This issue is devoted to the analysis of the impact of modernization on nature of mountain systems, its economy and population. First of all, choise of the theme is determinated by the relevance of problems, which are typical for mountains, caused by modernization or processes accompanying it. Secondly, the editorial Board finds it fit to combine efforts on studying modernization, following the logic of the journal “Mountain Research and Development” (MRD) and publishing an analysis of the situation in the mountains of former Soviet Union.
This review shows short characteristics of selected articles from the second issue of MRD scientific journal, which are dedicated to the theme of modernization in mountains. In the introductory part of the journal authors and editors have noted that modernization can bring positive effect to the development of mountains, for example, improve the energy supply, combine use and conservation of nature, rural tourism, effective management etc.
The work on biosphere reserves (Humer-Gruber 2016) states that in Europe they have a variety of functions and, in addition, serve as models of sustainable development. The article on evaluation of the role of migration demonstrates the fact, that the local community of mountainous region of Gilgit in Northern Pakistan (Benz 2016) has successfully “blended” into the surrounding processes and has effectively began to develop its economy. This article aslo discribes a number of signs of modernization. The work, dedicated to the potential assessment and impact of renewable energy sources (RES) in the European Alps (Hastik et al. 2016), raises the issue of production and use of energy from RES. Successes and challenges of rural tourism are consecrated in article of Choenkwan and other authors (Choenkwan et al 2016), it shows that rural tourism is a hybrid type, which links agriculture and tourism to create market products and services that are attractive for tourists. The article of Gentle and Thwaites (2016) describes current problems of transhumant livestock in Nepal. The work of Lu and co-authors analyzes the influence of different forms of land tenure of forests in China on condition and diversity of forests.
Publications from MRD are the examples of subject specialization, high level of theoretical generalization and synthesis of data on mountain social-ecological systems (systems of nature, population and economy - in terms of Russian-Soviet comprehensive geography). Most of these issues are relevant for Russian mountains, whether it is the organization of biosphere reserves, the development of rural tourism or transhumant livestock.
Modernization theory has a direct link to development processes of states or regions. Therefore in regions where the tourism sector is a relevant factor of development it may contribute to modernization. By a comprehensive review of tourism and modernization literature this paper shows that there exist only few research about modernization and destination development. The authors are in favor of a modern understanding of modernization as proposed by He. Therefore they argue that the fact that greening of economy and society are an integrative part of second level modernization only a sustainable destination development approach can contribute to it. Based on the analysis of 23 sustainable tourism development processes from the Alps it can be shown that the setup of the tourism governance systems has a strong influence on the level of developments҅ sustainability. Thereby participation and transparency are key success factors for sustainable tourism governance. This supports the hypotheses that decentralization and democratization are important preconditions of second level modernization.
Processes of modern in the North Caucasus have a strong specificity due to a number of reasons: complexity and patchiness of geographical and social conditions, including ethnic composition of the population, conflicts of interests between different ethnical groups. Asynchrony and intensity of demographic changes in the republics of North Caucasian Federal District (NCFD) and Stavropol Krai have contributed to aggravation of trans-regional contradictions. Discrepancy between the base for economic development and labour market of NCFD to its demographic potential is clearly visible. Intensive migration processes, which contribute to restructuring and replacement of the population, have led to a change of its ethnic composition and usual economic set-up. Ethnical and cultural diversity of the population of lowlands has increased significantly. Demographic processes as a major driving force of political, social and economic transformations have stimulated the request for regional policy, considering the peculiarities of the region and its internal diversity. Although over the post-Soviet period a significant experience in the use of tools of public-private partnerships in regional development has been accumulated, the NCFD state program and adopted development strategies have dirigisme nature and involve direct state regulation of regional development. Hence, here raises the question of the orientation towards large investment projects with state funding with insufficient attention to problems of local small and medium businesses. Development strategies of NCFD subjects do not give the answer of the question how to take into account a sharp increase in a variety of formal and informal social institutions, created by the intertwining and layering of interests of different groups. Modernization of the region is restrained by unresolved land issues and absence of land cadastre documents, poor development of institutional environment and strong dependence of investors on personal agreements and interests of administrations. As a result, investments often give an unexpected effect: inhibit social “lifts”, provoke social tensions and out-migration. The policy of “reconciliation” with a shadow economy and tax evasion, which solves tactical problems of the day (alleviating social tensions and increasing incomes, enhancing leadership, cost minimization, etc.), drives the North Caucasian Federal District regions in a strategic trap, securing their reputation of financial dependent and unattractive for investment regions. Different forms of modernization – demographic, socio-cultural, technological, institutional – are manifested in different territories in different combinations, in varying degrees and sometimes conflict with each other. Post-Soviet archaism of economy, social structures and relations is combined in varying degrees with modernization and leads to a whimsical interweaving of the archaic elements and innovations.
New practices of life, which meet the characteristics of an up-to-date modernization were revealed during the field works, conducted in various regions of the North Caucasus. Local population begins to actively use the Internet, banking services, family relationships also evolve innovations, changing roles of women in family and society. All this is happening alongside with intensifying religious identity, often contrasting with the innovations and entering the conflicts and contradictions. At the stage of data fusion and work synthesis, the processes of modernization can be considered in three aspects: innovation, development and adaptation. According to the results of field works, interviews and surveys, modernization penetrates into many spheres of life. The most important of them are: 1) new forms of economy management (tourism, new forms of land use, etc); 2) power supply; 3) migration of population; 4) banking sphere; 5) information technologies; 6) education; 7) family and marital relationships; 8) safety. Not all the examples refer to modernization, many of them reflect common changes in economy and way of life. The boundaries between these changes and modernization processes are rather vague. Generalization of data, gained during the field works, shows, that the main participants of modernization are: the government (implementation of innovations, realization of projects and development programmes), business class (conductor of innovation technologies) and local communities, which respond to new changes through borrowing and adaptation. Unlike foreign mountain regions, local process of modernization involves relatively small part of public organizations (which are similar to nongovernmental organizations abroad).Their functions are extremely important for forging relationships between the government, business and the local community, which are currently characterized by sharp contradictions in the implementation of projects and programmes for development and innovations. The most significant changes are connected with use of resources, energy and information. Despite the constant legislative activity from the government, changes in real legal and institutional conditions and practices proceed much more slowly. A large segment of resource use and life-sustaining activity is regulated by informal and traditional rules, while new laws and regulations often interfere with life and local communities, for that reason the new informal rules and networks are being developed.
Throughout the XX century modernization and socioeconomic development in mountainous regions of the USSR and Russia was implemented in accordance with the doctrine of central planning and management and was aimed primarily at the solution of the macro-regional objectives of large regions (areas, republics). At the same time, socio-economic problems of mountain settlements in the sphere of health care and education were partially solved. In this case, the experience of creating development plans for “production forces” of Tajikistan, proposed by the academic science in partnership with governmental agencies in the 1930-ies, is in fact an example of the Soviet model of modernization and development of Central Asian mountainous country, which has committed a “jump” from a feudal society to socialism. This experience was also widely used in other mountain regions of the country. Some principles of planning of natural resources development and control in the mountains are partly used in Russian practice in the 21st century either. Such a modernization backfired on mountain regions and hill-men as they were on the periphery of country development (sometimes it was double periphery due to the periphery location of the regions); they were marginal depressive territories in strategic plans of country development. In the late 20th century the change of development doctrine in Russia and also globalization give a chance and open horizons of development for mountain regions and their population. First of all it is caused by the development of tourism as a new form of modernization and especially the new information technologies such as internet, mobile telephones, TV. The latter simply break isolation barriers of mountain communities. Modern information technologies mobilize local mountain communities and help them to find their own ways of development. During the post-Soviet period when the former mountain republics of USSR in Central Asia and the Caucasus began to build their development strategies the modernization processes of mountain regions chose different models. In Russia of the 21st century their periphery location increased following the building of “vertical power structure” and the absence of the state power of the mountain regions development; and they got the position of marginal depressive territories. It is important to note the role of International Scientific Mountain Community; it is just its activity that helped to include mountain regions into global Agenda-21 in Rio (1992). The appearance of Mountain Forum (1995), the regional mountain centres (ISIMOD), the universities (the University of Central Asia), programmes (MRI) and new approaches and development models (on the ground of transdisciplinarity) let us consider the science as important driver of modernization and development in mountains. This is differently demonstrated in different regions with their unique natural, ethno cultural, socio-economic and historic peculiarities, but the general tendency suggests the general global trend. Modernization and development process in the mountain regions of Russia and CIS states faces difficulties and contradictions, it can be explained by the strong influence of old “soviet” approaches and traditions. But there is also other evidence of changes such as Internet development, activation of mountain population, its position in provision of tourist services, agriculture and energetic. This provides a wide access to the information and changes, helps to increase business activity and new ideas in business and development.
Analysis is based on the statement of the fact of a weak level of economic development of the Republic of Dagestan (low level of industrial production, predominance of small business patterns in agricultural sector, a significant backlog from other regions of Russia in terms of gross regional product per capita) associated with inefficient use of mountain territories, which share in the total area of the republic is 44 % (the global measure is 22 %). The author has set the task of determining the most common economic problems of mountain territories of the Republic of Dagestan, identify critical components of the economic potential of the mountain territories on the basis of factor analysis, and solution of tasks set by the Declaration “the Future we want” adopted at Rio de Janeiro in 2012, according to the formulation of government measures for sustainable development of mountain territories. Mountain territories of the Republic of Dagestan are included in the territorial area “Mountainous Dagestan”, which are located in 30 municipalities (total number – 42). The population of mountain territories was approximately 950 thousand people on January 1, 2016 (about 32% of the total population). A complex of measures on development of mountain territories has been adopted in the Republic of Dagestan, in particular, state program “Socio-economic development of mountain territories of Dagestan Republic in 2014–2018”. The author has also conducted a factor analysis of the realization of economic potential of mountain territories. So, the area of land resources per head of population in mountain areas is 3.9 hectares per person, while in the whole country is 1.7 ha/person. Entrepreneurial skills of the population and an institutional factor, which involves the use of positive aspects of traditional institutions and methods of regulation of economic relations are highlighted as the most important components of the economic potential of mountain territories. The author proposed a new organizational model for promoting entrepreneurial activities of economic entities of mountain territories through the creation of Centers of economic (or sustainable) development in territorial and economic zones. They are designed to coordinate the activities of various governmental and private organizations, banking and public institutions regarding the promotion of entrepreneurship, development of programmes of economic growth and business projects for households and other businesses of mountain territories.
Article is dedicated to basic trends in long-term supported economic, social and political development of the North Caucasus mountain territories under the minimization of ecological changes, which is rested on the scientifically substantiated prospect of the resource models of economic activity. Different types of the North Caucasus mountain territories resources characteristic and the substantiation of the optimum versions of their use is given. The Alpine alliance concept on the steady development cliche is rejected and it is proposed adapted versions under the local geographical conditions and the ethnoses of the Caucasus. Close attention is paid to the role and the place of state in the concept development, to the creation of the legal basis of the relationship of resources and population of the mountain territories, to the program of development, to the technical equipment of economies and their credit- investment security. In the article special stress is made to the industry responsibility in the formation of highly-technological production and selective branch of science in the cereal and fruit crops mastery of alpine slopes. Especial perniciousness of scientifically unsubstantiated projects of the engineering development of mountain areas, low level of executive discipline at the stage of project design, that predetermine negative outcome with the catastrophic consequences for the easily vulnerable ecosystems are noted. The special features of the tourist-recreational complexes programs implementation аrе given as non-commodity branch of the social and economic activity, which require increased performer discipline in the organization of the branch infrastructure, the many-sidedness of service maintenance, the high cultural, ethical and aesthetical level of personnel of complexes. The scientific substantiation of the local areas selection with the favorable topographical-climatic and geomorphological conditions for the specific agro-cultures, which most correspond to the mineral composition of soil is proposed. Questions of bee-keeping are touched as the branches associating fruit growing industry, as well as the development of the specialized direction concerning collection and gathering of medicinal grasses. The advantages of the development of distillation cattle breeding and stock raising on the experience of the foremost economies of Soviet times are shown. The completed energy sources on the base of solar batteries, movable electrical hydro-electric power stations and wind generators are recommended.
The article describes the changes in runoff of the river Baksan over many years in mountains (Teghenekly village, Tyrnyauz city ) and piedmont areas (Zayukovo village) of the watershed. Runoff modules of the river Baskan in three altitudinal zones were calculated. Local dependence of runoff from the drainage basin of medium height was determined. Data series of average annual runoff statistics (expectation (m (x)), dispersion (D (x)), standard deviation (Ϭ (x)) and coefficient of variation (Cv)) were calculated. For the selection of representative settlement periods (including the full cycles of water availability) difference-integral curves of the coefficients of modular drain were developed in the chosen posts. Over the entire period of observation in the integral curve of annual runoff in the mountainous part of the river Baksan, Teghenekly village and Tyrnyauz city there have been allocated two complete cycles with average runoff, which is equal to the long-time average annual. The first cycle lasted 20 years, from 1970 to 1989. The second - 17 years, from 1990 to 2007. During the observation period (19 years) in the foothill part of the river Baksan - village of Zayukovo there was a complete cycle from 1993 to 2008. On the background of prolonged cycles, shorter dry and wet periods were observed. Reduced water content of the river Baksan was observed the period of 1972 - 1978, 1990 - 1999, increased water content - in 1979 - 1989 and 2000 - 2007. In general, fluctuations of the river Baksan in Tegenekli village are consistent with changes in runoff of the same river in the city of Tyrnyauz. Minor differences of runoff between the two sites of Tegenekli village and the city of Tyrnyauz appeared in 2009 and 2010. The river flow of Baksan in the foothills (Zayukovo village) is characterized by low-water period from 1993 to 2000, the high-water period - from 2001 to 2008. In general, over the entire observation period from 1970 to 2010 at the source of the river Baksan -Teghenkly village changes in the flow are not observed. Runoff rate in the city of Tyrnyauz increased by 2% during the study period (1970 – 2010). A slight increase of the annual average water flowoff from the river Baksan in Tyrnyauz may be associated with high-altitude zoning, i.e. with the increase in the catchment area and density of the river network. Besides, we can not exclude the climatic features of the territory, which require the analysis of data on changes in precipitation and air temperature at altitude zones. Subsequently it is assumed a more detailed analysis of the effect of these parameters on the flow of river Baksan in the mountain area.
The article cites the research results of biodiversity and ecological characteristics of aphyllophoroid fungus in natural areas of Abkhazia. Distribution principles of aphyllophoroid fungus biota in high-altitude zones are discussed. Identified 200 species of aphyllophoroid fungus belonging to 88 genera, 38 families and 15 orders. The leading families of aphyllophoroid fungus biota are: Polyporaceae, Fomitopsidaceae, Meruliaceae, Hymenochaetaceae, Phanerochaetaceae, Schizoporaceae, including 138 species (69 % of total species diversity). These families hold a leading position in all natural zones of Abkhazia and form a basis of aphyllophoroid fungus biota. The average species richness of the family is 5.3. The average ratio of species richness of the genus is 2.3. The highest species diversity of fungus is identified in the altitude range from 30 to 1700 m. above sea level, in the area of grassroots and foothill Colchis forests, and also in the area of the mountain forests, which includes 93% (186 species) of the total species diversity. Species diversity of fungus is gradually reduced to the extreme values of indicated hypsometric level. In the vegetation zone of lowlands we can observe a depleted species composition of aphyllophoroid fungus (30 species), in the zone of subalpine crooked forests 29 species were identified. Evaluation of similarity and difference of specific structure with use of Syorensen-Chekanovski and Stugren-Radulesku’s binary coefficient of natural Abkhazian zones helped to find out specific peculiarities of aphyllophoroid fungi biota. The meanings of similarity index of aphyllophoroid fungi specific structure (Syorensen-Checanovski’s cofficient) don’t attain high values and vary from 0,2 to 0,33. The information got with use of Stugren-Radulesku’s difference coefficient also shows the high difference level of aphyllophoroid fungi biota of compared Abkhazian natural zones and amounts to 0,59-0,76. Every natural zone is characterized by unique specific structure of aphyllophoroid fungi that depends both on the presence of proper understratum, and optimal ecological conditions. The species adapted to specific habit area conditions and found only in one natural zone amount to 73,5 % of the overall number. The cosmopolite spreading is specific to seven aphyllophoroid fungi species (3,5% from revealed specific variety). About 35 rare aphyllophoroid fungi species are revealed, they are mostly confined to old undisturbed forest ecosystems and specially protected natural territories. The fact that there are 34 indicated species in revealed aphyllophoroid fungi biota shows the biological worth of natural old Abkhazian forests.
ISSN 1998-4502 (Print) ISSN 2499-975Х (Online)