NTFP Certification Schemes in the Walnut Forests of Kyrgyzstan and Lessons Learned from Other Countries
University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF), Germany
The walnut-fruit forests on the Ferghana and Chatkal mountain ranges in Kyrgyzstan are considered as a global biodiversity hotspot, they also have the soil-protection and water regulating functions, and are the major source of income to the local households. Collection of walnuts and other NTFPs in Kyrgyzstan constitute an important basis for the local livelihoods. Previous studies recommended that the logistical and infrastructural improvement of the existing value-chains in accordance with the international sustainability standards might positively change the socio-economic welfare of the local livelihoods, and promote sustainable forest management to reduce deforestation. The NGOs and donor programs introduced the NTFP certification projects of the Fair Trade certification (in 2008) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) NTFP certification (in 2018) within the selected pilot communities of the walnut forests in Kyrgyzstan both aiming to improve the socio-economic welfare, sustainable forest utilisation and conservation of the walnut forests. However there is a limited understanding about the possible effects and impacts of these certification programs on the local livelihoods and the socio-ecological situation in the local forests.
Keywords: Kyrgyzstan, non-timber forest products, NTFP certification, walnut forests
Contact Address: Klara Dzhakypbekova, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF), Genscherallee 3, 53113 Bonn, Germany, e-mail: klara.dzhakypbekovagmail.com