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Czechia furthers support for sustainable forest management in Central Asia

Forests are complex ecosystems that provide not only food, fuel and income opportunities for locals, but also provide important services at the global level as well. Recognizing this, FAO and the Czech Republic have been working together for more than ten years to help countries in Central Asia manage their forest resources.

A workshop last week in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, provided another opportunity to review the progress achieved since 2015 and to identify future needs for improvement in forest management.

Selected countries in Europe and Central Asia participated with international experts in the event, which was organized by FAO, the Czech Republic and their local partner, the National Association of Mongolian Agricultural Cooperatives, and held from 10 to 15 September.

From each other and from the invited experts, participants learned about good practices and national approaches in the conservation and management of forests. They also learned more about the genetic resources of local tree types; recognition of local forest tree ecotypes is critical to preserving and developing their gene pool in Mongolia. A roundtable discussion also enabled participants to identify gaps and challenges in these areas, and how they are reflected in national policies.

“It is essential to learn from each other’s experience,” said FAO forestry officer Norbert Winkler-Ráthonyi, adding that this meeting can trigger further cooperation in the future.

Jiří Brodský, the Czech ambassador to Mongolia, labelled the workshop a success, as it attracted countries beyond the signatory members of the Krtiny Declaration.

“The Czech Republic will continue to work actively in the forestry sector,” Brodský emphasized.

Krtiny is a small village in southern Czechia where forestry experts from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Czech Republic met for the first time in 2005, establishing cooperation in the area of forestry with the aim of spreading European forestry management standards to Central Asia.

The participants – from countries such as Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and the Russian Federation – visited a project site of the Czech Development Agency in Domogt Sharyin Gol along with their local and Czech peers. At the project site, they were given hands-on experience in the development of forests and genetic resources of local tree ecotypes in Mongolia. Participants can take away the concept idea and tailor it to their circumstances.

In addition, the workshop provided an opportunity to extend professional networks and benefit from the sharing of knowledge.

21 September 2018, Budapest, Hungary

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