Empowering women from forest-dependent communities in Uzbekistan

FAO works with rural women in Uzbekistan, training them to better manage forest resources, understand their rights and opportunities in the forest sector and diversify their income generating activities



Less than nine percent of Uzbekistan has forest coverage and even this is rapidly shrinking because of changing climatic conditions, uncontrolled animal husbandry, increasing demand for industrial and fuel wood and the expansion of irrigated agriculture.

This is why the ongoing FAO project on sustainable forest management in Uzbekistan is particularly important. The project, funded by the Global Environment Facility, which begun in 2018, aims to promote sustainable forest management, enable local communities to use forestry resources more wisely, and preserve productivity and environmental protection function of forests.

The project is being implemented in four areas of the country representing a variety of forest ecosystems: Syrdarya, Ferghana valley (Pop) and the mountainous areas of Kashkadarya (Kitab and Dekhkanabad). For local communities in these project areas, forests are the main source of income, and their degradation is a serious threat to their livelihoods.

FAO has been conducting training activities for these communities to diversify their income-generation opportunities. While rural women in Uzbekistan have high levels of education and participate in economic activities, they are almost completely uninvolved in forestry decision-making and have limited access to information and property. Therefore, the trainings have focused on women, especially those from poor households.