According to the classification of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, Central Asian states do not have abundant forest resources. Unfavorable economic conditions and population growth are the main causes of intensive logging of existing forests. The lack of a coherent mechanism of modern management practices also contributes to the degradation of forest areas. Together, these factors worsen the living conditions of people and animals, and the stability of regional ecosystems. Therefore, particularly in today’s context of climate change, comprehensive conservation and sustainable use of forest resources are crucial.
We aim to support our governmental and local partners in all five Central Asian countries to modify laws and regulations, and to reform relevant public agencies and other organizations working in the forestry sector. The principles of sustainable development, which promote both ecological stability and the generation of long-term socially equitable economic benefit, guide our work.
Our experts support the testing of new management approaches at the local level, and dissemination of results to the national level. Best experience are available to administrative bodies and governmental agencies through regional knowledge exchange. New methods for sustainable forest use tailored to local needs are being developed together with the population and local authorities. At the national level, we assist our partner line ministries in adapting new methods and supporting reforms that facilitate their implementation.
The State Agency for Environment Protection and Forestry (SAEPF), with our support, continues consolidating and systematizing new integrated forest management approaches. These approaches were tested during the piloting of the forestry sector reform at six pilot forest enterprises (leskhozes).
A Coordination and Consultative Council for piloting the forestry sector reform has been established and works successfully at the state level. The practical experience gained as part of piloting will be used to develop a concept for reforming the forestry sector and relevant changes to related laws and regulations. Piloting experience is also used by a new SAEPF forest project, supported by the World Bank.
New management approaches are introduced to promote biodiversity conservation, support adaptation to climate change and increase incomes of local residents in walnut forests in five leskhozes in the south of Kyrgyzstan. The results of agroforestry research, as well as innovations piloted in the past four years, provide an important basis for our work.
As part of the modern and rational model for sustainable management of forests and pastures, pilot leskhozes in the south of Kyrgyzstan have been assigned the function of pasture monitoring. The local population is being active in reforesting forest lands by cultivating walnut and fruit trees.
At the regional level, we strive to promote the exchange of knowledge and experience between countries. Through field visits, representatives of the forestry sector of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan establish mutual cooperation and get acquainted with the testing and implementation of new approaches in local contexts.