Forest Management: Integrative forest management to increase forest cover in Tajikistan

  1. What is this land use practice about?

Tajikistan is a mountainous country highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change: climate related hazards, such as landslides, floods and droughts are not uncommon and remote populations, strongly relying on their natural environment to ensure their livelihoods, have very limited coping capacities to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters. Due to climate change, it is expected that the climate related risks will potentially increase in the coming decades. One example of such climate risk are more erratic and less predictable extreme weather events. Sustainable management of forests can help to attenuate the risks associated with climate change, by a) reducing the likelihood and intensity of expected hazards (via soil stabilization, reduced erosion, flood protection) and b) increasing the resilience of local populations (via increased economic opportunities, diversification of options for energy supply, legally guaranteed tenure rights).

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the increased demand for fuelwood meant that large areas were deforested to meet this need. This made the country more vulnerable to climate change and exacerbates its negative impacts. Conflicts over land use rights between forestry offices and the local population also continue to lead to overuse and hence degradation of forest resources.

Forests play a key role in the lives of Tajikistan’s rural population. Firewood, fodder, medicinal plants, fruit and nuts can be sold locally at a profit and represent an important source of income. Forests also perform an essential function in regulating the water balance and providing protection against natural disasters. Rehabilitating and protecting forests is therefore of vital importance in the process of strengthening resilience and adapting to climate change.

The experience of GIZ has shown, that measures to strengthen the capacities of forest authorities and forest users to plan, implement and monitor sustainable forest management as well as to settle land use conflicts consensus oriented can lead to the rehabilitation of degraded forest areas, greater availability of fuelwood and increased earnings from forest management activities. Integrating biodiversity conservation into the capacity building process further promotes the long-term stability of forests and helps mitigating the negative impacts of climate change.

  1. Corner stones of Forest Management

Successful forest management requires a multi-level and multi-dimensional approach. Piloting integrative forest management approaches based on rehabilitation, protection and reforestation is as important as supporting appropriate forest governance and management structures which enable sustainable forest use planning and monitoring. Forests based economic development based on timber, pasture, NTFP or tourism provides the opportunity to take advantage of this economic inventive to promote sustainable management approaches among the local population and the forest management institutions.

The most important ‘corner stones’ regarding the land use practice ‘forest management’, are:

  • Forest Rehabilitation
  • Forest Protection
  • Afforestation and Reforestation
  • Forest Governance & Management Planning
  • Business development
Corner Stone GIZ experience for implementation Key Elements ILUMA Dimensions
Forest Rehabilitation Joint Forest Management (JFM) is a participatory forest management approach that allows the local population to be involved in forest management and to support the rehabilitation of degraded natural forests over the long term., while getting economic benefits.
Local tenants sign a leasing contract for the land use rights with the State Forest Enterprises for a period of 20 years, with the possibility for prolongation. In addition to the contract, management and annual plans serve as tools for forest management planning and for the monitoring of activities and results.Documentation
– JFM manual: EN, TJK
– Contract templates
– Template MP/ AP
– JFM movie
JFM presentation SFA
– JFM factsheet- Training modules on integrative forest management:
1. Contract
Contracts between local tenants and the local forest enterprise give the land use rights to the local forest tenants over a period of up to 20 years with the possibility for prolongation.
·  Raises awareness of local population on sustainable forest and land management practices;

·  Evaluates the potential future benefits to define a fair share of the income between the local forest enterprise and the forest tenant(s);

·  Ensures the legal basis for the contracts;

·  Develop bylaws and regulations on the application of JFM;

·   Specifies the management objectives and the monitoring structure within the contract;