Local people's perceptions of forest biodiversity in the walnut fruit forests of Kyrgyzstan

TitleLocal people's perceptions of forest biodiversity in the walnut fruit forests of Kyrgyzstan
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsJalilova G.
Secondary AuthorsVacik H.
JournalInternational Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystems Services and Management
Date Published09/2012
Type of ArticleArticle
Keywordsanthropogenic effect, Central Asia, conservation planning, forest ecosystem, Forest Planning, forest resource, household survey, human activity, income, Juglans, Knowledge systems (traditional and formal), Kyrgyzstan, local participation, nature conservation, nut, perception, public attitude, Resources, species diversity, sustainable forestry, traditional knowledge, wild population
TagsKyrgyzstan, nature conservation, forest ecosystem, Species diversity, anthropogenic effect, conservation planning, forest resource, household survey, human activity, income, local participation, nut, perception, public attitude, sustainable forestry, traditional knowledge, wild population, Central Asia, Juglans, Forest Planning, Resources, Knowledge systems (traditional and formal)

The biodiversity of the walnut fruit forests in Kyrgyzstan is under huge pressure due to various socio-economic challenges and anthropogenic factors. In this context, the participation of local people plays a significant role in the conservation of biodiversity. This study assessed local people's understanding of forest biodiversity and evaluated their knowledge of the wildlife at three different locations. The research was conducted between May and September in 2008 with randomly selected households (n=142). The results indicated that the local people were aware of the concept of forest biodiversity. This concept is perceived in different ways depending on the benefits gained from the forest and due to a bias which is strongly related to profession. Regarding the current conditions of biodiversity in general, people have clear and positive intentions for conservation. However, it seems that people will be unable to reduce their impact on forest resources in the future due to the current socio-economic challenges. Further, people's expectations for the future of forest biodiversity varied significantly (6-52%) between the sites due to the differences in the pressure exerted by humans on the forests and the availability of forest resources. Concerning the people's knowledge of wildlife this was limited to few species (28-35% of the species occurring in this area). This study highlights the fact that increasing awareness of wildlife is essential for the maintenance of biodiversity. Local people and the forestry sector need to stress the importance of biodiversity in establishing a sound conservation strategy, as well as income-generating activities.

Refereed DesignationRefereed

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