Tajikistan is a mountainous, landlocked country with an incredibly rich landscape, wildlife and culture. Its rugged, mountainous terrain gives rise to a varied landscape of unusual and unique habitats, ranging from hot, dry deserts to frozen mountains and glaciers.
This diversity of ecosystems in turn means that Tajikistan is rich in biodiversity, with an array of plant and animal species including a globally significant population of snow leopard. Consequently, Tajikistan is recognised as a part of the Mountains of Central Asia biodiversity hotspot.
However, Tajikistan’s natural heritage is under severe threat from habitat fragmentation and degradation. 50% of its forests have disappeared in the past 100 years, causing massive soil erosion and increased risk of landslides. Heavy use of the country’s natural resources is a significant factor as a third of the population lives below the poverty line.
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Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia. It is bordered by Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and China.
of all global biodiversity including 1,132 plant species is found only in Tajikistan.
of Tajikistan is mountainous.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has been working with our partners to conserve Tajikistan’s remarkable landscapes and biodiversity since 2006, and over the years has carried out a broad spectrum of important activities ranging from building the capacity of protected area staff to advising on a snow leopard action plan to help conserve the country’s enigmatic big cats.
Our work today is focused on protecting the important remnants of fruit-and-nut forest found in Tajikistan, a globally important forest type that is characterised by ancient walnut stands as well as wild apple, pear, cherry, pistachio and almond. Many of these species are the ancestors of today’s domesticated varieties, and are an important storehouse of genetic diversity. These forests are bountiful in their harvest and so many local communities rely heavily upon them.
Through the Global Trees Campaign, and in conjunction with our partners, we are ensuring that communities can continue to use the forest’s resources sustainably and increase their income without depleting vital biodiversity. To achieve this, we are working to improve management systems and sustainable market development as well as supporting the government’s Forestry Service and national experts to complete surveys, training and reforestation activities to conserve threatened and endemic species such as the Tajik pear.
“Tajikistan’s forests have been reduced by 85%, leaving just 3% of the country covered by forest. The forests have a significant reserve of genetic diversity, provide important ecological services, and play a crucial role in the livelihoods of local people, providing food, wood, fodder and grazing.
FFI has been working in Tajikistan since 2008. Previous and current activities include, raising awareness of biodiversity and ecosystem service values of the forest and the need for its conservation; increasing the capacity of the local forest service; bringing together local communities and the state forest service to foster participatory forest management and to conduct threatened tree surveys.”
Conserving threatened trees and fruit-and-nut forests in Tajikistan
Conserving the charismatic snow leopard
Global Trees Campaign
Habitat loss poses arguably the greatest threat to the world’s biodiversity, with human activity inflicting unprecedented changes on the natural habitats on which wildlife depends.
Mountains harbour a wealth of species – some obscure, some iconic – that are perfectly adapted to the high life and, in many cases, are found nowhere else on the planet.