Natural resource management

Promoting participatory forest management in Kyrgyzstan

Objective of the project
develop, test and disseminate a viable community-based forest management model based on the traditional ecological knowledge of local communities, as well as leading international experience in sustainable forest management.

Key facts
Years of implementation:   2010-2013
Place of implementation:   ail districts Chon-Kemin and Kok-Oyrok, Chui region and ail districts Ak-Sai, Ak-Tatyr and Samarkendek, Batken region
Donor:   Christensen Foundation, USA
Partners: Batken forestry enterprise, Chon-Kemin National Park, Kok-Oyrok jamaat

Project objectives
-   Conducting a comprehensive study of the needs, expectations and preferences of local communities in relation to participation in forest management;
- Joint development and implementation of a community plan for co-management of forests and bio-cultural diversity, which will incorporate not only the traditional ecological knowledge of local communities, but also the leading experience in forest management in other countries;
- Implementation of a micro-project program to facilitate the implementation of the forest and bio-cultural diversity management plan in two pilot areas;
- Broadly informing target communities, local institutions and government agencies about the goals and objectives of the project; taking part in improving the legal framework for forest management with the participation of local communities; ensuring the dissemination of lessons learned and project experience to the main project stakeholders.

The project is funded by the Christensen Foundation, USA, founded in 1957. The Christensen Foundation supports initiatives to conserve bio-cultural diversity in selected regions of the world.

Location of the project
Development and testing of a pilot model of forest management with the participation of local communities will take place on the example of two forestry enterprises in the south and north of the country. In the Batken forestry area, the project covered the Ak-Sai, Ak-Tatyr and Samarkandek aiyl districts, and in the Chon-Kemin National Park - the Chon-Kemin and Kok-Oyrok aiyl districts.

Project partners
-   National Agency for Local Self-Government of the Kyrgyz Republic,
- State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic,
- Department of Pastures of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic,
- District and regional state administrations,
- Local government bodies,
- Local communities.

The main activity of the project
-   Conducting an assessment of the needs and expectations of target communities with regard to their participation in forest management. In particular, conducting a situational assessment of the village, a community study on the role of traditional ecological knowledge in the use and management of forest resources, community mapping of the state of forest resources using GIS, a survey among forest users, and an analysis of the value chain of wood and other forest resources.
- Organizing the process of developing a community forest and bio-cultural diversity management plan. A tool was developed to prepare a community co-management plan. At the same time, technical and organizational support at the development and implementation stage was provided by RDF experts.
- Implementation of a micro-project program to promote the implementation of the community-based forest and bio-cultural diversity management plan.
- Implementation of the information strategy of the project, dissemination of the experience gained under the project among the main stakeholders, development of recommendations for improving the legal framework for joint forest management.

Project results
RDF held a National Seminar on the results of the project "Assistance to the Community
Joint Forest Management in Kyrgyzstan ”in Bishkek on November 28, 2013. A wide variety of stakeholders, including government authorities, representatives of non-governmental organizations, donor organizations and local communities took part in the national workshop.

The results of the project were presented at the seminar - models of joint management and conservation of forest ecosystems with the participation of meikin zhamaats. The RDF emphasized the need for the gradual involvement of local communities in the joint management of forest ecosystems, as well as the importance of understanding the principles of sustainable use of natural resources. During the National Workshop, RDF highlighted the key requirements for effective collaborative governance, including the need for coordinated work of public institutions and forestry enterprises based on
consistency of roles and responsibilities.