Conservation and Sustainable Management of Key Globally Important Ecosystems for Multiple Benefits

Lead country


Participating countries


Project status

Under implementation

Implementing period

From April 28, 2018 to April 28, 2023

SDGs addressed by this project

SDG targets

  1. 15.2 Promote sustainable forest management, restoration, afforestation
  2. 15.9 Integrate ecosystem values into national planning
  3. 15.b Mobilize resources, incentives for sustainable forest management

Project ID: 5696

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Technical team

  • Ecosystems and Biodiversity Programme

Technical area(s)

  • Strengthening conservation areas
  • Ecosystem management and restoration


  • Wildlife conservation
  • Ecosystem-based mitigation


  • Conserved areas
  • Forests
  • Deserts


  • Terrestrial protected areas
  • Key biodiversity areas (KBAs)
  • General
  • Semi-arid (cold winter) deserts

Transformed sector(s)

  • Agriculture
  • Livestock
  • Forestry and other land use

UNDP role(s)

  • Capacity development / Technical assistance
  • Institutional mechanism and system building
  • Policy advice


  • Management operation
  • Capacity building
  • Enabling


  • Sustainable land management
  • Conserved areas/ protected areas management
  • Knowledge/Data management
  • Institutional capacity building
  • Technical capacity building
  • Portfolio learning
  • Mainstream

Social inclusion


Gender equality

  • Awareness raising (on gender)

Gender result effectiveness scale

  • Gender responsive


  • People pathway
  • Systems pathway

Risk reduction target(s)

  • Improve resilience

SDG target(s)

  • 15.2 Promote sustainable forest management, restoration, afforestation
  • 15.9 Integrate ecosystem values into national planning
  • 15.b Mobilize resources, incentives for sustainable forest management

Conventions and protocols


Private sector(s)


Hot topic

  • Structural/system transformation
  • Nature-based solution
  • Food and agricultural commodities strategy

About this project


Kazakhstan has approximately 12.6 million hectares of forest, which makes it one of the most forest-rich countries in Eurasia, despite the fact that its forests amount to only 4.6% of the national territory. Approximately 95% of Kazakhstan's forests are managed by 123 state forestry entities, which are overseen by regional governments (akimats). Under the current forest governance system, forestry entities lack sufficient capacity to effectively manage HCVF, including those forests neighboring highly biodiverse protected areas. Kazakhstan's protected area system covers approximately 24,018,800 ha, or 8.81% (as of 2015) of the total country, although only 5% of Kazakhstan's forests are included within protected areas. Therefore, forest ecosystems are underrepresented in the national protected area systems. Kazakhstan has three main forest ecosystem types: alpine forests, tugai (riparian) forests, and saxaul landscapes (desert and semi-desert shrubs). The project strategy is to holistically address the conservation and sustainable use of forest ecosystems in Kazakhstan, through management approaches including both protected areas and sustainable use of associated HCVF landscapes. Many forest ecosystems in Kazakhstan have mixed landcover (forest and pasture) and mixed-use (i.e. pastoralism in forest pastures) characteristics. Therefore, the project is also applying an integrated landscape management approach by targeting sustainable land management practices within forest landscapes. The project is structured in three components: •Component 1. Improved representation of globally important forest biodiversity and improved management of protected conservation-important forests•Component 2. Better integration of forest PAs in wider landscape, including enabling environment for sustainable management of conservation-important ecosystems•Component 3. International cooperation and knowledge managementOn the ground, the project will work primarily in three regions covering multiple landscapes:•East Kazakhstan Province: Altai mountain forests, Saur and Tarbagatai mountain forests•Almaty Province: Zhetysu Alatau mountain forests, Northern/Central Tian Shan mountain forests, Ile river basin tugai forests, Ile river basin saxaul zones•South Kazakhstan: Western Tien Shan mountain forests, Syr Darya river tugai forests


Improve conservation status and management of key forest and associated grassland, riparian and arid ecosystems important for conservation of biodiversity, land resources and provision of livelihoods for local communities.

USD $8,219,178

Grant amount

USD $86,795,676

Leveraged amount (co-financing)


Source(s) of fund

Sources of fund


  • Global Environment Facility – Trust Fund ($8,219,178)

Implementing partner(s)

  • Forestry and Wildlife Committee, Ministry of Agriculture

Project metrics

Related resources

Geospatial information

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Project reports and documentation



Conservation and Sustainable Management of Key Globally Important Ecosystems for Multiple Benefits