Approaches

Tugai forest management through village committees [Tajikistan]

approaches_2441 - Tajikistan

Completeness: 89%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Approach

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Abdurakhimov Najmiddin

najmiddin.abdurakhimov@undp.org

National Expert on Forestry, UNDP

Shaartuz Area Office, 2 Ziyodaliev Street, Shaartuz

Tajikistan

Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
CACILM Multicountry Capacity Building Project (CACILM Multicountry Capacity Building Project) - Kyrgyzstan
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
CDE Centre for Development and Environment (CDE Centre for Development and Environment) - Switzerland
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
United Nations Development Program (United Nations Development Program) - Tajikistan

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?

13/04/2011

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:

Yes

2. Description of the SLM Approach

2.1 Short description of the Approach

The described approach facilitates the establishment of contracts between village committees and local authorities for decentralised management of Tugai forest areas on State Reserve Land.

2.2 Detailed description of the Approach

Detailed description of the Approach:

Aims / objectives: Tugai forests are riparian forest ecosystems situated in the continental, winter-cold deserts of Central Asia. These flood plain forests are severely threatened by overexploitation for fire wood and by overgrazing. The 253 ha of Tugai forest in Nuri Vakhsh Jamoat along the Vakhsh river in southern Tajikstan were suffering due to their de facto status as open access resources. The district environmental department that was supposed to monitor the forest was unable to effectively carry out this work. Therefore the UNDP project on “Demonstrating Local Responses to Combating Land Degradation and Improving Sustainable Land Management in SW Tajikistan” saw the protection of this Tugai forest as a priority and engaged with local land users to help protect the forest.

Methods: UNDP project representatives held discussions with forest users living in villages next to to the Tugai forests, regarding the establishment of community-based forest management institutions. UNDP proposed that these institutions enter into agreement with the Hukumat (local district-level government) to protect and exclusively use well defined forest areas on nearby State Reserve Land.

Stages of implementation: As a first step, UNDP obtained permission from the Hukumat to conduct sanitary felling of dry and infected trees, to help improve the forest structure under supervision of the Jamoat (local municipality-level government). The removed tree material was distributed to schools and hospitals as fire wood. Next, a leasehold agreement was formed between a representative of each of the three village committees and the Hukumat. These leasehold agreements covered a total of 126 ha out of 253 ha of Tugai forest existing in the area and they are valid for five years. The remaining forest area, which is not under an agreement, is not threatened as it is situated on an island in the middle of a strong stream that cannot be crossed. The committee has to pay about or 1.73 USD / ha of leased forest land as a tax to the district. The tax paid is collected from contributions by members of the villages who pay for each head of cattle that they send for grazing at a cost of 1 USD / head of cattle.

Role of stakeholders: The village committees are headed by one representative who is responsible for regulating access to the forest plots. The local Jamoat supervises the activities carried out by the village committees on their respective plots. UNDP provides consulting services for the process of establishing contracts between village committees and the local authorities and is carrying out regular monitoring of the forest management activities.

2.3 Photos of the Approach

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Approach has been applied

Country:

Tajikistan

Region/ State/ Province:

Khatlon

Further specification of location:

Nuri Vakhsh Jamoat

Comments:

Total area of Tugai is 253 ha, of which 126 ha are under leasehold agreement (approach). The rest is still open access, but is not threatened as it is situated in the middle of a strong stream and cattle cannot access it to graze.

2.6 Dates of initiation and termination of the Approach

Indicate year of initiation:

2009

Year of termination (if Approach is no longer applied):

2011

2.7 Type of Approach

  • project/ programme based

2.8 Main aims/ objectives of the Approach

The Approach focused mainly on SLM with other activities (regulation of access for herders)

The main aim of the approach is to help prevent the degradation of Tugai forest, and the disappeareance of this threatened ecosystem, while giving the local population the chance to manage and use it in a sustainable way.

The SLM Approach addressed the following problems: uncontrolled access and degradation of Tugai forest, overgrazing, cutting of trees, no firewood resources available

2.9 Conditions enabling or hindering implementation of the Technology/ Technologies applied under the Approach

social/ cultural/ religious norms and values
  • hindering

lack of local level structures enabling collaboration between village organisations and Jamoat or Hukumat

Treatment through the SLM Approach: UNDP assistance and consulting to improve collaboration and enabling the establishment of leasehold agreements

institutional setting
  • hindering

no implementation of control and punishment measures regarding the overexploitation of Tugai forest

Treatment through the SLM Approach: clearly defined rights and responsibilities for forest users and village and local government institutions

legal framework (land tenure, land and water use rights)
  • enabling

The existing land ownership, land use rights / water rights moderately helped the approach implementation: As the land is classified as State Reserve Land, and is under the control of the forestry department within the Hukumat, the establishment of an agreement between village organisations and the Hukumat was possible.

  • hindering

no defined forest use or management rights and responsibilities

Treatment through the SLM Approach: user agreement between village committees and district administration

knowledge about SLM, access to technical support
  • hindering

overgrazing and overexploitation of Tugai forest for firewood

Treatment through the SLM Approach: the forest leasehold agreement defines that no cutting of trees is allowed during the first 5 years, apart from sanitary felling, and grazing is limited to a certain number of cattle

3. Participation and roles of stakeholders involved

3.1 Stakeholders involved in the Approach and their roles

  • local land users/ local communities

Representative of village committee and village committees

Village committees were all represented by men.

  • SLM specialists/ agricultural advisers

UNDP consultants

International experts designed the broad structure/framework of the approach, but the specific agreements were designed by village representatives, Hukumat, and the UNDP consultant.

  • national government (planners, decision-makers)

District administration

  • international organization

UNDP

If several stakeholders were involved, indicate lead agency:

UNDP

3.2 Involvement of local land users/ local communities in the different phases of the Approach
Involvement of local land users/ local communities Specify who was involved and describe activities
initiation/ motivation none Consultants from UNDP initiated the approach and started discussions with villages next to the forest
planning none
implementation interactive establishment of village committees, managing access for livestock herders
monitoring/ evaluation none monthly monitoring through UNDP consultant
Research none

3.3 Flow chart (if available)

Description:

UNDP facilitates the process of establishing contracts between village organisations and the Hukumat for decentralised forest management.

Author:

Julie Zähringer (Baumackerstr. 51)

3.4 Decision-making on the selection of SLM Technology/ Technologies

Specify who decided on the selection of the Technology/ Technologies to be implemented:
  • mainly land users, supported by SLM specialists
Explain:

As technology in this case we understand the implementation of the forest leasehold agreements.

Decisions on the method of implementing the SLM Technology were made by mainly by SLM specialists with consultation of land users. As technology in this case we understand the implementation of the forest leasehold agreements.

4. Technical support, capacity building, and knowledge management

4.1 Capacity building/ training

Was training provided to land users/ other stakeholders?

Yes

Specify who was trained:
  • land users
Form of training:
  • public meetings
Subjects covered:

forest conservation, sustainable grazing management, sanitary cutting

4.2 Advisory service

Do land users have access to an advisory service?

Yes

Describe/ comments:

Advisory service is quite adequate to ensure the continuation of land conservation activities; The forest leasehold agreements were established for a duration of 5 years. After this, the Hukumat should be in an adequate position to renew or adjust those agreements if necessary.

4.3 Institution strengthening (organizational development)

Have institutions been established or strengthened through the Approach?
  • yes, moderately
Specify the level(s) at which institutions have been strengthened or established:
  • local
Specify type of support:
  • capacity building/ training
Give further details:

Jamoat

4.4 Monitoring and evaluation

Is monitoring and evaluation part of the Approach?

Yes

Comments:

bio-physical aspects were regular monitored by project staff through measurements; indicators: plant and bird species, number of cases connected with illegal cutting of trees

bio-physical aspects were regular monitored by project staff through observations; indicators: visual assessment of rehabilitation of grass, bushes and trees, number of wild animals and birds

There were no changes in the Approach as a result of monitoring and evaluation: None

There were no changes in the Technology as a result of monitoring and evaluation: None

4.5 Research

Was research part of the Approach?

Yes

Specify topics:
  • ecology
Give further details and indicate who did the research:

Studies about presence of plant and bird species

5. Financing and external material support

5.1 Annual budget for the SLM component of the Approach

Comments (e.g. main sources of funding/ major donors):

Approach costs were met by the following donors: international (UNDP): 100.0%

5.2 Financial/ material support provided to land users

Did land users receive financial/ material support for implementing the Technology/ Technologies?

No

5.3 Subsidies for specific inputs (including labour)

  • agricultural
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
fully financed seeds for riverbank afforestation
  • other
Other (specify) To which extent Specify subsidies
costs associated with training and meetings fully financed
If labour by land users was a substantial input, was it:
  • voluntary

5.4 Credit

Was credit provided under the Approach for SLM activities?

No

5.5 Other incentives or instruments

Were other incentives or instruments used to promote implementation of SLM Technologies?

Yes

If yes, specify:

Jamoat

6. Impact analysis and concluding statements

6.1 Impacts of the Approach

Did the Approach help land users to implement and maintain SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

protection of biodiversity, improved fodder availability

Did the Approach empower socially and economically disadvantaged groups?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly
Did other land users / projects adopt the Approach?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

the experience has not yet been disseminated

Did the Approach lead to improved livelihoods / human well-being?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

improved pasture quality within the forest plots and high aesthetic value of the forest

Did the Approach help to alleviate poverty?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

6.2 Main motivation of land users to implement SLM

  • rules and regulations (fines)/ enforcement
  • environmental consciousness
  • aesthetic improvement
  • well-being and livelihoods improvement

6.3 Sustainability of Approach activities

Can the land users sustain what has been implemented through the Approach (without external support)?
  • yes
If yes, describe how:

The land users should now be in a position to renew contracts with the Hukumat.

6.4 Strengths/ advantages of the Approach

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Protection of plant and animal diversity
Increasing the capacity of the community on legal issues
Aesthetic value of the beauty of this landscape - quote from land user responsible for a 41 ha forest plot 'Every morning when I open the window and I see the beautiful landscape of the Tugai forest I feel happy'
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Protection of a highly endangered ecosystem, while allowing for improvement of grazing for local herders

6.5 Weaknesses/ disadvantages of the Approach and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
no tenure security as the government could sell off the land at any time issue land user certificates

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys
  • interviews with land users

Links and modules

Expand all Collapse all

Modules