Big successes of the small grants program
Assessing the first results in the Balkhash district of the Almaty region, the experts concluded that environmental awareness of local residents is raised, and financial support for the participating projects allowed small businesses to gain a new development momentum and become environmentally sustainable.
E.g., the family operated farm (FOF) "Kausar", covering 525 hectares, is engaged in cattle breeding. Thanks to financial assistance from WWF, the necessary equipment for water supply was purchased. Work was completed on drilling the well and its arrangement, a pump and a generator were installed, and a power station was installed and connected with the equipment. In future, the farm plans to grow "green" forage for the livestock.
For the self-employed entrepreneurs (SEE) Musaev E.E., a grant from the World Wildlife Fund helped to take the first steps in the business of producing national clothing and household goods. In particular, sewing machines, overlock, fabrics, sewing accessories and other materials were purchased and will be used for sewing Kazakh national clothes.
Another important area that has received a new impetus of development in the region is fish farming and organization of fishing as a form of eco-tourism. In this activities, two FOFs succeeded. In the FOF "Rima" the money received in the frame of the program was used to purchase forage for fish. Care and biotechnical measures will contribute to the conservation of biological diversity and natural ecosystems of local lakes. In the farm " Yntymak " conditions were created for fans of fishing: a motor boat was purchased, a guest house was opened. All conditions are created in the region, so that the visitors can get acquainted with the unique nature of the area and would like to come back here again.
The FOF "Bereke intends to attract tourists to the region as well. Cattle are bred here, and the guests are regaled with national dishes prepared from products that the farm produces. There are plans to breed pheasants and rabbits here. The money received in the framework of the WWF project allowed to buy building materials for fencing the site, as well as to create an infrastructure for breeding game animals.
The small grants program is aimed at providing financial support to local residents, raising their awareness and environmental education. It is part of the global project to return tigers to Kazakhstan, implemented by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan.
“The tugai ecosystems of the southern Balkhash region are not limited to the newly created reserve; a significant part of the tugai forests and reed beds are rented for agricultural and wildlife management activities. People live here - and it is very important for us that their life is adjusted so that they live decently - but at the same time, there is no damage to ecosystems. Therefore, assessing the first results of the project, we can confidently say that the work done is a serious contribution to the implementation of the tiger reintroduction program in Kazakhstan”, said Olga Pereladova, scientific adviser of the WWF Central Asian Program.