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Malus niedzwetzkyana. Credit: Chris Loades / Fauna & Flora

Malus niedzwetzkyana. Credit: Chris Loades / Fauna & Flora

Conserving fruit-and-nut forests in Central Asia

Project lead: Jarkyn Samanchina

Fauna & Flora is working with local partners in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to conserve fruit-and-nut forests. 

Our work in Central Asia’s fruit-and-nut forests

Fauna & Flora is working in Central Asia’s fruit-and-nut forests to conserve the forests and its species by: 

  • Helping local communities develop sustainable livelihoods to reduce pressure on forest resources. 
  • Planting nursery-grown seedlings to boost the wild populations of key tree species and improve the connectivity of existing forests. 
  • Fencing off households and forest monitoring plots that contain endangered apple, pear and other fruit and nut trees to protect them from grazing and illegal logging. 
  • Strengthening government capacity to manage the fruit-and-nut forests. 

Project goals

Our long-term aim is to ensure the full recovery of Central Asia’s fruit-and-nut forest landscapes, thus supporting the well-being and resilience of forest communities. This project is laying the foundation for the long-term objective of transferring management responsibilities to local stakeholders. We will reach this goal by:   

  • Supporting people from local communities to participate in forest management and benefit from sustainable harvesting of non-timber forest products. 
  • Improving information on the distribution of and threats to target species to inform and enhance management on the ground by governmental bodies and private plot-holders. 
  • Ensuring the most sensitive areas are protected from over-grazing, allowing the forests to recover naturally. 
  • Promoting the recovery of diverse, resilient and healthy forests, enriched by planting at least 30,000 native trees in areas that increase connectivity between sub-populations. 
© Akylai Kabaeva / Fauna & Flora

© Akylai Kabaeva / Fauna & Flora

Project timeline


    Training provided to 631 local community members on fire blight disease prevention. 

    Tajik pears © Shosafed Taibov / Fauna & Flora

    Tajik pears © Shosafed Taibov / Fauna & Flora


    Central database containing data from all pear surveys in Tajikistan created. 


    11 new Niedzwetzky’s apple trees found and mapped.


    Small grants provided to 31 community groups to improve their livelihood and reduce the pressure on the walnut-fruit forests of Kyrgyzstan. 


    New population of critically endangered Bukharan pear tree discovered in Kyrgyzstan.

    © Rasima Sabzalieva / Fauna & Flora

    © Rasima Sabzalieva / Fauna & Flora


    Over 575,000 trees planted in nurseries and forests across two reserves in Tajikistan. 


    Six savings groups and eight producer groups established to support the livelihoods of local people living near the reserves in Tajikistan.

    Fencing plot in Kyzyl-Unkur © Akylai Kabaeva / Fauna & Flora

    Fencing plot in Kyzyl-Unkur © Akylai Kabaeva / Fauna & Flora


    First fences to protect wild pear trees from grazing erected in Tajikistan. 


    First baseline surveys of threatened trees completed, and tree planting starts in Tajikistan.


    Project begins in Kyrgyzstan when first expedition team discovers Niedzwetzky’s apple. 

Project partners

This project is delivered in partnership with: 

  • Local Government Forest Service Units 
  • Kulob Botanical Garden   
  • Gareev Botanical Garden 
  • Zam Zam   
  • Ganji Tabiat   
  • National Academy of Sciences of the RT 
  • Missouri Botanical Garden 
  • Kara Alma Forestry Unit 
Bukharan pear © Shosafed Taibov / Fauna & Flora

Saving Central Asia’s fruitful forests, together

The wild ancestors of our apples and pears desperately need our help.
Please support our efforts to protect them.


Bukharan pear © Shosafed Taibov / Fauna & Flora

Jarkyn Samanchina profile picture

Jarkyn Samanchina

Country Director, Kyrgyzstan

Jarkyn oversees our work in Kyrgyzstan and has over 17 years of work experience in conservation. Having initially started with Fauna & Flora’s partner NGO in Kyrgyzstan, she then registered Fauna & Flora’s branch office in the country. Under her leadership, the organisation has achieved many significant milestones. Jarkyn has an academic background in international relations, international cooperation and development and a PhD in political science.