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is a not-for-profit and nongovernmental policy and research organization established in 2003 to conduct research, develop policy recommendations, and implement activities in the field of the rural development.

Rural Development Fund

is a not-for-profit and nongovernmental policy and research organization established in 2003 to conduct research, develop policy recommendations, and implement activities in the field of the rural development.

Rural Development Fund

is a not-for-profit and nongovernmental policy and research organization established in 2003 to conduct research, develop policy recommendations, and implement activities in the field of the rural development.

Rural Development Fund




International Land Coalition (ILC) Asia Land Forum and Regional Assembly has conducted in Kyrgyzstan

Participation of RDF in ILC's Forum

RDF took part in festival "Shirge Zhyar" in Talas region

LOSL took part in a Global Forum on the Conservation of the Snow Leopard

Participation of members of international network “Land of Snow Leopard ” at the Forum on preserving Snow Leopard in Bishkek

All news


11 April 2016

Project coordinator Akmatova Kuluipa and local expert from Talas oblast Kurmanbaev Akylbek participated in the Global Alliance for protection of the sacred snow leopard population in Mongolia

9 March 2016

Italian freelance photographer Marco Palombi, has met the activist of the KEAK pastoral network for conversation and short reportage for won website.

5 March 2016

Social programs coordinator Kuluipa Akmatova took part in the international conference "Mountains of the future" in China

20 June 2015

Books on Traditional Knowledge

18 December 2014

RDF’s Social Program Coordinator took part in Learning Route in Nepal

18 December 2014

RDF’s coordinator of the projects took part in GESA 2014

15 December 2014

RDF’s specialists went to the study tour into the Republic of Albania

11 December 2014

RDF took part in International Land Coalition in India

9 December 2014

The Director of RDF participated in a regional seminar on strategic cooperation in the forestry sector



Kyrgyzstan has relatively small forest area (5.7 % of all the country’s territory), but its biological diversity is very rich. These forests play a crucial role in maintaining ecological well-being of the region providing vital environmental functions, ensuring water supply and serving as a valuable gene pool of many plants and animals.  Forests are also very important for maintaining livelihoods and cultural values of local communities. However, not effective and not inclusive management system of forest eco systems have led to a growing number of conflicts between local governments, communities and forestry managements over access to resources and sharing benefits from their use, as well as significant environmental degradation. There have been many valuable initiatives implemented in country to address governance issues in forest management.


Project “Promoting Community Joint Forest Management in Kyrgyzstan” financially supported by The Christensen Fund (USA) and implemented by the Rural Development Fund (RDF) with a close partnership of the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic aimed to develop and test a viable model of forest co-management that focused on conservation and promotion of bio-cultural diversity, sustainable use of the resources based on traditional ecological knowledge of local communities, as well as leading local and international practices.


   Alasan meikyn jamaaty members


The major focus of the co management model is a full engagement of local communities in understanding, managing and use of their natural resources. The pilot has been implemented in Batken and Chon-Kemin regions, two geographically and socially differing areas in southern and northern Kyrgyzstan. RDF has implemented a great scope of activities in achieving project objectives:




Karool-Dobo meikyn  jamaaty members inventorying of their community forest plots


It conducted a comprehensive study of needs, expectations and preferences of local communities to participate in the management of natural resources and forest landscapes, which included a number of sectoral and cross- sectoral studies including quantitative survey on forest resources use and their importance to local livelihoods, qualitative research on studying biodiversity and its condition over time, value-chain analysis on forest non-timber products, legal and institutional review of the forestry governance, etc. Revealing of traditional Kyrgyz ecological knowledge and mapping of forest and bio-cultural diversity in target areas were conducted with a full participation of target local communities.


In a result of the profound awareness activities in pilot areas, forest dependent communities decided to establish meikyn jamaaty (landscape communities) – local institutions comprised of all village residents.

Meikyn jamaaty elected the Community Forest Management Boards (CFMB) comprised of formal and informal leaders, representatives of different user’ groups including women and youth. CFMB constitute the central community group in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Community Conservation and Management Plans.


RDF facilitated establishing forest communities’ local institutions– meikyn jamaaty in two pilot areas: in the southern Batken region there was formed a territorial association of forest users Alasan Meikin Jamaaty and Karool-Dobo Meikyn jamaaty in Chon-Kemin region. The members of the meikyn jamaats chose a “tabiatker “– chairman, “tabiatchi“ – members of governance board, and a “tabiat choro”- community forester. At subsequent meetings the key areas of activity have been identified as well as functional responsibilities of the members of the Governing Board and Executive Committee. The word Meikin Jaamat means a community, stretched out to the horizon, embracing all resources of the nature from sky to land including all living beings. The phrase Tabiat Ordo was chosen for an Executive Committee of Meikyn Jamaats. This body was established on the method of dispute resolution and decision-making used by Kyrgyz clans at the Ordo, that is, the Supreme Council. The ancient Kyrgyz considered at the Ordo the most intractable disputes and issues based on the main principle of the Ordo - all problems should be solved for the benefit of the people. Tabiatker can be translated as “a part of nature” of human race. S/he is a defender, regulator of relationship problems of humans with nature/natural environment. In ancient Kyrgyz culture the tabiatker had always been shrouded in mystical stories and secrecy; the people believed that they were intermediaries between human beings and the environment. The tabiatker manages the Jamaat, develops a vision of preservation and restoration of forests and forest resources, draws plans and supervises their execution. Tabiatchy is a member of the Board of Jamaat – a body which is entitled to discuss, adopt and make crucial decisions pertaining Jamaat. They have equal rights to vote, but they also have responsibilities. Among the ancient Kyrgyz the members of the Council of Elders/Ordo did not go home until the dispute was settled, in order to avoid the influence of extraneous opinions. Tabiat Choro - if Tabiatker is the head of Jamaat, the Tabiat Choro is the eyes of Jamaat, a warrior. Among the ancient Kyrgyz the closest comrades-in-arms of great heroes/warriors were choro in time of war and their vizirs in peacetime. Choro was a military rank meaning deputy commander/leader, a close brother-in-arms


Micro-grant Program aimed to support the implementation of the Community Conservation and Management Plans, especially conservation and promotion of bio-cultural diversity measures in target areas. Following the community-endorsed micro projects, Fairs of Project Ideas were organized in each target community where community members selected the micro projects for priority funding. In order to sustain meikyn jamaaty work on co-management and conservation Community Funds were established.

RDF conducted the National Workshop on the results of the Project “Promoting Community Joint Forest Management in Kyrgyzstan” in Bishkek on November 28, 2013. Wide range of stakeholders, including state authorities, representatives of non-governmental organizations, donor organizations and of local communities took part in the work of the national workshop. At the National Workshop RDF presented project outcomes- a tested model co-management and conservation of forest ecosystems with meikyn jamaat involvement.


During the National Workshop


RDF emphasized a necessity of a gradual involvement of local communities in the co-management of forest ecosystems, as well as importance of participation of all community members in co-management of forest ecosystems, bearing responsibilities and roles, understanding of the principles of sustainable use of natural resources.


During the National Workshop RDF underlined key requirements on effective co-management, which include need for a good and coordinated work of community institutions and forestry enterprises on the basis of the consistency of the roles and responsibilities. Issue of revision of the existing legal framework for community-based forest management was also accentuated by the RDF.


According to representatives of the pilot communities, participation in this project convinced people that forest is the national wealth and forest ecosystems’ preservation is a duty of local communities.


"The main lesson we have learned from the pilot is that sustainable use of forest resources is feasible.  Our community received 550 hectares of forest land for piloting forest co-management model developed jointly with the RDF. Within the two years we succeeded in decreasing by 80% the area of so called “hot spots” – places of mass illegal felling. This is a result of our fight against poachers - shared his experiences Zhanybek Sariev, the leader of "Karool Dobo Meykin jaamaty" from Chon-Kemin area, Chui region. - We actively developed and provided eco-tours, money received from this activity we have accumulated in our community fund and spent for the forest management and conservation. We are proposing our community members to set up forest nurseries, as an alternative income source. The Community Fund Money, received from sale of seedlings, can be spent for fuel purchase or for growing fast-growing species of trees. Our experience showed that it sustainable forest co-management is POSSIBLE and NECESSARY for preservation of our wealth. I think it is necessary to spread our experience in other areas of the country…"

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Rural Development Fund

Geologicheskiy str., Office 1

Bishkek, 720005, Kyrgyz Republic

Phone: +996 (312)590828 

Mob. phone: +996 (770)330106 

Email: general@rdf.in.kg

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