Turkmenistan’s efforts to increase forest resources were highlighted during the first Bonn Challenge Regional Ministerial Roundtable for the Caucasus and Central Asia, hosted recently by Astana.
-There have been sustained efforts to preserve Tugai forests along major rivers in Central Asia, protect pistachio and other nut-tree forests, develop green belts around Ashgabat and Astana and to afforest the Aral Sea dry bed. All these initiatives, aligned with the FLR principles, will be a powerful regional contribution to the Bonn Challenge, said Stewart Maginnis, Global Director of IUCN’s Global Forest and Climate Change Programme (GFCCP).
The Bonn Challenge was launched in September 2011, when several dozen countries in Bonn set a target to restore 350 million ha of degraded and deforested land by 2030. This program unites 21 countries, mainly from Africa and Latin America.
Central Asia and Caucasus have now pledged their contribution to the global campaign. Taking into account that many areas in these two regions can benefit from forest landscape restoration, in particular, forests near settlements, mining sites, resolution was adopted in Astana, committing the region will restore over 2.5 million ha of forest landscape.
And as noted at the meeting Boris Erg, Director of IUCN’s Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, “IUCN has worked closely with partners worldwide to guide countries in defining their restoration targets and moving from pledge to implementation, and is ready to provide assistance to countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia as well.”
Turkmenistan has always been an active propagandist of rational attitude to natural resources. Every year in the spring and autumn seasons large-scale landscaping campaigns are held in the country. This year, up to 3 million seedlings of deciduous, coniferous, fruit trees and grapes will enrich the green areas around the capital, cities and towns.