Mountain and coastal ecosystems are among the most vulnerable ecosystems under climate change. High-altitude Lake Ysykkul represents a unique combination of mountain and coastal ecosystems.
The indigenous communities living around that lake have accumulated a large body of traditional ecological knowledge that contains local indicators of climate change based on generations of observations. However, this traditional knowledge is often overlooked by the scientific community and decision makers.
To document, interpret, and disseminate local climate change indicators, indigenous communities will conduct research on traditional ecological knowledge with a focus on local climate change indicators.
Problem Statement and Context
Climate change impacts on local communities and their livelihoods are primarily made on the basis of climate models. These models and other multidisciplinary studies demonstrate that mountain and coastal ecosystems are among the most vulnerable ecosystems under climate change (IPCC 2022). Kyrgyzstan has three large mountain lakes, which represent a unique combination of mountain and coastal ecosystems.
The indigenous communities living around these lakes have accumulated a large body of traditional ecological knowledge that contains local indicators of climate change based on multi-generational observations. However, this traditional knowledge is often overlooked by the scientific community and decision-makers, and is not taken into account during the development of climate models. For example, local indicators of climate change are not limited to environmental indicators, but also include indicators related to spirituality, sacredness, justice, human rights and other beings. Thus, traditional community knowledge related to climate change indicators can enrich existing climate models, as well as draw the attention of scientists and decision-makers to the importance of local climate change indicators in determining adaptation strategies.
A team of researchers supported by the Aigine CRC will:
Document local climate change indicators
Analyze existing and frequently used climate models and make recommendations for the inclusion of local indicators
Hold one workshop on local climate change indicators for local residents, scientists and decision makers.
Possible risks are restrictions on free movement and field research because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The solution is to follow all the requirements of the Ministry of Health.