Energizing the Altai Mountains peoples through innovative climate migration


2015 – 10 months

Energizing the Altai Mountains peoples through innovative climate migration


Goal: Our goal is to involve marginalized indigenous youth in community-based tourism (CBT) development, use of solar energy in high-mountain and remote areas and the preservation of nomadic mountain cultures through climate change mitigation measures and adaptation to its effects by local communities in the Altai Mountains of Russia.

1. Development of Internet-based training courses “tourism guide and alternative energy” courses.”
2. Practical training courses (30interns),
3. Two workshops on climate change and alternative energy use.
4. Supply of trained guides’ tourist bases with solar panels for electricity in high-mountain areas of Altai (www.altai-republic.ru/eng).

All 30 direct course graduates will get certificates recognized by the state government and will get an access to work in a sphere of eco-tourism as tourist guides. They will use solar generators to supply tourist bases, farms and cafeterias in remote mountains with electricity, Internet and TV as stimulating reasons to stay in high mountains leading traditional ways of life, instead of having to migrate to lower towns/cities for seeking jobs.  Trained interns will act as CBT tourism guides and “mountain nature & cultures protectors and advocates”.

Main project implementer is FSDA, a member of Mountain Partnership (mountainpartnership.org/members). Local youth NGO “Mountain Partnership “Ulu-Kem”, “Solar Enegy Inc.” (www.solar04.ru), Asia-Tour Altai Training-Center (www.fb.com/AsiaTourToAltai), Folk Arts Center “Altai” and other key players in local development will be involved in the project activities mostly on a volunteer basis, in order and for mountain nature conservation and mountain communities development.


Indigenous youth will be directly involved in ecotourism getting direct economic financial benefits though catering for visitors with their services and products (lodges, cafes, national cuisine, products, souvenirs, guides, horses, camels and etc.). There is also strong incentive for cultural pride in the nomadic way of life, customs and traditions, and a belief in the need to preserve their unique cultures sustainably adopted to mountains for thousands of years.   Tourist bases supplied with electricity will attract more tourists to the higher mountains and not to lower land “western hotel” areas of Altai.
Solar Energy Inc. partner will conduct educational workshops on “how to install/use generators and get 50% tax reimbursement from the Altai government” for use of alternative energy. The pilot project will be housed in the FSDA (www.fb.com/FSDA.ru) constructed Asia-Tour training center for 20 people and Folk Arts Center for 20 artisans in Kupchegen.

Three FSDA experts will be trained at the hub office of Mountain Partnership Secretariat in Central Asia in Bishkek of Kyrgyzstan (Oct.-Nov. 2014). They will develop three Internet-based education training courses (ecotourism guides, alternative energy and climate change). Two training courses (72 hours each) will be conducted for 30 young indigenous tourist interns in 2015. Two information workshops on the use of solar/wind generators, climate mitigation/adaptation measures for local cultures will be held.  Solar panels installation practice will take place at Asia-Tour training center (FSDA property) with Solar Energy Inc. and trained interns.  Assistance will be given to interns on top purchase of solar collectors from Solar Energy Inc. and supply of their mountain tourist bases. The distribution of “CBT Network in Altai Mountains” booklets among Altai tourist agencies and the Ministry of Tourism in summer 2015.


The added-value from the project includes combined training course development (Internet and classroom courses on tourism guides, energy and climate issues for the first time in the Altai Mountains. The project also involve the participation of indigenous communities, youth and women in ecotourism and the use of renewable  solar and wind energy development in this fragile high-altitude tundra and alpine ecosystem.


Chagatal Mashev