Conserving threatened trees and fruit-and-nut forests in Tajikistan
Tajikistan’s fruit-and-nut forests harbour the wild ancestors of numerous edible species including pears, apples, walnuts, almonds, and cherries. The forests have a significant reserve of genetic diversity and provide important ecological services. We work with Forest Service Units and local communities to promote the sustainable use of forest resources.
Since 2010 Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has been working in Tajikistan’s forests, which face similar threats to other fruit-and-nut forests in Central Asia; namely, increased human pressure in the form of unsustainable grazing, cutting and firewood collection. These pressures are causing both the fragmentation and degradation of the forest. Tajikistan’s forests are of particular regional importance due to their significant populations of critically endangered pear species, but they are also valuable because many trees found locally are the ancestors of today’s domesticated fruit and nut varieties and therefore hold potentially important genetic diversity that could help these species withstand future pressures.
Our long-term aim is to ensure the full recovery of Tajikistan’s fruit-and-nut forest landscapes, thus supporting the well-being and resilience of forest communities. We will reach this goal by:
Our conservation activities include conducting baseline surveys and ecological monitoring in collaboration with Kulob Botanical Garden, fencing off household and forest monitoring plots that contain pear and other fruit-and-nut trees to protect them from grazing, developing the capacity of Forest Service Units staff, planting out nursery-grown seedlings to boost wild populations, and increasing community participation in forest management. We are also focusing on fostering more sustainable resource use across the wider area by working with local communities and the government to improve forest management and by empowering local communities to develop sustainable livelihoods to reduce pressure on forest resources.
Over 575,000 trees from 13 native species are planted in nurseries and in the forest across two reserves. This includes 13,000 seedlings of two critically endangered pear species.
Six savings groups and eight producer groups are established to support the livelihoods of local people living near the reserves.
The first fences to protect wild pear trees from grazing are erected.
The first baseline surveys of threatened trees are completed and school nurseries are established to begin tree planting efforts.
Ubayd Gulamadshoev, Country Director, Tajikistan
The Global Trees Campaign, founded by FFI and Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) is the only international conservation programme dedicated to saving the world’s threatened tree species from extinction in the wild. Together with our large network of partners around the world, we have supported the conservation of more than 200 tree species in 38 countries, with FFI directly working in 24 of these.
We are grateful for the support of the UK Governnment Darwin Initiative, Foundation Franklinia / Global Trees Campaign, Foundation Audemars Piguet, Stanley Smith Horticulture Trust, and Lift Economy for this project.