Environmental and landscape significance of steppe mega-projects


Levykin S.V, Chibilev A.A., Gulyanov Yu.A., Silantieva M.M., Kazachkov G.V., Yakovlev I.G

For the development of fundamental bases of strategy of rational steppe land use and its realization we analyzed the most significant steppe megaprojects - "Stalin's plan to transform the nature of forest steppe and steppe", the Virgin Lands Campaign of 1954-1963, Agrarian Reform of the 1990s. Both specific consequences of each project and their cumulative impact determining the modern appearance of steppe landscapes and their agro-ecological problems are established. The Altai Territory, primarily the Kulunda steppe, is considered a special arena of megaprojects in the steppes of Siberia, bearing all the features of the old-developed region, where the most positive effect of these projects was achieved. The interrelation between the main problems of modern steppe land use and the results of the considered megaprojects has been presented. The main problems of agrarian steppe land use have been revealed. Taking into account modern tendencies of development of agrarian and industrial complex three most probable scenarios of development of steppe agriculture landscapes are considered. They are neo-wildland, stagnation, and optimization scenario with adaptation of agricultural lands structure to natural-climatic conditions and requirements of market conditions, with concentration of intensive agriculture on the best lands and transformation of low-productive lands into long-term managed steppe fodder lands of adaptive animal husbandry.
Key words: Steppe agriculture landscape; Megaproject; Stalin's plan; Virgin Lands Campaign (1954-1963); Kulunda; Strategy of rational steppe land use; National project.
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