Contact persons:

Mr. Klaus Schmidt-Corsitto
(Programme Manager)
tel.: +996 312 90 93 40

Ms. Indika Kochkarova
(Senior PR professional)
tel.: +996 312 90 93 40

Central Asia

Team of the Regional programme, its spin-offs and partners.

Regional programme

Partners: Line ministries, nongovernmental organizations

Project period: 2016-2019

Central Asia is suffering significantly from the consequences of climate change. 80% of the territory of Central Asia is arid land. Continued expansion of deserts and arid areas are predicted, along with above-average increases in temperature and water shortages. Natural resources such as pasture, forests and wildlife are already scarce and have been placed under considerable strain due to inappropriate exploitation. The region is affected by a lack of awareness about, or application of strategies for the sustainable use of these resources. Consequently, they are becoming degraded in the short and medium-term, and biodiversity is being lost. This, in turn, serves to aggravate poverty in rural areas. The governments have now understood the dangers, but lack the capacities and resources to solve the problems.

The new programme on sustainable and climate sensitive land use for economic development in Central Asia started in May 2016 in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It is financed by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Enterprise for International Cooperation).

The programme partly continues the activities of its predecessor programme on sustainable use of natural resources in Central Asia  by developing regionally adapted approaches for the participatory and sustainable management of land resources. The conceptual focus has shifted to the integration of different forms of land use (for example pasture and forest management) and their economic valuation, both on the level of land users as well as on the level of national economic accounts. In cooperation with several sub-projects in Central Asia the interventions range from direct support of communities, inter-sectoral policy dialogue to the promotion of cross-border cooperation and regional partnerships.

Together with our partners in the countries, we want to ensure that 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.

The programme works in six following areas: 

Forests: we promote a joint forest management approach, under which the national forest department leases the long-term usage rights to forest plots to private tenants. The tenants use the plots in a sustainable manner and protect them from illegal deforestation and overgrazing. At the local level, we support people and national institutions in concluding lease contracts and designing integrative management plans,  provide technical training to both the tenants and the forest department staff, and support incentives for local forest users to reforest degraded areas (savings book approach). Positive experiences from the local level are fed into the national forest sector reform.

Fore more details, see the Factsheet "Multilevel Approach for Sustainable Reforestation"

Pasture: regional experiences are shared more widely, and locally adapted problem-solving approaches are developed to encourage the sustainable management of pastures. Central aspects of the approach are the sensitization of pasture users and support for the pasture committees. At the same time, we promote continued dialogue between the users and the staff of the local authorities and relevant ministries.

Fore more details, see the Factsheet "Sustainable Pasture Management in Central Asia"

Environmental economics: we support partners in the economic assessment of natural resources and their essential ecosystem services. On the local level, cost-benefit analyses (CBA) are applied for different forms of land use, including the valuation of environmental aspects. CBA are also conducted to assess the damage caused by the loss of land due to degradation caused by human activity in contrast to the benefits of sustainable land management approaches. On the national level, economic statistics are complemented by the introduction of a system of environmental-economic accounting that reveals the interactions between the environment and the economic activity of a country. Technical staff is strengthened in their capacity to valuate environmental aspects of land use in economic terms. These approaches enable political decision makers to opt for economically and ecologically sustainable forms of land use.

Climate change adaptation: in all fields of activity, we assist partners in the adaptation of existing and the formulation of new action plans for climate change in Central Asia. Local approaches with a focus on ecosystem-based adaptation were elaborated and are being tested.National political partners are supported in the negotiation processes on climate change at the international level and preparation for accessing international climate financing.

Fore more details, see the Factsheet "Climate Change in Central Asia: Adaptation and Mitigation"

Knowledge management: regional knowledge management has become a priority of the programme. The new tool known as K-Link was established and integrated into platforms of six partners from Central Asia. This tool automatically connects and links all of the involved partners’ online information and documents on environmental topics. This simplifies users’ access to knowledge in all Central Asian countries.

Fore more details, see the Factsheet "K-Link: New approach to Knowledge Management in Central Asia"

Environmental education and awareness raising: in collaboration with the American University of Central Asia, we support the development of educational curricula  with the aim of capacity building for the young generation in the field of land use and adaptation to climate change. Television programmes are supported with the aim of awareness raising and to form a sense of responsibility in children and adolescents for the sustainable use of natural resources.

Fore more details, see the  TV programme for children and youth "Eco? Friendly!" (Russian)

Results up to date

Started in June 2015, the piloting of the forest sector reform in Kyrgyzstan is implemented in six forestry enterprises, where innovative and adapted mechanisms of decentralized and participatory management approaches are tested. At the national level, the Coordination and Consultative Council comprised of relevant government agencies, international organizations and civil society representatives coordinate the reform. The Committee of Forestry and Fauna of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan is developing mechanisms for the development of private forestation in the country. We support the efforts of partners to improve the legislative framework for the transition to a green economy, through providing advisory services and trainings, and help to study international and regional experience. In Tajikistan, participatory and sustainable forest management has been given a legal basis and is more widely introduced. Thus, even outside the pilot areas, forested areas are increasing and contribute to improving the living conditions of land users. In two pilot areas of forestry enterprises in Samarkand and Kashkadarya regions of Uzbekistan demonstration plots of plantation of sea buckthorn were established. These plantations will enable local people to earn extra income from the production of raw materials for pharmaceutical purposes, as well as from the sale of fruits and sea buckthorn oil.

In Kyrgyzstan, the Ministry for Agriculture, Melioration and Food Industry has started the application of the new Law on Pasture, based on experiences gathered during a pilot project. In Kazakhstan, the participatory pasture management approach has been adapted to local conditions and can be integrated legally and institutionally. As for Turkmenistan, a new national law on pasture has been developed and adopted by the Parliament of Turkmenistan in August 2015 and the piloting measures are being determined. The Tajik Pasture Management Networking Platform between national, international, governmental and non-governmental experts and practitioners took over the role of a dialogue platform, facilitating and coordinating knowledge exchange between stakeholders. 

Within the frame of the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) initiative and in close collaboration with national research institutions in the five countries of Central Asia analyses of the impact of land degradation have been conducted, which show that sustainable land management will provide substantial benefits for the economy and the people's livelihood in the region. The regional pasture network was launched in March 2016 as a platform for exchange of information. All members of the network can freely use modern and convenient online tools such as K-DMS and K-Link

For details, see the Programme's booklet