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Tropentag, September 18 - 20, 2019 in Kassel

"Filling gaps and removing traps for sustainable resources development"

Costs and Benefits of Sustainable Management of the Kyrgyz Walnut-Fruit Forests: Is the 2007-Logging Ban a Suitable Policy Instrument?

Klara Dzhakypbekova1, Myktybek Sabirov2, Zhamilia Sulaimanova3, Jyldyz Shigaeva4, Davlet Mamadjanov5, Dietrich Darr1

1Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Germany
2American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan
3Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, TUM Straubing, Germany
4University of Central Asia, Mountain Societies Research Institute, Kyrgyzstan
5National Academy of Sci. of the Kyrgyz Rep., Inst. of Walnut and Fruit Crops, Kyrgyzstan


The walnut-fruit forests in Central Asia and in particular in Kyrgyzstan are a unique socio-ecological system and an important source of livelihood for the rural communities. Walnut-fruit forests have also been described as an important genetic resource and biodiversity hotspot, as well as providing essential environmental services. However, due to the political and socio-economic transformation after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the utilisation of these forests has increasingly become unsustainable, inducing significant degradation of these forests and a decline of their area. To protect these unique natural ecosystems a logging ban has been enforced as a National Law since 2007 which restricts the felling of trees in the walnut-fruit forests in Kyrgyzstan. However, this measure has been criticised as it is said to lead to the over-aging of walnut forests, which limits their natural regeneration potential; and deprive local communities of much-needed income opportunities from sustainable timber utilisation, which potentially aggravates rural poverty.
Starting off a literature review on the effectiveness of logging bans in terms of their environmental and socio-economic outcomes, this study investigated the costs and benefits that would potentially be associated with sustainable forest management and timber harvesting operations in the walnut forests. It used a stand-based dynamic forest growth model developed from primary data from 19 forest plots, national forest thinning guidelines and inventory data. Data collected from a socio-economic survey (n=100), financial and Monte-Carlo analyses were used to determine the financial and economic profitability of sustainable forest management and timber harvesting operations for a period of 25 years. The results showed that 37% of the surveyed forest plots were presented in an over-aged and stagnating condition. The dynamic forest growth model showed that the generated thinning plan allowed for the sustainable removal of 10,4 m3/ha timber in average every ten years depending on the on sanitary condition, age and density of a stand while ensuring the renewal of the over-aged forest plots. The economic evaluation indicated that only the forest plots with no additional planting activities had a positive NPV. Policy scenarios offering viable solutions were described, and relevant recommendations were provided.

Keywords: Central Asia, forest thinning, Kyrgyzstan, logging ban, sustainable forest use

Contact Address: Klara Dzhakypbekova, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Marie-Curie-Str. 1, 47533 Kleve, Germany, e-mail: klara.dzhakypbekova@gmail.com

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