One of these days, the Kirghiz President’s aid, Asylbek Aidaraliev returned from India. There, in Delhi, he discussed actions connected with International Mountain Year proclaimed by UN according to Kirghiz initiative. At a special press conference, he said to journalists that this idea had been internationally supported, especially by South-Asian and Southeast-Asian countries, where mountains also occupy the biggest part of territories. From the first sight, this initiative looks non-actual and even far-fetched. Though, not for Kirhizians. Three fourths of Kirghiz territory are covered with mountains, while a half of them are higher than 1,000 m. Even many industrial works are situated in mountains, almost under the very clouds. For example, Kumtor Gold-Mining Complex works at a height of about 4,000 m over sea level. Though gold is not the only reason, why people climb at such a height. Millions of people in the whole world simply live there. Generation after generation, they fight with nature, because the fate itself designated such way of living. In Kirghizia, there is Naryn Region, situated at a height which in other countries is considered to exist only for mountain-climbers. Though mountain issue is actual for other countries, too. In particular, in Nepal an agreement was signed about creation of special Council for Mountain Issues, while Kirghiz President Askar Akaev was appointed the chairman. Though, this issue is also important for Russia. It is not by chance, that academician Asylbek Aidaraliev is Kirghiz Mountain Institute’s director is, who once worked in Vostok Antarctic station, and later was at the head of Institute of Biological Problems of Far East. Almost all Soviet and Russian cosmonauts were trained in Tien Shan mountain physiology lab, created by him. Asylbek Aidaraliev said to journalists, that in the framework of the Mountain Year’s programme, a great work was being carried in Kirghizia. Scientists of Central Asia, who gathered in Bishkek, discussed regional problems connected with ecology of mountains. Bishkek was also visited by specialists from different countries to participate in Water Issue in Mountains conference and in Social and Economical Problems of Mountain Regions conference. Kirghiz scientists possess some experience to share with the guests. In particular, in Naryn Region, a unique mountain settlement is being built. According to academician Aidaraliev, the most up-to-date technologies of building and agricultural production are being used here. The most curious thing is that power supply will be realized from local sources – solar, wind and biological. Building of this exemplary mountain village is mostly financed by UN. Though many countries who support the Askar Akaev initiative also showed their interest in this project. For example, China proposed to use in the village bio-gas power plants and solar collectors produced by it. India proposes new technologies of food preserving. Therefore, the mountain village could be also an example of international cooperation in solving everyday problems of the developing world.
Yury Razgulaev PRAVDA.Ru Bishkek Kirghizia
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/04/17/39863.html
Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled "Evil Defeated by Good", representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987