What we do
Премия рунета 2017

Main achievements of the project

Land allocation for new territory of Tigrovaja Balka zapovednik finalized (it took 5 years -although decision of the Government was signed in 2007! — because of permanent rotations of administration) — so that total strictly protected legally increased on 11 th. ha (61456 ha total). Buffer zone regime introduced in the area of 100 th.ha.

System for proper sustainable management for the Econet cluster established In order to prepare a Management Plan a lot of data was collected and analyzed, intermediate reviews and recommendations prepared. Maps, summarizing those data and recommendations combined in a separate publication (Tigrovaja balka zapovednik in the surrounding environment).

Management Plan for Econet cluster includes the Tigrovaja Balka zapovednik as core area and all surrounding territories ecologically connected with it (about 200 th. ha total). Previously only separate MPs existed for particular protected areas, Econet cluster Management Plan Management Plan of the Projected Area, Tigrovaja balka and surroundings. is an innovative elaboration, which includes both MPs of protected areas and plans of sustainable ecologically-friendly economical development in ecological corridors and buffer zones.

For the practical implementation of MPs special regional council (Permanent Committees) established with high level participation of National and regional Government — Chairman of the State Committee for environment conservation and oblast governor participate in it; environmental, land- and resource-use management authorities, scientists, NGOs, etc. In spite of delays this was done — and we consider it to be a serious achievement of the project.

Tigrovaja Balka’s ecosystem problems started with the construction of Nurek dam (brake of natural regime of water supply -absence of floods). Thanks to the project activities cjmpleted by national specialists, water level of the lakes increased up to 2 m, monitoring proves that it is stable already for 3 years; salinity significantly decreased and the situation is comparable with natural in 1970-th. Following activities (periodic clearing of minor canals from overgrowth) and handed over to the trained staff of the reserve, necessary equipment provided. Needs of the regional water supply (both for ecosystems and agriculture) are included in the demands of water regulation in connection with the construction of Rogun hydropower station.

Ecosystems restoration is on-going — 100 ha of saxaul forests planted in new protected deserts — and majority of those plantations successfully developing. Poplar restoration on-going in 2 sites/ Population growth of bukhara deer proved by various methods of monitoring (exceeds now 140–160 animals) thanks to ecosystems restoration and better protection. The population of goitred gazelles was very small — under a real threat of extinction. Additional 16 goitred gazelles were reintroduced in the deserts of the reserve, population is well developing. It is very interesting, that in Tigrovaja balka gazelles use not only deserts as habitats, but open riparian forests, bordering with the desert, and watering places inside the forests (which were cleaned during the project). That is one of the major reasons for gazelles not to suffer seriously from the droughts of 2010 and 2011 and it increased from 30 to — 70–80 animals.

Protection of the reserve seriously improved — e.g. anti-poaching control. In 2011, the competent and experienced director was replaced by someone promoted by the local authorities, who allowed violations of the reserve regime. However, in 2012 NGOs, including WWF, managed to bring back the old director and the situation improved again.

Small grant programme (11 grants provided to local communities, mostly close to the border of the reserve) allowed to introduce best management practices- sustainable forms of irrigation; to install alternative forms of energy consumption — biogaz. A lot of famers are trained to use these methodologies during «farmer’s cources», the models are developed /successfully replicated.

Analysis of the various nature resources management practices is summarized in publications, prepared by the project (Sustainable management of water and soil resources in Amudaria basin)as well as results of the implementation of the best models, established in the frame of the Small Grant Programme of the project (Water- and soil-saving technologies — as a tool for sustainable use of nature resources and ecosystem conservation in Amudaria basin and Tigrovaja balka reserve).

This resulted in an important decrease of pressure on the ecosystems of the reserve (illegal logging for domestic needs). Social demand in wider replication is very strong; some replication is spontaneously initiated with own resources of farmers; the ideas handed over to the government and other donor agencies. Wider replication of this experience could be of key importance.

Monitoring system established and handed over to the PA department and Academy of sciences of Tajikistan. Field station for the scientists (for monitoring observations) two flour house, 14 rooms — completely rebuilt.

Technical support to the reserve provided, although not all gaps covered. We started with various equipment to rangers (bicycles, cameras, binoculars, sleeping bags, mosquito nets, rubber boots, spades, scythes, inflatable boats), tractor, reparation of fire-engine, tracks and other carriers, gas and spare details, sets of fire-protection equipment, sun-batteries for rangers stations, rotor equipment for clearing canals from boats, computer, printer and other office equipment, etc.

Serious attention was paid for awareness raising, capacity building and legal support. It is very important that our legal improvement activities were supported by national specialists and Parliament and resulted in a complete revision of water legislation — 4 new by-laws officially approved by the Parliament and government of Tajikistan. New by-laws are prepared and published in cooperation and with the support of our project: Water code and by-law of the Republic of Tajikistan on regulation of water management and protection of water resources Normative document on regulation of water resources use, management and protection in the Republic of Tajikistan.

The new legislation provides a legal base for sharing water for agriculture and ecosystems, protection of buffer zones along water bodies, etc.

Nine education centres established in cooperation with OSCE on the base of regional NGOs in the regions, surrounding the reserve, equipped (full sets of office equipment and necessary furniture provided for each of them), staff trained, information materials provided. The centers are operational and very active. Various forms of trainings for different groups of stakeholders conducted. As a result — awareness seriously raised — thousands of various stakeholders passed through various trainings and practical actions. Training modules developed — summarizing the experience of ecological education activities and various trainings and presented in a special publication for wide replication of the experience: Methodological manual for ecological education of various stakeholders on careful attitude towards especially valuable nature areas.

Exhibition of the nature museum of the reserve designed by specialists of the Moscow Darvin’s museum, and now presents wide range of information (20 posters) cumulated by scientists of Tajikistan.

A special publication with detailed information about the reserve prepared for 70-th anniversary of the eldest zapovednik of Tajikistan: 70-year anniversary of Tigrovaja balka zapovednik.

Special work with mass media (e.g. competitions of ecological journalism, development of textbooks for press, internet, radio and TV on ecological journalizm) allowed attracting special attention to ecological problems of Tajikistan, problems of protected areas and Tigrovaja balka in particular. The methodological approaches and examples of the best works are presented in a special publication: Role of mass-media in solving problems of specially protected nature territories.Special course of ecological journalism is now introduced in special departments of Universities of Tajikistan (based on the methodologies, presented in our publication).

Formally the project is over, we received a very positive conclusion of the international evaluation mission, but for our common achievements to become sustainable a lot of following work is needed.