Специалисты представили проект единой методики мониторинга и оценки пастбищ

Specialists presented a project for a unified monitoring and assessment methodology for pastures

18 May 2023

The development of the unified method, "Monitoring Pastures at the Local Level," is nearing completion. The preliminary version of the document was introduced and discussed at the latest meeting of the interdepartmental working group (IWG).

Over the past two months, IWG members have worked on the guidelines, which will be later approved by the Pasture and Livestock Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic for collecting data on the state of pasturelands nationwide. During this time, the composition of IWG has expanded: in addition to pasture management specialists, it now includes staff from the Biodiversity Conservation Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology, and Technical Supervision of the Kyrgyz Republic. As Marat Asanaliev, representative of the GIZ program "Integrated Land Use for Climate Change in Central Asia," explained, the changes in IWG composition are driven by the fact that "outdated methods and norms of pasture management are used in the Biodiversity Conservation Department, making the adoption of a unified method equally relevant for natural territories."

According to the head of IWG, Mamytbek Maksatbekov, Deputy Director of the Pasture and Livestock Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic, "the methodology should become a unified tool for pasture monitoring for all local institutions controlling pasture access. The data obtained from monitoring will enable them to enhance resource management efficiency locally, ultimately ensuring compliance with livestock grazing load norms."

IWG members Natalya Barakanova from "ARIS" and Natalya Kilyazova from the Research Institute of Livestock and Pastures emphasized that the developed guideline for the unified methodology should be linked to the mobile application "Pasture Monitoring," developed by СAMP Alatoo Foundation under the Kyrgyz-German project for walnut-fruit forest conservation. They highlighted that the application would significantly facilitate the process, allowing users to independently assess pastures based on the "quadrat" method, which forms the basis of the unified methodology and is thoroughly described in it. The mobile application will simplify data collection and storage, eliminating the need for paper records.

Zhyrgalbek Kozhombirdiev, project coordinator for CAMP Alatoo Foundation and an IWG member, presented the overall pasture management scheme in Kyrgyzstan. According to him, according to the methodology, data collected by local institutions responsible for pasture monitoring are sent to a central unified database via a mobile application. Organizations working on land resource projects can also input information into the database and access the general data. "The Pasture Department at the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic, managing the database and utilizing its data, can develop relevant regulations in the future, monitor pasture condition dynamics, and compile reports for international agreements on sustainable natural resource management," explained Zhyrgalbek Kozhombirdiev.

IWG member Maksatbek Mamytbekov noted that the project for the unified methodology is being developed with consideration for the potential of local institutions responsible for providing and controlling pasture resources. These include pasture committees or forest farms, for whom monitoring based on the methodology would be a straightforward and accessible process. However, if necessary, they could also involve external specialists and experts for joint pasture monitoring.

During the meeting, IWG members thoroughly discussed the content of the developed guideline, consisting of six steps involving preparatory work, selecting monitoring points, the process of collecting data on pasture indicators, and interpreting the results. Additionally, the document includes supplementary information such as types and characteristics of pastures, a glossary, illustrations, and photographs of soil erosion types.

The methodology discussion took place within a training session on data processing of pasture condition using GIS tools organized for IWG members. Speakers included representatives from the Central Asian Institute for Land Management, who are part of IWG. During the training, participants learned about GIS tools and their use for accurate field data collection and processing. The new knowledge and skills will be valuable for IWG members during the planned pasture monitoring through the unified methodology, scheduled to begin in early June at seven selected sites in each region of Kyrgyzstan. The obtained results of pasture monitoring will be analyzed using the NDVI indicator, measuring the density of green vegetation captured in satellite imagery.

The unified methodology was developed at the initiative of the Pasture and Livestock Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic with the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Society for International Cooperation). CAMP Alatoo Foundation provides organizational and technical support to the project.

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