Sustainable and climate sensitive land use for economic development in Central Asia

Programme description

Title: Programme for sustainable and climate sensitive land use for economic development in Central Asia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Lead executing agency: Turkmenistan State Committee for Environmental Protection and Land Resources of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan: Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Committee of Forestry and Wildlife of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan: State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan: Committee of Environmental Protection under the Government of the Tajikistan, Uzbekistan: Main Department of Forestry Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Overall term: 2017 to 2020

Uzbekistan: A sea buckthorn plantation © GIZ


80 per cent of the territory of Central Asia is arid land. Natural resources such as pastureland, forests and wildlife are scarce and have been placed under considerable strain due to inappropriate exploitation. Moreover, the whole region is suffering more than most other regions of the world from the consequences of climate change. Continued expansion of deserts and arid areas is predicted, along with above average temperature increases and water shortages. All these increase the further degradation of natural resources and biodiversity in the short and medium term. This, in turn, serves to aggravate poverty in rural areas. The region is affected by a lack of application of strategies for, and awareness about sustainable land use. The governments have now understood the dangers, but lack the capacities and resources to solve the land-use problems.


Land users, government agencies and the private sector in Central Asia have adopted integrated, economically and ecologically sustainable forms of land use, taking climate change into account.

Kyrgyzstan, Issyk-Kul region: On a study tour, foresters from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan visit the Balykchy forestry enterprise: discussing special features of plant cuttings © GIZ


The programme’s activities range from direct support for communities and inter-sectoral policy dialogue to the promotion of cross-border cooperation and regional partnerships. Forests, pastures, environmental economics, knowledge management, environmental education and awareness raising are the areas of programme work. 


In Kazakhstan, the Committee of Forestry and Wildlife of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources is elaborating mechanisms for the development of private forestation in the country. The work on improvement of the legislative framework for the transition to a green economy is being supported through consulting services, training sessions and assistance in studying international and regional experiences. 

In Kyrgyzstan, piloting of the forest sector reform aimed at the testing of various approaches to forest management at the level of pilot forestry enterprises with the participation of local communities is being conducted. At the national level, the Coordination and Consultative Council comprised of relevant government agencies, development partner organisations and civil society representatives coordinate the piloting process. Results of piloting will serve as a basis for development of a new concept of forest sector reform. Based on the piloting lessons learnt and with GIZ support, the GEF and World Bank-supported 16 million US dollars project on integrated management of forest ecosystems has been launched.

In Tajikistan, the updated Integrated Forest Management Training Modules were developed in 2018, tested and discussed with partner organisations on the national and local levels. With the development of local bylaws, the legal basis for JFM is now fully in place and documented so that it can be rolled out in additional areas. 

In Turkmenistan, preparatory work for the piloting of the law “On pastures”, which was approved in 2015, is in process, with the subsequent development of a number of the most important normative documents. Improvement of the legislative base of the forest sector is also in process. A number of new normative documents are coordinated by the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Environmental Protection and Land Resources.

In the regions of Samarkand and Kashkadarya in Uzbekistan, forest enterprises have allocated two areas to pilot plantations of sea buckthorn to serve as demonstration plots. With this crop, local people can earn additional income by producing raw materials for pharmaceutical purposes, and by selling its fruits. In the Surkhandarya region, the State Committee on the Forestry of Uzbekistan allocated five areas as demonstration plots with pistachio trees. Local people with land lease agreement from Forest Enterprise can increase the quantity and quality of their harvest of pistachios and increase their income accordingly.

A conceptual framework on Integrative Land Use Management Approaches (ILUMA) which is based on more than 10 years of experience of natural resource management in the Central Asia, is being elaborated.

Additional information

Additional information