A book about the history and modern technologies of the Kulunda steppe development was published at Altai State University as part of the program "Priority 2030"

12 January 2022 REC "The Greater Altai"

The monograph was first published in English in 2019 by the influential international publishing house Springer. The authors of the book are 77 scientists from Russia, Germany, and Kazakhstan who worked in the KULUNDA project from 2011 to 2016 in Kulunda steppe. These are representatives of universities, institutes, and scientific centers of Barnaul, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Moscow, Nur-Sultan, Prague, Copenhagen, Jena, Leipzig, and other cities.

According to Andrey Bondarovich, one of the scientific editors of the publication, an expert of the Center for Altaic and Turkic Studies "The Greater Altai", work on the monograph began in 2011, when scientists from Germany approached Altai State University with a proposal to implement a joint project. Professor Sergey Zemlyukov, Head of Altai State University at that time, supported the idea of a joint project to study the evolution of the landscape of Kulunda steppe under human influence. With the participation of Professor of Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU)  Manfred Fruauf, at Altai State University, the coordinating office of the KULUNDA project opened and the key goal of the project was outlined - to offer technological solutions in the field of agriculture that will prevent greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time adapt crop production to climate change.

Scientists from Kazakhstan joined the research of steppe agriculture. In total, almost 100 scientists from 16 scientific organizations of the three countries participated in the KULUNDA project from 2011 to 2016. The central theme, according to Andrei Bondarovich, was the results of numerous agricultural experiments that Kulunda steppe has experienced over the past few centuries. Starting from the era of Russian exploration of Siberia, Stolypin's agrarian reform, Lenin's decrees on land, and Stalin's plan for the transformation of nature, and, of course, Khrushchev's campaign to develop virgin lands in 1954-1963, which led to the most serious changes of the landscape, left their mark here.

The book contains chapters on plant protection technologies, and gives the results of many years of observations of climate variability. Particular attention is paid to innovative technologies for soil decarbonization, which is extremely relevant in the context of the global strategy for the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The historical part of the book is devoted to Kulunda steppe as part of the Eurasian steppe zone and tells about the almost 800-year history of changes in agricultural land use in Southwestern Siberia. Separate chapters are devoted to socio-economic issues of land use, modern demographic and migration processes in the steppe zone, and the practices of training farmers working in the steppe.

The main result of the KULUNDA project, recorded in the monograph, according to Head of the project "The Turkic World of the Greater Altai: unity and diversity in history and modernity", Professor Sergei Zemlyukov, can be considered the unique set of innovative technological solutions accumulated by scientists from three countries that allow them to engage in high-quality low-emission agriculture in the steppe zone.

In addition, the monograph is a good methodological groundwork for further research and will be of interest not only to scientists, but also to farmers, as well as government officials in charge of the implementation of environmental and agricultural policy in Russia and Kazakhstan.

See the PDF version of the publication on the project website.

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