Natural parks have their game face on

May 13, 2018

How do we define effectiveness of natural parks in the country? How to optimize and improve their work? How to create an electronic database of animals and plants in Special Protected Nature Areas (SNPAs)?

Answers to these and many other questions related to improving nature protected activities are provided by the Methodology for Assessment of Conservation Effectiveness of SNPAs, which was initially developed in Russia and subsequently adapted for use in the Kyrgyz Republic by local experts of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The methodology was presented to representatives of the Protected Areas of the Western Tian Shan during a workshop conducted in the framework of the UNDP-GEF project in Toktogul. The participants were from state natural parks (Alatai, Kan-Achuu, and Saimaluu-Tash) and state reserves (Sary-Chelek, Padysh-Ata, Besh-Aral, and Dashman).

This methodology, unlike other similar ones, assesses not the activities of protected areas as an organization, but their nature protection results, which depend not only on the level of management and financing, but also on natural and anthropogenic factors.

Head of the Department of Protected Areas and Biodiversity of the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Mamatairov stressed the importance of the Methodology for assessing and monitoring nature reserves and natural parks and noted the need for its further implementation in other protected areas.

During the workshop, the representatives of the Western Tian Shan protected areas managed to conduct approximate assessments of their reserves and natural parks. Mr. Turgunaliev, an engineer of the Alatai Natural Park, noted that the methodology allows to identify the most important directions of optimization of the SNPAs, since conservation effectiveness is already an indicator of success in nature protection. “With the support from UNDP, we will be working on the improvement of the current performance indicators of the Alatai Natural Park,” he added.

Another participant of the event, Mr. Shabdanov, deputy director of the Sary-Chelek State Reserve, emphasized the practical outcomes of the workshop. "In order to update the database of animals and plants, we engage researchers from the National Academy of Sciences on a regular basis. At this workshop, we learned how to create an electronic database independently. As a result, we managed to fill the database by 50-60%. The current objective is to increase this figure up to 95%.”- he highlighted.

The workshop has been organized and conducted within the framework of the UNDP-GEF project “Conservation of globally important biodiversity and associated land and forest resources of Western Tian Shan mountain ecosystems to support sustainable livelihoods”

Mirgul Amanalieva, UNDP Project Coordinator

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