Mountain Societies Research Institute Organises Workshop on Agroforestry in Central Asia
The University of Central Asia’s Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI) hosted a Agroforestry Practices in Central Asia workshop from 12 to 14 May 2014 in Chon-Kemin, Kyrgyz Republic, with the support of the United States Forest Service (USFS).
The workshop was organised to raise awareness of ongoing agroforestry research and projects in Central Asia, document and synthesise existing practices and research knowledge in related fields. Participants also identified constraints and opportunities to implementing agroforestry to improve the quality of life of Central Asian communities and protect the environment.
|(from left to right) Klara Dzhakypbekova of MSRI, Venera Surappaeva of the State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry and Cholpon Alibakieva of the Food and Agriculture Organisation in a working session.|
Attended by representatives of state committees, farmer associations and non-governmental and international organisations and independent experts, workshop participants assessed the state of agroforestry in agricultural and mixed forests in Central Asia.
Dr Horst Weyerhaeuser, Director of MSRI, welcomed participants saying, “We are excited to bring together researchers and practitioners from Central Asia and China to develop an action programme to move agroforestry research forward to improve the quality of life for Central Asian mountain communities.”
The research and workshop are part of a partnership coordinated by USFS. Other partners include regional universities, the World Agroforestry Centre, the World Bank, the Rural Development Fund, GIZ and the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Kyrgyzstan. This workshop aims at further informing an MSRI background paper on agroforestry and its potential for Central Asia and to set the stage for a World Agroforestry Centre research office, to be established in Bishkek in 2014.
“Central Asian countries have good potential to further develop agroforestry. USFS welcomes the opportunity to share scientific and applied knowledge on agroforestry with Central Asian institutions to foster further research and development,” remarked Dr Jim Chamberlain, USFS.
|MSRI’s Klara Dzhakypbekova and Dr Horst Weyerhaeuser and USFS’ Brad Kinder discussing afforestation and forest recovery issues with Grigorievskoe forestry experts during the field trip.|
Participants identified four key priorities to further develop agroforestry in the region: The improvement of agroforestry practices in home gardens; the development of agroforestry practices in walnut forests; the implementation of agroforestry in pasture management (silvopastoralism); and addressing possible constraints and shortcomings in existing legislation to better support agroforestry.
Workshop participants also visited Chon-Kemin valley forest, local fruit orchards and a training centre for members of the Kyrgyz Forest and Land Users Association (KAFLU). They observed horticulture and agroforestry practices on farms and demonstration plots and assessed agroforestry training needs.
MSRI and partners will continue to develop the agroforestry white paper with partners and distribute the document for further comments to workshop participants.
MSRI is a university-wide, interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to addressing the challenges and opportunities within Central Asian mountain communities and environments. MSRI's goal is to support and enhance the resilience and quality of life of mountain societies through the generation and application of sound research. MSRI, together with its partners, actively works to transfer knowledge to policy and practice aimed at improving the quality of life for people of the mountain areas in Central Asia. MSRI’s Background Paper Series strategically identifies research priorities and pathways to application for each MSRI priority area, such as pastoralism and farming, sustainable land management and mountain tourism. Other MSRI resources include an online interactive Knowledge Hub and the Central Asia and Afghanistan Research Fund. For more information about MSRI, please visit: http://msri.ucentralasia.org
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