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Vom Schutz und Nutzen von Wäldern: Kirgistans Nusswälder im Lichte historischer und aktueller Schutzdiskurse

ANDREI DÖRRE and MATTHIAS SCHMIDT
Geographische Zeitschrift
Bd. 96, H. 4 (2008), pp. 207-227
Published by: Franz Steiner Verlag
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20787900
Page Count: 21
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Vom Schutz und Nutzen von Wäldern: Kirgistans Nusswälder im Lichte historischer und aktueller Schutzdiskurse
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Abstract

Discourses shape the perception, conservation and utilization of natural resources. This can be seen in the case of the globally unique walnut-fruit forests of southern Kyrgyzstan. This article shows the historical change of the discourse on protection of forests, as a natural resource, from the times of the feudal society of the Khanate of Kokand, to the eras of Russian colonialism, Soviet socialism, and up to present day post-Soviet capitalism. Due to the plentifulness of these forests, protection concepts were developed long ago with the aim of implementing „proper“ utilizations. By applying methods of discourse analysis, the thesis will be proved that historical concepts for forest protection did not arise from the understanding of an intrinsic value of nature as often assumed, but instead was formed through pragmatic arguments, which allowed human appropriations of these forests. Consequently, the present status of the walnut-fruit forests is a result of the interplay of natural processes and anthropogenic interventions. Current conflicts between local people and both scientists and conservationists over the usage of these forests make this article relevant. Understanding the history of the discourse and the history of forest usage can help shed light on these ongoing conflicts.

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