The countries of Central Asia include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Central Asian countries face numerous challenges in the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources and biodiversity, and also have a surprising number of parallels with land management challenges in the United States.
Given the range of threats in Central Asia and analogous natural resource management issues in arid areas of the US, significant opportunities exist for the U.S. Forest Service to work collaboratively with counterpart government agencies, non-governmental organizations, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), other donors, and organizations to implement sustainable natural resource management practices. By working with partners in Central Asia, U.S. Forest Service experts may gain important insight into approaches for managing natural resources in the face of a changing world.
The U.S. Forest Service has been engaged in Central Asia on several topics over the past several years. Currently, the U.S. Forest Service is focused on range/pasture management and protected areas management, and is exploring further opportunities, particularly in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Previously, the U.S. Forest Service has assisted USAID in conducting a biodiversity assessment for Central Asia, designing a payment for ecosystem services schemes in local watersheds, assessed opportunities for expanding and improving agroforestry practices, and evaluated opportunities for trans-boundary conservation in the Pamir Mountains.