Ms. Maya Ashirova
Country Coordinator (Turkmenistan)
тел.: +993 12 28 75 72

Stabilized sand dunes no longer pose a threat to the Bahardok village (Karakum desert region). Field visit to the Bahardok village in the framework of regional training on integrating ecosystem services into development planning.
Sustainable forest and pasture management in Turkmenistan

Partners: Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan

Project period: 2016-2017

According to the classification of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Central Asian states have a low percentage of forested land. Moreover, the remaining forests are often degraded or subject to logging activities. Deforestation of vast areas can aggravate the living conditions of people and wildlife to the point where the stability of the regional ecosystem becomes threatened. Therefore, comprehensive protection, conservation and sustainable use of forest resources in the region are crucial.

Turkmenistan has a shortage of forest resources. Remaining forests include mountain species such as Turkmen juniper and nut trees (pistachio, walnut, and almond).  As more than half of the country is occupied by sandy desert the protective function of these forests is crucial. The legislative framework of the forest sector is the Forest Code, the National Forest Program, and a number of decisions made by the President aimed at the rational use of forest plantations, their reproduction, protection and conservation. The main part of the country’s forest fund is under the authority of forest enterprises and organizations of the Ministry of Nature Protection.

For several years we have been working in close cooperation with the Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Nature Protection, helping to improve forest sector legislation as well as its enforcement and compliance. We provide advisory service to the Ministry of Nature Protection and hold training sessions and meetings to help them coordinate their actions on a national and regional level. Here, we support the ministry with the introduction of new methods of sustainable forest management and in the exchange of experience and information. Through an analysis of Turkmenistan’s forest sector legislation we hope to contribute to its further development. Moreover, the model of community forest management is currently being tested in pilot areas.

It is estimated that about 60% of the State Forest Fund of Turkmenistan is used for grazing. We collaborate with the relevant organizations and institutions in the sphere of conservation and management of pasture ecosystems and biodiversity. Jointly with our national and international partners, we are seeking solutions that will allow pasture users to be engaged in sustainable pasture use. After completing the analysis of the legislative framework of Turkmenistan on pasture management, the process of updating the relevant law had been started. As a result, the final draft of a new Pasture Code has been submitted to the Parliament of Turkmenistan for consideration and approved in June 2015.

We support both national and regional dialogue and knowledge exchange, paying special attention to discussions aimed at raising professional skills and capacities in sustainable pasture management. In June 2014 regional training on integrating ecosystem services into development planning for stakeholders of the five Central Asian countries was successfully conducted in Ashgabat. The participants are now able to implement this knowledge in their respective countries.

Turkmenistan also conducted a gaps and needs assessment in relation to the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals, in particular, mountain sheep and defined their position with respect to the enforcement of the provisions of the Convention. At present, we are working with the Union of Hunters and Fishermen of Turkmenistan to strengthen the base of hunting and plan the next steps.

In all fields of our activity in the regional programme we facilitate efforts of our partners to adapt new and existing action plans to climate change in Turkmenistan. We elaborate and disseminate local approaches with focus on Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA). For example, in multi-stakeholder processes vulnerability assessments are conducted and measures for adaptation to climate change are identified and integrated into forest and pasture management in the country. Moreover, the programme is taking up actions in mitigation of climate change in the management of these natural resources in the region.

We further support capacity development with regard to strengthening of policy and decision-makers at national level and advise other projects on climate change issues, acting as a regional „climate competence center“.