Report of the National Workshop, “Promoting Forest Management with the Participation of Local Communities in Kyrgyzstan”

The project, supported by the Christensen Fund in USA, was implemented in partnership with the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry of the Kyrgyz Republic. The objective of the project was to develop a viable model of forest management with local pilot communities while engaging the local traditional ecological knowledge, as well as leading international experience in sustainable forest management.

RDF implemented the following work in two pilot regions of Kyrgyzstan:

  • Conducted a comprehensive survey to explore local needs related to forest resources;
  • Created pilot community institutions involved in the management of forest ecosystems, Meikin groups;
  • Developed community forest management plans;
  • Implemented a small grants program for local communities in order to preserve and improve the state of forest resources; and
  • Informed local communities and government agencies about project results and lessons learned.

The project established a proven model of forest ecosystem management involving local communities, and we concluded that the gradual involvement of local communities in the co-management of forest ecosystems was necessary. Effective co-management requires a close relationship between community institutions and forestry work, as well as the coherence of all roles and responsibilities for co-managing forest ecosystems. The conference also raised and discussed the issue of revising the existing legal framework for community-based forest management.