Samarkand meeting brings closer a new programme to protect forests
The FAO-Turkey Forestry Partnership Programme, funded by the Government of Turkey, will assist six countries – Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – in developing activities to promote sustainable natural resource management and protect forests.
Representatives from the Government of Turkey, the governments of the six participating countries and FAO are in Samarkand for a three-day workshop to agree on a clear road map for the programme.
Viorel Gutu, the FAO Representative in Turkey and Uzbekistan and Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia, said he was pleased that knowledge and experience gained from managing forests in Turkey could be used to protect the environment in other countries.
“We’ve focused on natural resources in Central Asia because there is a real danger of forests and other tree resources becoming irreversibly affected unless sustainable management operations are put in place,” he said. “By acting now, using lessons from Turkey, we can ensure that forests can continue to do their job – stabilizing soil, purifying water, and providing a habitat for plants and animals.”
He said that sustainable management of natural resources also impacts the people who live on the land.
“Sustainable environmental practices lead to sustainable livelihoods,” he said. “We want to see future generations able to make their living using the diverse natural resources in Central Asia.”
The Government of Turkey has provided USD 10 million for sustainable natural resource management projects under the partnership programme.
In addition to Central Asia, these funds will also assist some countries in Africa in managing their natural resources.
The forestry partnership is part of the overall FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme, which has focused on achieving food security and reducing rural poverty in countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia since its inception in 2006.