Replicating lessons from sustainable pasture management in Suusamyr Valley of Kyrgyzstan
The Suusamyr valley lies 150 kilometers from Kyrgyzstan’s capital of Bishkek and is rich in alpine pastures. The lack of effective pasture management has resulted in the degradation of over half of the valley, which in turn has led to low crop yields and shortage of food supply among the local population. To address these problems, UNDP implemented a project titled “Demonstrating sustainable mountain pasture management in the Suusamyr Valley, Kyrgyzstan” with financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The UNDP project restored infrastructure in the Suusamyr Valley and opened access to distant pastures. UNDP also supported the introduction of an electronic system “E-Pasture Committee” to enable pasture committees to manage pasture resources in real time. The system contains a map of Suusamyr Valley and allows for recording of livestock, vaccination process control, searching of pasture tickets, routes of livestock migration, number of grazing livestock, grazing area, calculation of a fee amount, and registration of payment.
These reforms enabled the mapping and evaluation of Suusamyr pastures, and users now have a livestock grazing plan that considers the wild migration corridors and pasture flora. This is helping to regulate cattle grazing more effectively, ease pressure on pastures and increase crop yields in the valley.
The “E-Pasture Committee” has been recognized as an effective instrument for operative management of pasture resources and was recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture for replication and implementation in other regions of the republic.
PEI is replicating the best practices of the UNDP Suusamyr project in Naryn oblast. In 2012, representatives from Suusamyr rural district visited Naryn oblast as part of the joint activity of three projects – UNDP-UNEP PEI, UNDP/GEF Demonstration of Sustainable Pasture Management in Suusamyr Valley (Suusamyr Project) and UNDP Poverty Reduction Programme. The main aim of the visit was to study the best practices of the Suusamyr Project on introduction of the “E-Pasture Committee” and possibilities of applying them in pilot pasture committees of Naryn oblast.