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NCCR North-South - Research Partnerships for Sustainable Development

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Central Asia

Regional Edition Central Asia No. 8
Simplifying the propiska: Realising the benefits of internal migration

Internal migration can improve the livelihoods of individual migrants and is also increasingly gaining recognition for its contribution to the wider economic growth of many countries. But restrictive state practices that hinder internal migration still exist in many places, to the detriment of individuals and the broader economy. Kyrgyzstanís population registration system demonstrates this. As this policy brief argues, Kyrgyzstanís current population registration system restricts the rights of internal migrants and does not fulfil its potential as an effective budgetary and planning instrument.

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Regional Edition Central Asia No. 7
Adapting to climate change through sustainable land management

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are very vulnerable to climate change risks. Their widely degraded landscapes are unprepared for changes in precipitation patterns and increasing extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall, cold spells, and heat waves. Implementing sustainable land management (SLM) practices will ensure that land is healthy and less vulnerable to climate extremes. Even though good SLM practices suited to conditions in Central Asia exist, they are not widely applied. This issue of evidence for policy outlines the SLM resources available for use in adapting to climate change in the region.

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Regional Edition Central Asia No. 6
Conserving indigenous livestock breeds to benefit mountain smallholders

Achai cattle, Azikheli buffalo, and Kari sheep are key indigenous livestock breeds of the Hindu Kush Mountains in northern Pakistan. They have evolved an optimal mix of adaptive, reproductive, and productive traits that enable them to meet mountain communitiesí needs for milk, meat, wool, draught-power, and cash income from sales. But inbreeding and cross-breeding are currently diluting their optimal balance of genetic traits. This policy brief argues for on-site conservation involving custodian communities to halt genetic dilution.

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Regional Edition Central Asia No. 5
Studying abroad: encouraging students to return to Kyrgyzstan

More and more students from Kyrgyzstan are now studying at foreign universities, where they gain knowledge and skills that are vital for Kyrgyzstanís development and prosperity. However, many students face difficulties in finding opportunities to apply their new skills upon their return. This regional issue of evidence for policy examines the causes and consequences of this situation, and outlines steps toward making student migration advantageous for Kyrgyzstan.

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Regional Edition Central Asia No. 4
Measuring soil quality using spectroscopy

There is an increasing demand for monitoring and evaluating our environment. Initiatives promoting payments for environmental services and carbon sequestration, for example, depend heavily on accurate assessment and monitoring of the soil, vegetation, and water. That in turn calls for efficient methods. Soil, one of the most critical resources, requires special attention and regular auditing. As this policy brief outlines, soil spectroscopy is an ideal tool for monitoring soil resources. If used in combination with global positioning systems and satellite remote sensing, large areas can be monitored at an affordable cost.

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Regional Edition Central Asia No. 3
Sustaining mobile pastoralists in the mountains of northern Pakistan

For centuries, landless mobile pastoralists have produced milk, meat, wool, maintained biodiversity, and conserved the soil in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northern Pakistan. But the provision of these goods and services is at risk as the pastoralists are becoming marginalised. They have weak bargaining power at markets, their mobility is limited by tree plantings that obstruct transhumance routes, and crops are encroaching on their traditional pastures. This issue of evidence for policy analyses the reasons for these trends and discusses ways to overcome them.

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Regional Edition Central Asia No. 2
Itís time to control brucellosis in Central Asia

Brucellosis, a livestock disease that is transmissible to humans, has resurfaced as a major health risk in Central Asia since the end of the socialist period. The question arises as to whether brucellosis can be controlled given the current financial, technical, and political constraints in the region. Drawing on relevant epidemiological and economic studies, this issue of evidence for policy confirms the viability of effectively controlling and, eventually, eliminating brucellosis in the region. It carefully outlines a strategy that will work, given sufficient political will and modest investments in local knowledge and technology.

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Regional Edition Central Asia No. 1
Carbon finance and dryland afforestation

This regional policy brief examines the pros and cons of dryland afforestation projects and the carbon-finance schemes designed to encourage them. Co-authors Henri Rueff and Inam-ur-Rahim describe what sorts of tree-planting projects are desirable and ways of enabling small-scale farmers to participate and profit via carbon finance and other incentives. Their policy recommendations draw on case studies from Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Israel.

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The NCCR North-South is hosted by the University of Bern
and funded jointly by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation