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June 2011

DEVELOPMENT OF INTEGRATED FINANCIAL STRATEGIES ON SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT DISCUSSED IN BISHKEK

Source: CARNet, 10.06.2011

An inception workshop on development of integrated financial strategies (DIFS) for sustainable land management was organized by the Ministry of Economic Regulation of the Kyrgyz Republic with technical support of GEF/UNDP/GIZ/GM project “CACILM: Multi-Country Capacity Building Project”.

The meeting brought together representatives of KR Parliament, ministries and agencies, local NGO, international and donor organizations, who discussed the structure and substance of DIFS, the role and contribution of each concerned party in its formulation and further implementation in Kyrgyzstan. They also focused their attention on the existing problems and barriers, as well as potential barriers in funding of DIFS.

In his opening remark, a.i. UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Pradeep Sharma stressed the importance of involving of all concerned parties in DIFS process, ranging from government institutions and donors to civil society. “I believe that DIFS can be feasible and efficient if it is developed in close cooperation with all concerned national and international parties through conducting sessions, workshops and national consultations”, Mr. Sharma said.

Welcoming participants of the workshop the deputy of Jogorku Kenesh (parliament), Esengul Isakov noted the undoubted priority of sustainable land management for the country as land degradation today has already affected soil fertility, agricultural production capacity, health and wellbeing of people and puts national food security of the country under risk.

“IFS should become a kind of roadmap, where the roles and responsibilities of each party in implementing of sustainable land management activities should be clearly identified in strategy development process”, E.Isakov said. The problem with mobilization of financial resources - both government and donor resources – can be resolved through inclusion of land management issues into the priority tasks of the country.

All recommendations and comments received at this meeting will further be analyzed by the interagency Working Group established by the Ministry of Economic Regulation and taken into consideration during the IFS development process.

A.Temirbekov, UNDP Environment Protection for Sustainable Development Programme:

“I don’t clearly see how the conceptual vacuum of SLM can be filled. SLM strategy should be developed first and then IFS if it is going to be a national priority, where IFS should become an implementation tool of the strategy. Today the state policy does not have a unified approach to SLM, not speaking about the local level, which is the primary focus of donors. There exist a huge legal and political vacuum in this area, therefore I think the IFS should be developed under a certain program”.

B. Tolongutov, Director of Environmental Security Center of the State Agency on Environment Protection under the KR Government:

“This project assumes a comprehensive approach: certain efforts are now being made to incorporate SLM issues into the currently developed CDS. To get good results we should bring all stakeholders together. Also, in my opinion, experts have a big role to play here: if we manage to involve good minds and set clear tasks before them, we can get good results. It is also important how SLM priorities are going to be incorporated into the Country Development Strategy".

Î. Pechenyuk, NGO “Independent Environmental Expertise”:

“Today no one in Kyrgyzstan knows about the amounts of grants coming to the country from donors and financial institutions, including for land management purposes. There are projects, which are not agreed with the Government but are implemented in partnership with different agencies. IFS is necessary for us to make SLM activities a priority and coordinate different project activities in this area”.

J. Sadykova, Deputy of JK:

“I think weak communication among line ministries and agencies is hindering implementation of SLM. I would suggest to include in the project an awareness raising component of sustainable land management issues for local self-governance bodies. Their work is closely connected with land, farmers and they can solve many SLM problems in practice".

A.Junusov, CA Eurasia Fund:

“We should not forget about the local budgets of ayil okmotu, many of which are not subsidized. I suggest to select a pilot ayil okmotu as part developing IFS and incorporate sustainable land management issues in its local development plans”.

M. Malabaev, FAO Office Representative:“

"Land resources in Kyrgyzstan provide the only production means and livelihood for 60% of population. The state management structure should have been established 10 years ago, which would address land management issues comprehensively. Your project is planning to summarize all existing information on SLM and show the common picture. If you manage to do this, we’ll get a useful and practical document”.

T. Sydykbaev, DIFS Consultant:

“IFS task is to show how to remove barriers to implementation of SLM at the institutional and legislative level, as well as obstacles for coordination of all participants of the process”.

Bakyt Satybekov, DIFS Consultant:

“SLM issues should be included into the country priorities for which we are now closely working with the strategy developers of the country. A multi-sectoral approach is very important to prevent overlapping implementation of SLM principles in different government institutions policies. At present ministries and agencies are trying to mainstream SLM into their plans and our task is to find entry points for each of them considering MES, SAEP&F, Ministry of Agriculture, etc.”