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  • 1 Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest
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The author focuses on the changing perception and use of alaases (round shaped meadows in thermocarst depressions) in a Central-Yakutian village community under the effect of global climate change. Households of the local cattle-economy before the collectivisation used to be located at alaases and had used small and disperse hayfields. Subsequent economic reforms in the Soviet era, and the process of decollectivisation (in the 1990s) distanced villagers from alaases. Therefore knowledge on alaas ecotope in the village has radically diminished.

In the 21st century environmental changes have had negative effect on the local agriculture and economy. Increase in annual precipitation, and in mean annual temperature resulted in the rapid humidification of permafrost soil, and the degradation of hayfields. Three factors expose today agricultural production in the village to ongoing climatic changes: low level of selfdependency in agricultural production, undiversified production of unprocessed raw material, and the vanishing concepts of local spiritual ecology. The author argues that anthropological research can effectively contribute to the mitigation of losses in Sakha cattle economy by studying traditional methods of land use and the perception of environment.

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