This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy.

Project information

Project team

Sebastian Lentz, Andreas Wust, Marina Ratchina


Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg (leader of coordination team); Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO) (leader of SP 9); Universities of Hannover and Göttingen, Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ), Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Impact Research (PIK), Amazonen-Werke H. Dreyer GmbH & Co. KG

Duration of project

10/2011 – 03/2017

Funded by

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, research programme "Sustainable Land Management", Module A1 “Interaction between land management, climate change and ecosystem services”

Further information

Andreas Wust
Tel.: +49 341 600 55-172

KULUNDA – How to prevent the next "Global Dust Bowl"?

Ecological and Economic Strategies for Sustainable Land Management in the Russian Steppes: A Potential Solution to Climate Change

The interdisciplinary KULUNDA project was a part of the BMBF research program, "Sustainable Land Management", Module A1 Interaction between land management, climate change and ecosystem services.

IfL and IAMO investigated in Subproject 9 (SP9) social and institutional drivers of land use change hampering or facilitating change towards more sustainable land use. A socio-geographic study focussed on the innovation capability of the rural society, their acceptance of sustainable innovative land use practices, and their willingness to engage in the implementation of these practices.

From 1954 to 1963 approximately 420.000 km² of the West Siberian Kulunda steppe area was converted into large-scale intensive agriculture. The intensive farming proved to be inadequate regarding to its regional environmental heterogeneities. The consequence is widespread soil degradation, caused by erosion, decreased top soils and humus content, and therefore, a decreased concentration of sequestered carbon. The soil water and nutrient regime is unfavourably affected, the fertility is declining, and a decreased yield of crops is the result.

These facts have negative impacts for regional development. Out-migration from the rural steppe areas is another regional challenge. The KULUNDA project was divided into eleven subprojects and unified the knowledge of 16 partners from German universities, research facilities, and small to medium size enterprises.

The project was organized in four work tasks which focussed on

  • Analysing the effects of agricultural management practices on soil properties and other ecosystem properties with regard to climate conditions,
  • Analysing the effects of natural and social framework on land use decisions,
  • Development and implementation of adopted land use practices and steppe restoration measures,
  • Development and implementation of stakeholder driven planning and consulting platform which allows the application of sustainable land use strategies.


For more information, please visit the KULUNDA site