Sustainable natural resource and forest management in mountainous areas

Sustainable natural resource and forest management in key mountainous areas important for globally significant biodiversity

Project summary:

The project objective is ‘To enhance the conservation, and sustainable use, of natural resources in the biodiverse high altitude mountain ecosystems of Uzbekistan’.

The key drivers of environmental degradation of these mountain ecosystems include: (i) unsustainable, and poorly regulated, levels of livestock grazing in the montane forests, steppes and sub-alpine meadows; (ii) high levels of dependency of rural communities on fuelwood from montane forests for heating and cooking; and (iii) extensive poaching of wildlife, along with increasing incidences of retaliatory killing of natural predators. Underlying these pressures are social and economic issues including an increasing demand for agricultural and timber products, insecure land tenure, and low levels of capacities to conserve mountainous ecosystems.

The project will be spatially contained to the snow leopard distribution range in Uzbekistan. The snow leopard distribution range comprises 3 discrete ‘snow leopard landscapes’, the Ugam-Chatkal snow leopard landscape in the western Tien Shan; and the Gissar and Zaamin snow leopard landscapes in the Pamir-Alai. Most of the project outputs and activities will be focused in two of these ‘snow leopard landscapes’: (i) the Ugam-Chatkal snow leopard landscape, located on the western spurs of the Chatkal, Pskem and Ugam Ranges in the Western Tien Shan; and (ii) the Gissar snow leopard landscape on the western slopes of the Gissar ridge in the Pamir Alai.

Expected results:

  • Quality of environmental information for state cadaster improved;
  • State of knowledge on snow leopard and prey populations enhanced;
  • The management effectiveness of the core conservation zones in Ugam-Chatkal State National Nature Park strengthened;
  • The conservation security of Gissar Strict Nature Reserve extended and improved;
  • Community involvement in, and beneficiation from protected areas enhanced;
  • Sustainable pasture management practices incentivized;
  • More sustainable levels of forest use with engagement of local communities encouraged;
  • Inter-agency coordination in conservation, monitoring and enforcement improved;
  • The capacity for trans-boundary planning and management strengthened.