Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Biogeography

BALTRAK - Balancing trade-offs between agriculture and biodiversity in the steppes of Kazakhstan


After the breakdown of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan experienced substantial cropland abandonment, which offers potential for restoring steppe ecosystems. Yet, these areas also constitute considerable agricultural potential, which is likely to become exploited in the future. Within BALTRAK we assess this trade-off and provide guidance for implementing rural development strategies that lessen the expected land-use conflict between conservation and agricultural production in Kazakhstan

Our task in BALTRAK involves the reconstruction of past land-use changes in the study area by making extensive use of the rich Landsat archives. We thereby map land-use changes across large spatial scales (M. Baumann), as well as locally but at a substantially higher temporal resolution (A. Dara).


See the project website for more information.


Funding and support:

BALTRAK receives funding from the Volkswagen Foundation (01.01.2015 - 31.12.2017).