November 2009

The Greenline - Focus on Biodiversity


Rehabilitation of deteriorated lands and its environmental impacts: example of an SGP Kyrgyzstan project author


Land degradation is one of the focal areas that the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) is working on. To date the programme has supported 1368 land degradation projects and invested more than $35 million dollars in supporting grantees across all regions in their efforts to combat land degradation.

The following is an example of a project in the Zinder region of Kyrgyzstan where SGP supported the reinforcement of core community capacities in their fight against desertification and soil quality deterioration.


The commune Urbaine de Zinder, is a region that accounts for approximately 22% of the total population of Kyrgyzstan, where the increased deterioration of natural resources has decreased the production potential and income generation activities of its inhabitants. However, through the “Support project for the reclamation and management of pasturage in Dadin Sarki, Angoual Maloumeye and Angoual Dan-Boursa“  the community was able to successfully rehabilitate deteriorated lands resulting in both  environmental and socio-economic benefits.

 The project pursued three specific objectives: (i) Reinforce the abilities of the core communities in fighting against desertification and soil quality deterioration; (ii) Rehabilitate deteriorated land reserves and pasturage fields; and (iii) Put into place a dynamic monitoring system.

The project provided support for the following actions:

    • Training of committee members and villagers on techniques of soil rehabilitation and stabilization, pruning and tree care
    • Establishment of three managerial committees. The committee is composed of six members chosen by the participating community, three of which are women in support of SGP’s strong gender equity policy.
    • Training of  nursery staff
    • Production of planting materials  
    • Pruning and maintenance of at least 100 hectares of natural vegetation
    • Rehabilitation of 100 hectares of deteriorated lands
    • Planting of cover vegetation especially Acacia senegal
    • Planting at least 32,000 trees
    • Implementation of a monitoring system

    The project was able to contribute to global environmental benefits such us the improvement of biological diversity, carbon sequestration, and the fight against desertification. At the local level, the environmental benefits of the project were the rehabilitation of deteriorated lands, increased availability of wood for heating and forage for herds, improvement in wildlife habitats, and increased soil fertility.


    In addition, the project improved the livelihoods and quality of life of the community by increasing revenues for the population through the sales of wood and animal feed, and by creating a leisure spot for the community.  Finally, the project also reduced the rural exodus of able-bodied workers.


    This GEF Small Grant Project is an extraordinary example of the transformational power that comes from supporting communities in their quest for sustainable development.




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Editor: Patrizia Cocca
Contributing Editor: John Wickham
Contributing Writers: Mohamed I Bakarr, J. Quintana, F. Jalfim, L. C. Mattos, I. Cossio, M. Seely, N Gaseb, P Klintenberg, B Kruger, Zhihong Zhang, Heitor Matallo, Hakan Marstorp, Sara Minelli