Challenges and opportunities of rural development in the Alai Valley of Kyrgyzstan

Both mountains and rural ecological systems are often framed on the brink of an environmental crisis. It is no denial, but just half of the story, as they are much more complex and ambiguous than presumed.

Over the past thirty years of independence, the Alai Valley experiences diverse social, cultural, and environmental changes. But a mountain periphery has received an attention and support in its transformation via tourism development and other small-scale projects. These small-scale ecological projects, however, have received minor attention within the broader understanding of mountain environments and rural peripheries. To understand the challenges and opportunities of small-scale ecological project, this study understands the shortcomings and opportunities of small-scale ecological projects. This empirical study aims to answer the following questions: What are the small-scale ecological development projects in the valley? In what areas various people involved in these ecological efforts made success in rural regions? How do mountain populations perceive, experience, and understand the challenges and opportunities of small-scale ecological projects in rural and mountainous regions? At the intersection development studies, this study aims to make an informative contribution.

Daler Kaziev is a Ph.D. student at the Wissenschaftszentrum Umwelt, Augsburg University. Contact: