 1 USD = 79.9 Brazilian Real): 1 USD =:


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:


4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Acquisition of the necessary tools for pasture monitoring. Spring

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Equipment Camera piece 1.0
Equipment GPS piece 1.0
Equipment Horse piece 1.0
Equipment Compass piece 1.0

Duration of establishment phase: 0.1 month(s)

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Pasture Committee assesses spring pastures (90688 ha) at 22 monitoring points spring
2. Pasture Committee assesses summer pastures (85752 ha) at 31 monitoring points summer
3. Pasture Committee assesses autumn pastures (90688) at 22 monitoring points autumm
4. Calculation of yield and capacity of pastures using 305 weightings
5. Amendment of the pasture capacity maps (100 plots of pasture).

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Assessment of spring pastures person days 22.0 50.0
Labour Assessment of summer pastures person days 31.0 50.0
Labour Assessment of autumn pastures person days 22.0 50.0
Labour Calculation of yield and capacity of pastures using 305 weightings person days 10.0 20.0
Other Labour: Amendment of the pasture capacity maps (100 plots of pasture) Person days 10.0 20.0

Machinery/ tools: Transport (horse is possible), 5 m long rope, bags for plants, compass, GPS, camera, scales, ruler, frame 1m², white A4 paper, thick marker, forms for the record, material to indicate the reference point.

Other factors are the access to monitoring points, the purchase of materials required for monitoring and the remuneration of labour performed by the Pasture Committee. The amount is quoted in the prices as per end 2011.

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The costs are affected by the total pasture area of an aiyl okrug, by the selection of monitoring points, their distance from the village, by accessibility (mostly in the mountains), by the availability and condition of mountain roads and bridges, and by the variety of vegetation types.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

The bulk of the precipitation falls in the spring and summer

Agro-climatic zone
  • semi-arid

Thermal climate class: temperate. Temperate with distinct four seasons.

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Comments and further specifications on topography:

Altitudinal zone: The pastures are located at an altitude of 2200-3500 meters above sea level.

Slopes on average: Pastures on gently steep slopes and Aiyl Okrug is located in the valley zone.

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • high (>3%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Soil depth on average: On pastures the soil is of medium depth

Soil texture (topsoil):The mechanical composition of loam, but in some places there are also sub-sandy soil.

Soil fertility is medium (In summer pastures the soil fertility is higher than in the winter and spring-autumn pastures)

Soil drainage / infiltration is medium

Soil water storage capacity is low - medium ( Soil water storage capacity on the northern slopes is higher than on the southern slopes)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:


Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

Comments and further specifications on water quality and quantity:

Ground water table: Ground waters are deep, but sometimes pinch out as springs

Availability of surface water: Snow-fed and glacier-fed rivers

Water quality (untreated): Drinking water is mainly used from the river.

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium
Comments and further specifications on biodiversity:

The pastures are rich in diversity of herbaceous vegetation, there are natural pine forests and wild animals.

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • subsistence (self-supply)
Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • poor
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • groups/ community
  • women
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Difference in the involvement of women and men: Members of pasture committees are mostly men. Historically, men are responsible for livestock and it is not related to discrimination of female rights.

Population density: < 10 persons/km2

Annual population growth: 1% - 2%

5% of the land users are rich and own 10% of the land.
75% of the land users are average wealthy and own 80% of the land.
20% of the land users are poor and own 10% of the land.

Off-farm income specification: This percentage is typical for the vast majority of communities. The use of the technology will affect all communities equally.

Market orientation of production system: Local residents receive income from the sale of cattle, while it occurs spontaneously and haphazardly. Also, there are households with subsistence.

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha

Total pasture area per household is about 40 hectares, but not the whole pasture area is available.

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • state
Land use rights:
  • communal (organized)
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • leased

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


fodder production

Comments/ specify:

Highly productive pasture land can be used as hay

fodder quality

Comments/ specify:

Regulation of livestock grazing in accordance with the state of pastures will improve the quality of pasture fodder

animal production

Comments/ specify:

Regulation of livestock grazing will improve the body condition of livestock

land management

Comments/ specify:

Farmers have to follow the grazing plan developed by Pasture Committee taking into account the state of pastures

Income and costs

farm income

Comments/ specify:

Improvement of body condition of livestock will allow farmers to earn more income.

Socio-cultural impacts

community institutions

Comments/ specify:

Improved knowledge of new local institutions - Pasture Committees.

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

Comments/ specify:

Independent assessment of pastures will allow the local community to better understand the problem of their degradation and will enhance their responsibility for their conservation

conflict mitigation

Comments/ specify:

Grazing plan based on data concerning the state of pasture areas will reduce the number of conflicts

livelihood and human well-being

Comments/ specify:

Mitigated the degradation of village pastures through reducing trampling by animals. Pasture Committee members were skilled in determining the capacity of pasture land

Ecological impacts

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

biomass/ above ground C

Comments/ specify:

Adequate measures taken after an assessment of pastures will increase the biomass of pasture ecosystems

plant diversity

Comments/ specify:

The use of rotational grazing as a measure to reduce the load on pastures on the basis of their assessment can improve biodiversity of pasture ecosystems

habitat diversity

Comments/ specify:

Preservation of pasture plants

Other ecological impacts

hazard towards adverse events

Comments/ specify:

Annual assessment of pasture will make it possible to determine trends and take adequate measures in time.

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season increase or decrease How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm not well
local windstorm not well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood not well

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
reduced growing period well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

slightly positive

Long-term returns:

very positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

slightly positive

Long-term returns:



The implemented measures on pasture rotation will bring profits in the long term. Balanced seasonal grazing will preserve pastures for future generations.

6.5 Adoption of the Technology


Comments on acceptance with external material support: Pasture Committees of three aiyl okrugs (in total there are 456 aiyl okrugs in Kyrgyzstan) used this approach with the technical support of the project, funded by GIZ. But they are demonstrational for other pasture committees and many turn to them for advice and training.

Comments on spontaneous adoption: Because the approach is new to the pasture users, a state institution was engaged in it, and they are not able to do it yet. And it does not bring a quick profit, many are not aware of the need to use it.

There is a strong trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

Comments on adoption trend: After training the Pasture Committees, the approach will be used by all aiyl okrugs, as the development of pasture use plan is their responsibility.

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Nutritional condition of animals is enhanced by maintaining and increasing the productivity of pastures, as the pasture capacity will be taken into account for grazing.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? As soon as all Pasture Committees will be able to develop grazing plans and pasture users will follow it.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Annual monitoring of pastures will make it possible to follow the dynamics of pasture condition and productivity and will allow to plan their use.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Monitoring of pastures is a functional responsibility of Pasture Committees. They need to be trained in monitoring.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Many Pasture Committees do not see the need for pasture monitoring. Raise awareness of the Pasture Committees about the need and advantages of such work.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
It is necessary to have certain skills and knowledge for the monitoring of pastures Conduct training workshops on pasture monitoring for pasture committees
The new decentralized system of pasture management is being implemented in the country since 2009. It was started in times of political instability and therefore pasture users are not aware of its details Raise awareness of pasture users and public officers.
Characteristic of the local mentality is the attitude to pastures as a natural endless gift, in combination with a loss of traditional respect for the pastures which appeared since Kyrgyzstan’s independence. Revival of traditional knowledge and skills.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Busler S. «Community Pasture Management in Kyrgyzstan», Bishkek, 2011

Available from where? Costs?

САМР Alatoo PF

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Annual reports of САМР Alatoo for 2009, 2010, 2011

Available from where? Costs?

САМР Alatoo PF

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Reports and minutes of the seminar of PF CAMP Alatoo

Available from where? Costs?

САМР Alatoo PF

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