High on the Pamir Mountains, the people of Murghab have almost no access to energy. The fuel that used to power the electric station ran out after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the cheap coal that kept them warm in winter has drastically increased its price since Tajikistan's independence in 1991. Desperate for firewood, with temperatures dropping to -50 celsius degrees in winter, the people are harvesting teresken, a small schrub that takes decades to grow. Without the cover of these schrubs the land here is experiencing devastating desertification.

*Credit List*
Featuring: Orozobai Arzibaev, Asadira Dolavdik, Khudodod Aknazarov, Bolotbek Torogoldiev
Director/Producer/Camera/Editor: Luis Patron
Local coordinator: Surob Guribmamadov
Sound recordist: Steve Yasui
Graphics and color grading: David Jimenez
Sound Mixer: Tfer Newsome
Still photography by: Malcolm Linton
Music by: The Badakhshan Ensemble & Tengir Too.
Additional music by: David Jimenez

Special thanks to the Aga Khan Development Network - Mountain Societies Development Support Programme.

Shot on location in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, Tajikistan.
Duration: 11:44 minutes

Developed and produced for United Nations University (UNU) by UNU Media Studio in association & the UNU - Institute for Environment and Human Security in association with the project on Sustainable Land Management in the High-Pamir and Pamir-Alai Mountains (PALM).

For more information visit: UNU Our World 2.0, PALM

Further information for this film can be found at film’s website:

*About this Project*
The United Nations University together with the project on Sustainable Land Management in the High-Pamir and Pamir-Alai Mountains, collaborated as partners in the coordination, production and dissemination of 2 short videos dealing with Central Asian issues on land degradation and sustainable land management. The video Energy for the Pamir Mountains played alongside other international climate change videos at a locally coordinated forum event and later at a special screening at the National Museum of Denmark during the Copenhagen COP15 meeting.

*About the filmmaker*
Luis Patron - Director/Producer/Camera/Editor
Luis Patron is a Japan based independent documentary filmmaker, producer, HD cinematographer and editor. He teams up with talented local professionals in Japan and around the world to craft factual films for cinema and television.

United Nations University Media Studio
The UNU Media Studio was established in March 2003 and works in collaboration with a global network of partners to develop and share open educational resources. Through a small team based in Tokyo, the UNU promotes innovation in the building of interactive content and video documentaries that engage, entertain and educate. The core creative team is comprised of specialists in web and graphic design, documentary and multimedia production, as well as educational technology and instructional design. In developing projects, this team collaborates with subject matter experts from within the UNU, from other UN bodies and from partner universities. The UNU Media Studio also collaborates with independent professionals in the area of documentary production, web application development, web design and instructional design.

United Nations Institute for Environment and Human Security
UNU-EHS addresses the risk and vulnerability aspects of human security and the consequences of complex environmental hazards for sustainable development. The work of UNU-EHS helps to improve the in-depth understanding of the cause effect relationships to find ways to reduce risks and vulnerabilities. The Institute supports policymakers and decision makers with evidence-based research and information

Project on Sustainable Land Management in the High-Pamir and Pamir-Alai Mountains (PALM).
PALM is an integrated transboundary initiative of the governments of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It aims to address the interlinked problems of land degradation and poverty within one of Central Asia’s crucial fresh water sources and biodiversity hotspots. The project is executed by the Committee on Environment Protection in Tajikistan and National Center for Mountain Regions Development in Kyrgyzstan with financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other donors. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the GEF Implementing Agency for the project, and the United Nations University (UNU) is the International Executing Agency.  The overall goal of the project is to restore, sustain, and enhance, the productive and protective functions of the transboundary ecosystems of the High Pamir and Pamir-Alai Mountains, of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, so as to improve the social and economic well-being of the rural communities and households utilizing the region's ecosystem resources to meet their livelihood needs, while preserving its unique landscape and globally important biodiversity.

A high resolution version of this video and subtitle files are available. Please contact us for download details:
Media Studio
53-70 Jingumae 5-chome Shibuya-ku
Tokyo JAPAN 150-8925
Ph: +813 5467 1324

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