The Altai Assistance Project (2006)

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The Altai Republic, known as “the Switzerland of Russia”, is located on the southwestern edge of Siberia, in the Russian portion of the Altai-Sayan range which continues into Kazakhstan, China, and Mongolia. It is a spectacularly beautiful, unspoiled, and undeveloped land of forests, open rangeland, and mountain peaks up to 4,500 m. In 1998, five separate nature sites of the Altai Republic were inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site known as the “Golden Mountains of Altai.” About 22% of the Republic's 92,900 km2 is in Russian federally protected areas, either as zapovedniki (strict nature preserves, where no human use is ordinarily allowed) or zakazniki (less strictly protected recreational areas). The Altai's 200,000 inhabitants have long been among the poorest in Russia. About 70% of the population is Russian, while about 30% is of Turkic and other native origins, concentrated in the mountainous areas nearest the southern borders. Agriculture, mostly in the form of livestock raising, is the primary occupation.

Year: 2006
Language: English
In: Mountain Research and Development, Vol 26, No 1, Feb 2006: 77-79:,



 Record created 2011-12-21, last modified 2013-01-17