Fire safety takes a key position in preserving and expanding the green assets of the Western Tian Shan. Rangers and foresters take on an essential role in preventing and fighting forest fires. However, without basic knowledge of fire safety and the necessary equipment at hand, it was extremely difficult for Protected Areas and forestry enterprises (leskhozs) to conduct fire-prevention work.
To bridge this gap, UNDP, together with State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry (SAEPF), undertook a series of fire safety trainings for rangers and foresters and donated backpack fire extinguishers to Alatai and Kan-Achuu Nature Parks, as well as Toktogul and Toguz-Toro leskhozs.
“This is timely support for us, especially during a fire-dangerous period. The fire extinguishers are quite convenient to use for localizing and extinguishing forest fires. One can easily carry it to get to hard-to-reach places where special vehicles cannot reach. The amount of water in a tank of a fire extinguisher is enough to put down a small fire. These can be campfires left by careless tourists, local vacationers, or pasture users. In this regard, it is very important for us, first of all, to take measures to prevent fires and regularly carry out explanatory work among the local population”, says Tagaybek uulu Damir, Director of the Toguz-Toro Leskhoz.
The director of the forestry enterprise also noted that they had received tents, sleeping bags, and binoculars. The field gear will help foresters in conducting raids in remote and hard-to-reach areas. Moreover, this will undoubtedly have a positive effect, primarily for the preservation of the forests.
One of the objectives of the UNDP-GEF project is to restore forests in the Western Tian Shan to preserve and enhance its unique biodiversity. Reforestation is vital, first of all, in the formation of buffer zones and corridors, convenient for the migration of wild animals. Expansion of forest areas will contribute to the solution of such issues as the degradation of endemic spruce and other walnut and coniferous tree species of the Western Tian Shan.
About the Project
The restoration of degraded forests is carried out under the five-year project on protecting the biodiversity of the Western Tian Shan, which is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and implemented by UNDP and the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry (SAEPF). With the assistance of national and local partners, SAEPF and UNDP are planning to undertake silvicultural reforestation work in the area of 500 hectares and regenerate approximately 5 thousand hectares of degraded forests in the Western Tian Shan as corridors for the wildlife, including the snow leopard and its prey base. Read more about the project here.
About the Western Tian Shan
Western Tian Shan is a mountain system characterized by a high level of endemism and rich flora and fauna. The region is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. It is one of the 34 global Biodiversity Hotspots and is included in the world Ecoregion rating of Global 200 according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The territory of the Western Tian Shan is inhabited by 27 species of animals that are on the verge of extinction and 54 red book species of plants grow here.
National Communications Consultant/ UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic
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