When it comes to sustainable use of land resources, important elements are the successful testing and implementation of new integrated approaches aimed at preserving and restoring ecosystems, increasing population incomes, and improving the existing resource management system. The reform processes are accompanied by knowledge and skill development, capacity building for both decision-makers and the public. The Program on a regular basis holds training seminars, workshops, field visits and study tours both within the Central Asian region and abroad.
As part of the forestry reform piloting in Kyrgyzstan, forestry sector workers participated in trainings on taxation of lands of the State Forest Fund (SFF) and legal aspects of forest and pasture use; forest management and public-private partnerships and investments in the SFF; growing seedlings and proper tree care; SFF mapping using the Quantum GIS software.
In September 2018 – May 2019, the Program held training for employees of 20 pilot leskhozes on the procedure for the formation, review and execution of leskhoz program-based budgets. The staff of five leskhozes also received training on the procedure for the formation of a stimulation fund and calculation of employee bonuses for experimental leskhozes. These training activities supported the testing and implementation of new approaches in forestry financial management, when leskhozes are empowered to distribute and use the funds. The trainings resulted in recommendations on the methodology of program-based budgeting and employee incentive system.
Educational materials, plot projects, recommendations and results of events and trainings are published on a regular basis in the form of electronic and printed materials in Kyrgyz and Russian. They are distributed to leskhozes and among the population and are easily accessible online at http://www.naturalresources-centralasia.org/index.php?id=186 and https://www.landuse-ca.org/?type=publications&year=2019&country=kyrgyzstan&lang=en.
Raising awareness on sustainable land management is always crucial. In this regard, the Regional Program holds seminars, mini-lectures, press tours for representatives of the media. Specifically, journalists from Kyrgyzstan visited Georgia and produced video materials on agroforestry on various lands, the cultivation of new tree varieties in nurseries, and nature reserve management. A separate video material was dedicated to environmental education in two secondary schools that introduced modern teaching methods were introduced and classes are mostly conducted outdoors. All videos were later demonstrated by the Kyrgyz National Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Corporation.
Another joint press tour was organized in Khorezm region and Karakalpakstan in Uzbekistan, where Kyrgyz and Uzbek journalists learned about growing fruit trees on saline soils and modern agricultural technologies. The participants also visited the biosphere and tugai forests, where the project to preserve ecosystems in the Lower Amu Darya is being implemented. After the study tour, the journalists prepared materials on intensive gardening, which were demonstrated in Kyrgyzstan and published in newspapers in Uzbekistan.
In October 2017, journalists from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan visited the Karakalpak branch of the Makhmum Mirzaev Research Institute of Horticulture, Viticulture and Winemaking, and the Urgench State University.
Press tour to Khorezm region (Uzbekistan, 5 November 2017)
In these areas, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation) project “Sustainable Economic Development in Selected Regions of Uzbekistan”, implemented jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan, supported approaches to combating land degradation through intensive landscaping on saline soils in Khorezm, Karakalpakstan and Surkhandarya.
Another successful event was a series of mini lectures on forestry sector reform, sustainable land use in the context of climate change and the necessary adaptation measures. For several days, journalists from Kyrgyzstan met with various experts and learned about measures to adapt to climate change. The materials and reports of mini lectures served as the basis for the development of a manual for the media in Russian and Kyrgyz languages.
As for environmental education and training, the Program in cooperation with the American University of Central Asia supported the development of a curriculum for students who could possible work in the field of land use in the future. In collaboration with the Kyrgyz National Television and Radio Broadcasting Corporation, the Program prepared interactive television broadcasts “Eco?Logical” that help build a sense of responsibility for the protection and preservation of natural resources in children and adolescents. The Roza Otunbayeva Foundation, together with the BIOM environmental movement, distributed these children’s programs to schools in Kyrgyzstan.
They were also included in the report of the German government at the international conference “Pursuit of Biodiversity. Germany’s international cooperation in support of the Convention on Biological Diversity for Sustainable Development” (published in October 2018)