Central Asia

Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan

InNovaSilva is involved in pilot projects in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The goal is to develop and demonstrate robust and improved methods for afforestation with tree and shrub species that can counteract erosion and increase forest cover in the large open areas where people and their livestock have cleared the forests.



The mountains supply water to the rivers in Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, where glaciers and snow are the source of water supply when the weather warms up in the spring and summer months. In this process, forests are important, but unfortunately, mountain forests are threatened by overgrazing, deforestation, and the resulting impact on the climate. The result is soil erosion and faster water runoff, which can lead to flooding and contribute to mud- and landslides.

On this backdrop, international collaboration has been initiated with the aim of demonstrating and documenting the benefits of increased afforestation. In this collaboration, InNovaSilva participates under the leadership of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations-Special Program for Developing Capacity (IUFRO-SPDC), which took responsibility for the pilot project in Central Asia with Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic as hosts.

– The key to success is close collaboration with our practice-oriented scientific partners in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as other scientists in the IUFRO network,” says Research Director Palle Madsen, InNovaSilva, and continues:

– It is also important to involve local stakeholders, as innovative solutions for the future are only possible if the locals are engaged in the project and convinced that they benefit from changes in land use.

Catastrophe-Resilient Landscapes

The pilot project will hopefully demonstrate that forestry becomes an asset for these countries, and that both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan need to implement these innovative approaches to sustainable future landscapes through afforestation.

The implementation of the Central Asia project is carried out by InNovaSilva ApS in collaboration with the Forestry Research Institute of Uzbekistan, Laboratory of Economics and Organization of Forestry, Research and Production Center for Forest Research, Institute of Biology of the National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic, and the US Forest Service.

– We have focused on developing disaster-resilient landscapes in Uzbekistan by improving watershed management. “It means that we are documenting the benefits of avoiding excessive water runoff through increased forest cover, thus preventing floods and disasters,” says Palle Madsen.

Conflicts and synergies

In the Kyrgyz Republic, the collaboration has focused on developing practical forest renewal systems. Here, researchers have been working on solutions for tree planting, addressing local challenges for relevant tree species, as well as the opportunities for planting nursery seedlings and, importantly, the challenge of unrestricted grazing and new methods.

In Kyrgyzstan, future management has also been addressed, including how best to transfer the necessary information and innovation to the actors and management units that can be involved.

– It can easily uncover conflicts and synergies with other sustainable development goals. For example, biodiversity, economy, and social benefits. “We hope to address conflicts early on so they don’t hinder the process of restoring the forest landscape,” emphasizes Palle Madsen.