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Erosion, Kyrgyzstan
Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND

Art Photography by Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND, erosion in the southwest of the Ysyk Kol Lake near Kara Koo, Kyrgyzstan. In the heart of central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is a country where stockbreeding and agriculture only exist in the few valleys and on the sides of the mountains which are at an altitude of between 4 000 m and 7 000 m.

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Orientation Landscape
Color Yellow

Erosion, Kyrgyzstan

Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND

Art Photography by Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND, erosion in the southwest of the Ysyk Kol Lake near Kara Koo, Kyrgyzstan. In the heart of central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is a country where stockbreeding and agriculture only exist in the few valleys and on the sides of the mountains which are at an altitude of between 4 000 m and 7 000 m.

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In the heart of central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is a country where stockbreeding and agriculture only exist in the few valleys and on the sides of the mountains which are at an altitude of between 4 000 m and 7 000 m. In these extreme environments, the soil is fragile and very vulnerable to erosion : 60% of Kyrgyz land is thus under threat. The decrease in the soil's fertility is linked to the loss of the arable layer. After the country became independent in 1991 and left the former USSR's communist regime, a return to private stockbreeding led to serious overgrazing problems. Indeed, economic uncertainty encouraged breeders to invest a lot of money in their herds, a traditional form of capitalisation on legs. But in 1994, in Kyrgyzstan, the pasture fed two times more cattle than it should have. When grazing becomes too intensive, it is hard for grass to regenerate and the weakened soil starts eroding.

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