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Realities and myths of the Teresken Syndrome : An evaluation of the exploitation of dwarf shrub resources in the Eastern Pamirs of Tajikistan

Title data

Kraudzun, Tobias ; Vanselow, Kim André ; Samimi, Cyrus:
Realities and myths of the Teresken Syndrome : An evaluation of the exploitation of dwarf shrub resources in the Eastern Pamirs of Tajikistan.
In: Journal of Environmental Management. Vol. 132 (January 2014) . - pp. 49-59.
ISSN 1095-8630

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project financing: VolkswagenStiftung

Abstract in another language

In the Eastern Pamirs extensive livestock herding is the predominant land use option and dwarf shrubs - teresken (Krascheninnikovia ceratoides) and to a lesser extent wormwood (Artemisia spp.) - are an important source of thermal energy and are crucial forage plants, particularly in winter. For the post-Soviet period, many papers and reports suggest rapidly increasing exploitation rates with sometimes alarming figures for degradation. Conventional knowledge about the Pamirs pinpoints the frightening and irreversible extraction of teresken as a dwindling resource causing land degradation - termed the '. Teresken Syndrome'. However, these publications are based on limited empirical evidence. This paper discusses the socio-economic role of dwarf shrubs as fuel and forage - today and in the past - and provides an overview of the extent of dwarf shrub distribution and degraded areas.Although our observations confirm extensive dwarf shrub exploitation, general assumptions of severe desertification as a result of dwarf shrub extraction do not yield reliable scenarios. The effects of harvesting on the vegetation cover vary widely depending on extraction practices and yields of different dwarf shrub-dominated formations. Furthermore, considerable and increasing shares of energy needs are satisfied by animal manure and imported coal. On the other hand, for low-income households harvesting dwarf shrubs is an important and reliable option to ensure both their own household energy supply and an income source.We argue that the term '. Teresken Syndrome', which was introduced after the emergency replacement of Soviet coal supplies by dwarf shrubs in the 1990s, is not appropriate anymore to describe the current use of natural resources in the Eastern Pamirs. However, under the current economic circumstances the nexus remains that the Pamir people are caught in the dilemma of using dwarf shrubs as energy and as forage resource. However, the observed negotiation practices concerning competitive use between dwarf shrub extractors and herders could be developed into community-based management schemes of this common pool resource.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Climatology > Professorship Climatology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Cyrus Samimi
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Climatology
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 500 Natural sciences
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2014 15:35
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2014 15:35
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/4406