Summing up the results of the year, the Fund would like to briefly talk about its achievements within the framework of the current year, and in general for the entire time of its existence.
The Corporate Fund "Biodiversity Conservation Fund of Kazakhstan" (hereinafter referred to as the Fund) was established in 2007, its main task is to form an integrated system of support and development of projects aimed at preserving the biodiversity of Kazakhstan and ecosystems, protecting the environment and sustainable use of biological resources.
The Fund was established by non-governmental environmental organizations of Kazakhstan, with the support of the joint project of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan / the Global Environment Facility / the United Nations Development Program in Kazakhstan “Comprehensive conservation of priority globally significant wetlands in Kazakhstan”.
Today, the Foundation is one of the leading and successful NGOs in the republic, whose activities are fully focused on the sustainable management of ecosystems and the conservation of globally significant biodiversity in Kazakhstan. During the period of its existence, the Fund has successfully implemented more than 80 projects aimed at the conservation of globally significant biodiversity and sustainable management of natural resources. The total amount of implemented projects amounted to more than 6,500,000 US dollars, and the scope of projects covers the entire territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The largest project implemented by the Fund is “Phytoforest reclamation of the dried bottom of the Aral Sea in the Kyzylorda region”. The Forest Service of the Republic of Korea acted as a donor to the project. The total amount of the grant was over $1.7 million. The main objective of the project was to counter the removal of salt, dust and sand from the dried bottom of the Aral Sea. There are undeniable signs of changing climatic conditions, as well as the fact that salt and dust, which are carried by the wind, cause significant harm to the environment. The planting of saxaul contributes to the containment of sand-salt storms. One saxaul bush can contain up to 4 tons of sand. In total, we planted 5 million saxaul seedlings on an area of 13,300 hectares.
Two projects were implemented on the inventory and mapping of unaccounted for forests in Pavlodar and East Kazakhstan regions. The UN Development Program acted as a donor. The sum of the two projects in total amounted to about 200 thousand dollars. The total area of unaccounted for forests according to the results of the projects amounted to more than 100 thousand hectares.
At the moment, the Fund is implementing a "Pilot project on the inventory of unaccounted for forests in Kostanay and North Kazakhstan regions and automation of the collection of information on forestry." The project plans to identify and pilot inventory of unaccounted for forests in Kostanay and North Kazakhstan regions, and develop a full-featured digital program for forest data management. All the necessary office equipment was purchased and preparatory work was completed for the calculation and inventory of unaccounted forests next year. The donor of the project is the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFOCO). The project is designed for 4 years, with a total grant of 1.2 million dollars.
Since 2008, the Fund, with the financial support of the Eurasian Group (ERG), annually implements projects aimed at preserving endemic species of flora and fauna of specially protected natural areas of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Over the past 13 years, the material and technical base of the Korgalzhyn State Natural Reserve, the Bayanaul State National Natural Park, and the Naurzum State Natural Reserve have already been improved.
Every year, representatives of specially protected natural areas express their gratitude to the Biodiversity Conservation Fund of Kazakhstan and the ERG Komek Fund for their support and contribution to the protection of the nature of our Republic.
Also, within the framework of the project, starting from 2008, the republican creative festival "Flamingo" is held annually. The main goal of the festival is to draw the attention of the community to the conservation of the nature of the Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve - a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.
As part of the festival, a free creative competition “Pink Flamingos and Other Inhabitants of the Reserved Land” is held, and every year thousands of children aged 9 to 17 years old from all over the country participate in our competition. The winners of the competition receive valuable prizes, diplomas, and calendars, which include the best works, which are printed by the Foundation on the eve of the festival. We also do not disregard children who did not win prizes. They receive diplomas for active participation and incentive prizes.
The implementation of the second phase of the project "Improving the management of specially protected natural areas of the Western Tien Shan" is ongoing, the donor of which is the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (USA). The project is a continuation of a similar project that was implemented by the Biodiversity Conservation Fund of Kazakhstan from January 2021 to July 2022. As a result of the project, a Regional Committee was formed, which included representatives of state and non-governmental organizations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, as well as international organizations involved in biodiversity conservation and nature protection.
In the spring of next year, meetings of the Regional Committee will be held in Tashkent. Previously, meetings of the Regional Committee were held in Shymkent, where the Regulations and the Work Plan for 5 years of the Regional Committee were formed and approved, as well as in Bishkek, where the intermediate results of the work of the Regional Committee were summed up. Online meetings were also held between the Regional Committee and the International Community for Conservation of Nature on possible joint work on the conservation of globally significant biodiversity in the Western Tien Shan.
Among future projects, next year it is planned to launch a project to create artificial forest ecosystems in the amount of 4 million trees on a total area of 1.5 thousand hectares. The main objective of the project is to create a compensatory carbon sequestration mechanism. The project implementation period will be 7 years and the total amount of the project is about 3 billion tenge.
As you know, in September, the Kostanay region faced a huge disaster - a forest fire, which caused a huge number of people to suffer, houses in nearby villages burned down. According to the data, the total area of the fire exceeded 43,000 hectares. In this regard, the government of the United Arab Emirates sent financial assistance in the amount of $1 million to Kazakhstan for the construction of a nursery for growing seedlings in order to restore forest ecosystems. The implementation of this project was entrusted to our Foundation. At the moment, a project is being worked out to build a forest nursery complex for growing coniferous trees, which, in the future, will grow up to 1 million seedlings per year.
The Fund does not rest on its laurels, and continues to carry on negotiations with potential donors and grant-givers on the financing of various projects in the field of environmental protection. In particular, the Fund is focused on the development and implementation of projects on the issues of absorption, sequestration of carbon and carbon units in the territory of artificial forest ecosystems.
The Biodiversity Conservation Fund of Kazakhstan expresses its gratitude to its partners, donors, grant givers for their trust and support, and expresses hope for further strengthening of cooperation. We sincerely believe that by joint efforts we can save our precious land and its nature.