Promoting community-based management of walnut forests and pastures in South Kyrgyzstan

Project description

Title: Biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction through community-based management of walnut forests and pastures
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Kyrgyz Republic​​​​​​​
Lead executing agency: Forest Service under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2018 to 2023

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Context

The Kyrgyz walnut forest is the largest naturally growing walnut forest in the world. People living around it generate most of their income through collecting and selling walnuts, processing wild fruits and herbs as well as running livestock farming.

Up to 75 per cent of pastures and forests are already degraded, mostly because of inappropriate land use. The existing system of forest and pasture management is not adapted to climate change.

Objective

Southern Kyrgyzstan’s woodland-dependent communities are increasing their income and adapting to climate change by conserving biodiversity.

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Approach

The project has been implemented in Bazar-Korgon and Aksy districts of the Jalal-Abad region. Various technical and social-organisational land use measures have been tested with the close involvement of local land users. Successfully piloted land-management models are being incorporated into the national legal regulatory framework.

As a digital innovation, a pasture-monitoring application has been developed and piloted at the project site.

Communication campaigns and training courses on the requirements for organic certification and food-safety-compliant processing were held for forest farmers.

The working conditions at nut-cracking facilities have been improved in compliance with international hygiene and food-safety standards. The term "wild walnut kernels" is now included in international product standard for walnut kernels (DDP-02 standard) under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

A manual on education for sustainable development (ESD) and biodiversity, which has been developed and tested in the project area, is now being institutionalised and mainstreamed around the country.

The lead executing agency is the Kyrgyz Forestry Service under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic with its substructures.

The consultancy firm, Unique Land Use GmbH, implements forestry and value-chain activities at local level. In addition to this, the Public Foundation Camp Alatoo, which is a grant recipient, carries out pasture- and education-related measures.

Last update: March 2022