Kyrgyzstan takes bold steps towards sustainable forest management and high conservation value forests

September 18, 2023


14 September, Bishkek – In a significant effort to champion sustainable forest management and the preservation of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF), Kyrgyzstan hosted a national workshop organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This gathering served as a pivotal moment in Kyrgyzstan's commitment to fostering ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially beneficial forestry practices.

The workshop convened an esteemed array of participants, including member of the Kyrgyz Republic's Parliament, representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology, and Technical Supervision, the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Academy of Sciences, environmental NGOs, forest enterprises, and protected areas. The assembly came together to delve into the intricacies of adopting the HCVF approach and the merits of sustainable forest management.

During the workshop, experts shed light on the global successes of voluntary Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) certification and shared insights on the ongoing implementation of the HCVF concept in Kyrgyzstan, with a particular focus on the Toktogul forest enterprise. One highlight was the presentation of the draft National Standard for Voluntary Certification, heralded as a key tool for responsible forest stewardship.

The event was aptly timed, taking place on the eve of the Day of Forestry Professionals of the Kyrgyz Republic. The workshop guests delivered a heartfelt message, emphasizing the indispensable role of forests in Kyrgyzstan's natural heritage and commending foresters for their unwavering dedication to conservation.

Ms. Monica Rijal, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic, underscored UNDP's pivotal role in the nation's sustainable forest development, stating, "Over the past decade, UNDP has supported expanding protected natural areas, strengthening sectoral legal framework, and incorporating environmental norms and standards into Kyrgyzstan's policies and the daily lives of its people."

This year, UNDP, in collaboration with the Forest Service of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Association of Forest and Land Users of Kyrgyzstan, initiated a series of dialogues aimed at furthering the implementation of the HCVF concept and voluntary certification within the framework of sustainable forestry. This national workshop marked the culmination of a series of educational and informational workshops conducted at the regional level, engaging over 160 participants from environmental and forest-related organizations in the Jalal-Abad and Talas regions.

UNDP has consistently supported Kyrgyzstan's efforts to implement the HCVF approach at the national level, resulting in a robust regulatory framework that addresses HCVF issues. Thanks to the methodology developed for identifying high conservation value forests and key biodiversity territories, Kyrgyzstan has successfully adapted HCVF categories at the national level.



Why It Matters:

Sustainable Forest Management (SFM): A holistic approach to ensure that forest activities are ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially beneficial, SFM strikes a balance to secure forests for future generations.

High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF): These are no ordinary forests; they represent areas of exceptional environmental, socio-economic, biodiversity, or landscape value. Protecting and managing these forests is vital for the equilibrium of our planet and the well-being of local communities.

Voluntary Certification: A symbol of trust, voluntary certification ensures that products originate from responsibly managed forests, enabling consumers to make environmentally responsible choices.

Kyrgyzstan's unwavering commitment to sustainable forestry and the preservation of HCVFs is not just a local endeavour but a global contribution towards environmental stewardship and the well-being of communities. The nation's dedication to this cause stands as a testament to the importance of collaborative efforts in safeguarding our natural treasures for generations to come.

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For more information, please contact:

Mirlan Dyikanbaev

Biodiversity Conservation and Outreach Associate, UNDP Kyrgyzstan


Phone: +(996) 779 66-55-99 

About UNDP/GEF project

The "Conservation of Globally Important Biodiversity and Associated Land and Forest Resources of Western Tian Shan Mountain Ecosystems to Support Sustainable Livelihoods" project, implemented by the UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology and Technical Supervision and the Forest Service employs a landscape conservation and management approach. Recognizing the crucial role of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), buffer zones, corridors, and sustainable forest and pasture management, the project aims to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable use of forest and land resources. This commitment extends to safeguarding the snow leopard and its prey species and promoting sustainable local community development.