Scientific research

Community forestry in Karakalpakstan

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of approach:

Tenants – local inhabitants in cooperation with district forest management agencies did reforestation works in the degraded forest sites on mutually advantageous conditions.

Brief description of approach:

Within the frame of the Project of the Government of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, UNDP/GEF, entitled: «Preservation of the tugai forests and strengthening of protected territory systems in the Amu Darya River delta in Karakalpakstan», local population was involved in reforestation by transfer of the degraded forest sites for leasing for a period of 5 years on the basis of the contract with forestry department. In case of successful fulfilment of all contract provisions the term of rent extends till 10 years. The tenants carry out planting of trees, look after plantings, grow vegetables and forage crops in inter-row spacings and owning yields as compensation, and forest production is equally shared between the tenants and forestry agencies.

Project consultants together with the representatives of territorial forestry department and with the assistance of local government bodies determined the degraded forest sites, assessed problems and held information-training seminars within the frame of a project component. The degraded forest sites were transferred to local inhabitants for lease on the contract basis.

For ensuring observance of contract provisions with both parties, Councils of communal forestry with members - representatives of local community, district administration, local government, nature protection organizations were established created and charters were approved. Councils work on a voluntary basis and take part in discussion and decision-making on communal reforestation.

Location: Beruniy, Amudarya, and Kanlykul districts, Karakalpakstan.,.

Area of technology application: 87 ha.

Main land use issues and the main causes of land degradation:

Shortage of funds at forestry agencies (owners of land) for reforestation. The population is not interested in forest restoration and preservation in the absence of a private property on land.

Purpose of the approach:

Communal forestry management is aimed at improvement of conditions of forest resources, decrease of the state expenses on reforestation through the involvement of local population in the  management process.

Assessment

Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- possibility of obtaining quick benefit due to the use of inter-row spacings;

- a source of the stable income, improvement of financial conditions of the families participating in communal reforestation;

- there is no need for high investments;

- state budget funds for restoration and protection are saved (the restored forest on tenants’ land is not needed to be protected by the employees of forestry department);

- formation of individual and public responsibility for good forest conditions in local inhabitants;

- ensuring self-employment of local inhabitants by involving them in communal reforestation;

- mutual benefit of the agreement of interested parties;

- strengthening of social communications (between people, economy and state policy).

Main disadvantages:

- responsibility of interested parties are not defined;

- forestry department are not ready yet for decentralization of management;

- transfer of the forestry sites to rent to local people is not legalized;

- uncertainty in stability of the new relations.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: This approach was applied for the first time in 2004 within the UNDP and RoU Project entitled: «Creation of Nuratau-Kyzylkum biospheric reserve» on 75 ha area. The project «Preservation of the tugai forest and strengthening the systems of protected territories in the Amu Darya River delta in Karakalpakstan» in 2007 repeated this approach on the 87 ha area.

Land is state-owned (in this case in a property of forestry departments). According to the law «On the forests», only the degraded land of the State forest fund can be a subject to rent. State administration of the forestry departments usually concludes short-term contracts only (for 1 year) on rent of land with individuals and commercial organizations with an obligation to pay 70% of the income (in a monetary and natural form) to the state.

The problem can only be solved by amending the law on land ownership.

Reference(s): WOCAT Database. Approach code: A_UZB002ru.

Compiled by: Tatyana Hamzina. Date: 15.12.2011.

Tel.: +998 61 2242935, Email: bahit@rambler.ru

Name of person(s) collected this description: Tatyana Hamzina, Chief specialist on soil reclamation studies and irrigation regime. UZGIP LTD.

Address: 44, Navoi str., Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Tel.: +998 90 9945654

Email:  tatyana_khamzina@mail.ru

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