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is a not-for-profit and nongovernmental policy and research organization established in 2003 to conduct research, develop policy recommendations, and implement activities in the field of the rural development.

Rural Development Fund

is a not-for-profit and nongovernmental policy and research organization established in 2003 to conduct research, develop policy recommendations, and implement activities in the field of the rural development.

Rural Development Fund

is a not-for-profit and nongovernmental policy and research organization established in 2003 to conduct research, develop policy recommendations, and implement activities in the field of the rural development.

Rural Development Fund

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Italian freelance photographer Marco Palombi, has met the activist of the KEAK pastoral network for conversation and short reportage for won website.

Social programs coordinator Kuluipa Akmatova took part in the international conference "Mountains of the future" in China

Meeting of the Climate Network of Kyrgyzstan

Completion of Right to Food project

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Recovering and improving productivity of near-village pastures and sustainable management of secondary pasture resources

 

Fast Facts

 

Realization period: 2010-2011

 

Area:  Kok-Oirok aiyl okrug, Chui oblast

 

Donor: Global Ecological Fund

 

Partner: Kok-Oirok Jamaat

 

Contact: erlan_k@rdf.in.kg

 

Our land is our wealth and it is in our own hands

Many people have heard and been in the fertile valley of Kemin in our country. Laying along the river Kemin, the valley is rich in its alpine meadow pastures and spruce forests, glacial lakes and mountain streams. Those, who have ever been in this valley, will never forget the rich and beautiful landscape and nature of this land. However, those who were born and have been living here, note with a heavy heart that this land misses more and more green grass around villages, spruce trees and rare birds and animals in the surrounding mountains. There are less wild herbs, berries and mushrooms, which are important not only in everyday nutrition of local people, but also significant for income generation of local families. In most cases natural resources have been disappearing only because of the careless use of them. Unfortunately, people make environment to lose its richness and fertility using it in irrational and destructive way and thus make harm themselves only.

 

Not seasonal and irrational use of rangelands, as well as mass cutting of trees and shrubs in Kok-Oirok aiyl okrug in Kemin rayon led to the fact that local pastures around the villages have been severely degraded, and the distant pastures have been overgrown with weeds, that is useless for feeding the cattle. Moreover, irrational use of natural resources such as wild herbs, berries and mushrooms by local people significantly reduced their growing areas. Local communities decided to find the way for solution of the problems with restoring and reviving the pasture lands and their natural resources. In July 2008, people have organized and registered public association – Kok-Oirok Jamaat that consists of local activists and community leaders. “Kok-Oirok” Jamaat was initiated by local community residents and aimed to jointly address the locally important issues. Jamaat plays a role of active participant in solving the socio-economic problems of the community.

 

Project aim

Project was initiated by the Jamaat and supported by the Global Environmental Fund (GEF) under the Small Grants Program. It is aimed to improve the state of pastures near Karaldobo, Kaindy and Tegirmenti villages by sowing on them the permanent grasses and planting trees and conifer trees around the pastures. In addition, project implementers were intended to inculcate and foster local residents the principles of to sustainable and rational use of pasture resources.

 

Initiative of Local Communities

In the frame of the project Jamaat planted the poplar and fir trees, as well as sowed seeds of perennial pasture grasses in near village pastures. There were more than 3746 poplars, and 200 fir trees planted and 25 hectares of pasture were sown by perennial pasture grasses.

 

This project became the next stage of previous projects implemented by RDF and was based on their findings and recommendations. As a result of Capturing Kyrgyz Traditional Pastoral Knowledge to Recover Sustainable Pastoral Practices Project that was funded by the Christensen Fund, USA, and implemented in three villages of Kok-Oirok aiyl okrug, local community members came to an understanding of the inseparability of social and economic activities of local people and local landscape. Local community members have clearly realized the scale of problem on use of rangelands and other natural resources, direct and indirect causes of these problems and ways for solutions.

 

Project participants

Women, children and the youth of Jamaat wer involved into the implementation of the project. For instance, women were included not only into gathering and solving of natural secondary resources, but also took part in decision-making process on use of secondary pasture resources by providing community-based maps to representatives of aiyl okmotu, the National Park, pasture committee and others. Youth of Jamaat provided assistance in protection of planted pastures.

 

RDF participation and contribution

RDF actively took part in project activities under implementation. Initially, RDF had PRA in these villages, during which local people determined the problems of landscape degradation, analyzed the causes of degradation and decided how to recover natural resources most important for local communities. During the focus groups with local community representatives RDF experts made an analysis of the resources degradation dynamics, and determined the resistance points of ecosystems in Kok-Oirok.

 

RDF contributed to implementation of this project by designing a database of major users of secondary rangeland resources and identifying their problems on use. This helped further to develop a plan for rational and sustainable use of pasture resources.

 

It should be noted that in the frame of the project funded by ICCO, the Dutch donor organization, RDF has trained a number of local community members how to collect, dry and process medicinal herbs, berries and mushrooms, as well as market and sell produced products. In addition, 40 local families received micro grant aid in sum of 650 000 KGS in purpose of implementing the micro projects on rational and sustainable use of secondary pasture resources. On other hand, it contributed to rising of living standards of rural families.

 

Main project activities

Kok-Oirok Jamaat with the support of RDF undertook the following activities, some of which were relevant to the whole community, and others were specific for particular villages:

- built the social concord in project target villages;

- chose and assign people responsible for project implementation (procurement of seeds, planting, fencing and guarding of pastures), and coordinate project implementation schedule;

- identified pastures for cattle feeding at the time of sowing, and agree the period, during which grazing was temporarily prohibited;

- mobilized village inhabitants and sow the pastures;

- cleaned off the ditches and irrigate canals in near village pastures;

- fenced and mark the seeded pastures, and organizing the supervision of seeded pastures;

- spread regularly information among shepherds and local people about the temporary prohibition of grazing in pastures;

- monitored the growth of planted areas on regular basis.

 

Community Mapping

It was important not only to improve, but also to save the fertility and quality of pasture lands which can be done only by rational and reasonable management and use of pasture resources. In order to manage and control the use of pasture resources and undertake activities on improvement of them, Jamaat worked on assessment of natural resources through mapping of them. The community mapping, with the help of which community members created a simple map of their resources and environment, gave a clear and comprehensive image about pasture resources: land, soil fertility, quantity of degraded areas, as well as other pasture resources, such as hays, herbs, berries and mushrooms, and their evaluation for next 20-30 years. Such kind of mapping allowed residents to identify issues around pasture resources and to undertake further steps in tier protecting and improving. Currently 15 members of Jamaat were trained on principles and mechanisms for developing community-based maps of pasture resources and skills to use GPS navigators. The training was organized and conducted by the RDF experts.

 

Project results:

Project results can be classified as factual and prolonged and included following:

- Grass quality is improved in selected pastures;

- water regulating ecosystem functions are restored and water supplying in soil of pastures has being temporarily improved;

- period of overgrazing by increasing the stability of pastures has been gradially extending;

- pastures are going to be prevented from floods and landslides and soil erosion processes on the slope of Jazy-Karagai resulted from cutting off the pines;

- water supply in Jazy-Karagai pastures is maintained and their resistance to burning out has been gradually increasing;

local communities are provided with wood in perspective;

- costs on fodder that reduced the cost of keeping dairy cows is reduced ;

- growing areas of pastures resources (berries, herbs and mushrooms) are increased by teaching community members on methods of rational collecting secondary pasture resources;

- local people are trained how to analyze and make assessment of natural resources with the help of community mapping and use of GPS, and to use these skills in the future;

- additional income generating opportunities are provided for households;

-  families are involvment in collecting, processing and selling secondary resources of pastures, such as mushrooms, berries and herbs that allowed them to increase family income at more than 10%.

 

Thus, project became an example, when community members took an initiate on their own for solving their local issues. It means that we take a step towards the nature, as raising the quality and productivity of pastures, people strive to improve an environment and natural resources. This is a proof of the fact that our development is in our hands.

Rural Development Fund

143, Isanova Street, Office 1

Bishkek, 720033, Kyrgyz Republic

Mob. phone: +996 (770)330106 

Email: general@rdf.in.kg

© RDF 2008 - 2015


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