BISHKEK (TCA) -- Under the framework of the National Programme until 2015, Kyrgyzstan in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been implementing over the past three years the joint forest management (JFM) by providing forest areas for rent to local populations for long-term use for landscape gardening and the creation of fruit orchards.
The government is promoting JFM not only as a means of maintaining and expanding forests, but also as a means of developing regions as a whole due to forest management involving local communities.
Today, JFM is implemented in six pilot areas: in the villages of Jany-Pakhta, Ivanovka and Kegety in the Chui region, and in the villages of Kok-Moinok, Karasayevo, Orto-Oruktu and Ton in the Issyk-Kul region. There, the local residents plant fast-growing and fruit trees on their own. The project also supports the construction of nurseries and irrigation facilities. The results have been promising.
A 14-hectare nursery for poplars and fruit trees was created in Jany-Pakhta. In the future it will be expanded to 36 hectares.
A 14-hectare area, unsuitable for crop cultivation due to the soil salinity, in the Ivanovka village was planted with fast growing trees as a source of firewood and future construction materials. A water wheel and a pump were constructed for irrigation.
An arid area of 134 hectares in the village of Kok-Moinok, Issyk-Kul region, was planted with apricot trees and windbreaks of poplars. A six-kilometer water pipe, providing regular watering for plantings, was built. By the end of 2015, the planted area will be expanded to 271 hectares.
Since the beginning of 2012, JICA has supported a pilot area in the Ton forestry of Issyk-Kul region. All 312 hectares are located on the shores of the Lake Issyk-Kul, and are available for rent for 60 local residents for landscaping and the creation of fruit orchards. This spring, a 5-hectare area was planted with apricot trees for the first time (about 600 plants per one hectare). And since no natural sources of irrigation water here will create certain difficulties, JICA has assisted to commission a pumping system at the water intake well. To do this, a 30-meter deep well was drilled and a transformer substation was installed.
According to Taras Urmanbetov, director of the Ton forestry, similar events involving local people contribute to informing the local population about the joint forest management and improving the lease relations among the local population and local authorities, addressing the socio-economic issues and improving the local environment.
Tattsuzhi Nishikawa, JFM project coordinator, said, “The main goal of the project is to expand the areas where the methods of joint forest management are used. The result of the project is the development of the concept in the country’s forest sector, based on the three constituent components of the forest policy ‘Forest-Man-State.’ The land is the most wonderful thing that we have been given for life. We must cultivate it, protect and defend by all means.”
Koichi Tokugawa, JFM Senior Advisor, said, “Japan listens to the needs of Kyrgyzstan and makes every effort to facilitate its transition to a market economy and assist to the improvement of people's living standards. In this sense, planning and management of forests is considered as one of the sources that provide higher living and social standards in rural areas.”