About the Implementing organization
Name: Green Gates Ecofarm
Year of establishment: 2007
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization, Community enterprise or business
The mountains of Tajikistan cover 93% of its land area and hold an astonishing number of plant and animal species, many of which are endemic. Its breathtaking landscapes include snowcapped peaks and wild fruit and nut forests. However, 90% of the forests have disappeared in the past 100 years, causing massive soil erosion and increased risk of landslides. Uncontrolled logging and livestock grazing create further risks of erosion, mudslides, landslips. Rushnoe initiated farmer-led processes of ecological and cultural restoration of the land, using revived traditional techniques of sustainable land use. The nominee also works on reactivation of deep spiritual relationships with nature. Using traditional knowledge, they worked on ecological restoration of eroded mountain slopes. They restored the original vegetation, thus preventing further erosion and landslides by planting trees with strong root systems on the area of 70 hectares. With application of contour lines, they decreased negative effects of soil erosion such as reduced plant productivity, worsened water quality and lower water level and habitat destruction.
Forests / Wetlands / Grasslands / Wildlife
Type of Action
Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Access and benefit sharing / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Water security / Health / Climate action
In their own words the nominee describes environmental impact of their initiative:
"Protecting environment is one of the main aims of Rushnoe. The advantage of our initiative is that we use local natural resources effectively. Most of the seeds of nursery trees are wild. We collect seeds in autumn and sow them in the nursery. Mountainous fruits trees have strong roots and are resistant to diseases. Many trees on the hills need much water, therefore, they grow slowly. We reforested the hills, to protect seedlings we planted them among thorny shrubs. If more trees, flowers and plants grow on mountain slopes, the roots go deeper and lands would be protected from erosion. The other important thing is that the seeds of plants fall down and the next year more plants would grow. Obviously, all these initiatives would positively effect on protecting environment".
This simple description reflects Rushnoe's deep commitment for environmental conservation and sustainable resources management.
Sustainable Development Impacts
Rushnoe initiative creates jobs and restores sense of pride and responsibility of being descendants of the “creators” of centers of crop origin. Young people are engaged in landscape restoration work. Restored landscapes attract tourists, bringing income to local hosts. Each school has now its own experimental garden,children are getting necessary skills. In nominee's words the initiative helped: "In the village people didn't have jobs,through making gardens and Highland Fruit parks they could find jobs; from selling fruits they could improve the livelihoods". The restoration and reforestation reduces risks of mudslides and landslides, improves water availability and quality. Using local varieties that are drought and pest resistant is a tool of climate change adaption. Ecosystem restoration is connected to human health, including mental wellbeing,In the words of the nominee "human can restore beauty of nature and vice versa.Life in mountains directs human to knowledge of truth"
In nominee's words: “The efforts of Rushnoe are recognized by the local and central government and communities, because it is an innovative experience. Our initiative on effective use of lands, restoring eroded hills, and keeping the gene pool of local varieties is expanding to other communities and districts”. In 2013 Mr. Akobirov the head of Rushnoe, became the “Best Orchard Keeper of Tajikistan”. Rushnoe is a national voice on ecosystem restoration and climate change actions; they systematically train farmers from across the country. The President of Tajikistan met with Rushnoe twice and allocated 5 ha highland plot for Rushnoe's farmer-scientist research site.The nominee states "our model of restoration and adaptation to climate change has spread over 5 districts beyond Rasht. The communities buy-in makes it more effective and sustainable. Local government tries to be involved in the processes as well, as they see it as part of the national agenda on sustainable development."
The President of the country encouraged local communities to replicate Rushnoe's example during his meeting with farmers. Rushnoe hosted a number of farmers convenings, trainings, exchanges and generously shared lessons learnt. Being a part of the nationwide network of village organizations the nominee has good opportunities to convey and share his own experience and approaches. In September of 2015 Rushnoe hosted an international Mountain Communities Initiative--the leaders of 21 indigenous mountain communities from 10 countries. Nominee's model was presented on international conferences "Cultural landscapes: Preservation Challenges in the 21st Century" Rutgers University, 2013, and the "1st Asian Conference on Biocultural Diversity. Thematic meetings: Policies and Actions on Biocultural Diversity for Sustainable Communities" Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, 2016.
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