“Sustainable Land and Forest Management in the Greater Caucasus landscape” GEF Project
Climate Change will impact and is thought to already be impacting the composition, extent and distribution of forests and pastures in the Great Caucasus. Contributing factors to the degradation of forest resources in Azerbaijan’s Greater Caucasus landscape include overgrazing of livestock, inappropriate tree harvest for fuel wood and timber, and non-timber forest product harvest. Maintaining current poor management of pastures and forests will continue to degrade these resources and reduce their resilience. As the system becomes more degraded the pressures will increase on pastures and forests threatening livelihoods and continuing a cycle of poverty and poor management. Although climate change will be quite favorable for winter pastures, their area will not expand and might even diminish. This will be mainly caused by soil erosion and an increasing use of lands for crops as well as increased evaporative demands
- The goal of the project is the sustainable land and forest management in the Greater Caucasus Landscape. It secures the flow of multiple ecosystem services, including carbon storage and sequestration, while ensuring ecosystem resilience to climate change.
- The project aims to convert unsustainable practices into sustainable land and forest management practice.
- The project will support measures to mitigate Climate Change such as managing natural forests to emphasize natural regeneration through improved grazing and wood collecting in forests.
- The project will develop systematic, long-term approaches to capacity building through two different targeted training programs:
- One for policy makers at national and rayon levels developed and delivered through the existing “Expertise Enhancement Training Center” program of the MoENR, enhancing its sustainability and ownership; and
- One for technical staff and resource users at the local level, focusing on pasture leaseholders, forest resource users, and technical, field-level staff of the Ministries and Rayon authorities.
- The project will build capacity within the various organizations by focusing on core principles and practical skill development and the use of strategic measures and tools to enable effective sustainable land management.
- Stakeholders will gain access to critical information and data, and it will promote political support in Azerbaijan with regards to SLM and SFM-REDD.
- This project will result in the:
- Maintenance or increase in the vegetative cover across 12,500 ha of pastures under improved land use management;
- 20,000 ha of forestlands under improved multifunctional forest management;
- Avoiding emissions from forest degradation of: 245,667 t CO2 eq/year; and (iv) SLM/SFM knowledge effectively transferred (working groups tackle multi sectoral issues).
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