Snow leopard

Mountain Ecosystem Restoration Success Stories: Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan

In Kyrgyzstan’s Tien-Shan mountains, the Baiboosun Nature Reserve stands as a testament to the success of ecosystem restoration initiatives. Established collaboratively by villagers and the Central Asian Mountain Partnership, this micro-reserve protects 14,000 hectares of pastures and glaciers, promoting the recovery of snow leopard and ibex populations.

The project has not only revitalised wildlife but also created economic opportunities for the community, including sustainable tourism and green businesses. Recognized as a United Nations World Restoration Flagship, this initiative highlights the positive impact of international collaboration on mountain landscape protection.

In another part of Asia, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) collaborates with Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change to address deforestation and degradation of Chilgoza pine forests. Vulnerable to climate change, these forests play a crucial role in regulating water flows and conserving biodiversity.

FAO’s intervention, part of the Global Environment Facility-funded Restoration Initiative (TRI), includes providing tools for safe Chilgoza pine nut harvesting and establishing processing units. This approach not only reduces harm to the trees by 25% but also supports local economies, demonstrating the essential elements of sustainable restoration and conservation.

Mountains, vital for daily freshwater supply and climate change mitigation, are facing degradation due to the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and pollution. By halting, preventing, and reversing degradation, these efforts contribute to protecting ecosystem services like water while enhancing climate resilience and creating new jobs in rural economies.

This initiative is executed collaboratively by FAO, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and UNEP. Its purpose is to address prevailing obstacles to restoration and rehabilitate deteriorated landscapes in ten countries across Asia and Africa.

The success stories from Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan underscore the positive outcomes achievable through collaborative, sustainable restoration initiatives.

Source: Proof that restoring mountain ecosystems works
Photo: Frida Lannerström/Unsplash

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