Sixth National Report
Section I. Information on the targets being pursued at the national level
National Target 1.2. Ensure coordination between policy, culture, knowledge and actions efficiency ()
The Kyrgyz Republic adopts strategic documents that address key problems - stop environmental depletion and the sustainable use of natural resources, implementation of which may lead in future to impact on well-being of the population and economic growth in the medium and long term: the National Strategy for Sustainable Development 2013-2017 , Environmental Security Concept 2007-2020  National Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity Conservation 2015-2024 , Forest Industry Development Concept for the period until 2025 , Program for the development of walnut crops in the Kyrgyz Republic until 2025 [ 5], Priorities for the conservation of wetlands of the Kyrgyz Republic until 2023 and Implementation Action Plan for 2013-2017 , the National Strategy for Conservation of the Snow Leopard in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2013-2023 and its Implementation Plan ). Implementation of strategies involves the formation and consistent implementation of unified state policy in the field of environmental safety and protection of the environment. However, an analysis of the results of the implementation of strategic plans for the previous period shows that a certain part of the activities was not implemented, even taking into account the fact that environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and adaptation to climate change were in the focus of national priorities, but by the reason of inconsistency between responsible authorities, competition for resources within the financial limits and insufficient technical capacity of the country. In the Kyrgyz Republic, the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic (SAEPF) is the state executive authority for policy implementation and regulation of relations in the field of environmental protection, environmental safety and environmental management. The goal of SAEPF is to ensure the preservation of the unique ecological system of the Kyrgyz Republic and protection of the environment for present and future generations. The Agency’s activities should also be aimed at helping to ensure coherent actions on environmental issues, including biodiversity and ecosystems between ministries, institutions, public and international organizations, and other organizations whose activities concern biodiversity conservation.
Biodiversity conservation is not only the mandate of the SAEPF, it has an interdisciplinary aspect, and, therefore, the implementation of a biodiversity conservation policy must be coordinated with many actors. However, biodiversity conservation is viewed as a functional responsibility of only a single specialized state body.
To address effectively problems of biodiversity conservation, a close interaction of a variety of stakeholders is needed: representatives of state bodies, publicity, academy, universities, and direct users of natural resources. A big role in this should be assigned to the issues of informing and shaping the ecological thinking and culture of the individual in the field of rational use of biodiversity resources, protection of traditional knowledge at local, republican and regional levels.
The basis for determining policies and management decisions in the field of biodiversity conservation and preservation of the traditional knowledge - are scientific studies and a system for monitoring the status of biodiversity. Kyrgyzstan still has its scientific potential (institutes of the National Academy of Sciences, institutes of universities, research institutes under ministries, research and production associations) to solve scientific tasks and carry out environmental studies, but unfortunately, the personnel issue in the field of science is largely associated with economic problems, including aging of laboratory equipment and inability to perform modern research on it; a decline in the prestige of scientific activity; poorly established system for search and selection of talented young people to attract them to scientific activities, and, as a result, the aging of scientific personnel, weakening of the previously existing scientific schools. In recent years, as a problem, the complexity of the work of young researchers who have undergone internships or studies at foreign universities or other educational (scientific) institutions in existing scientific structures has become apparent, which forces talented young people to either leave the country or change their field of activity.
The national biodiversity conservation policy is neutral with respect to taking into account gender differences in decision-making and biodiversity use by women and men. But at the level of gender representation, despite the fact that in the sector of agriculture, forestry and fisheries there were more than 40% of women represented , in these sectors there is a concentration of women in the zone of low-paid jobs, this is due to the traditional attitudes in the sector, vertical and horizontal gender segregation. For example, in the SAEPF Apparatus, women make up 21%; women are not represented in the Agency’s management. Women, as a rule, have less access to decision-making on the management of natural resources . This leads to the fact that the experience, knowledge and approaches of women to the preservation of biological diversity are poorly demanded. In accordance with the requirements of the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic of August 4, 2008, No. 184 “On State Guarantees of Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Men and Women” , employees of state bodies and local governments should not be dominated by employees of the same sex. The quota system in state bodies and local governments (no more than seventy percent of the staff, including at the decision-making level) is established by the by-laws of the Kyrgyz Republic. This allows integrating the knowledge and experience of both sexes into the decision-making system. In the area of biodiversity conservation, it is necessary to take active steps to integrate women into decision-making systems and conservation practices at the local level.
The lack of coherence between politics, culture, knowledge and effectiveness of actions were noted by many stakeholders as a barrier to the integration of biodiversity issues, the results of scientific research into the policy, education and cultural life of the population. Representatives of science, school, and higher education were involved in the process of consultation dialogues between stakeholders. Joint activities with the National Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic, the State Agency on Intellectual Property, which were included in the working plans of these organizations, were laid in the NBSAP.
National Target 1.3. Integrate the issues of biodiversity conservation into economic decisions for the development of appropriate controls and limits the impact on biodiversity in all areas of natural resources management ()
Economic growth and the structure of economy of the Kyrgyz Republic is based, mainly, on technogenic extensive and nature-intensive development. And in this sense, the country is completely dependent on the status of natural ecosystems. The transition to sustainable development makes it necessary to include the environmental factor in the system of basic economic indicators of development. The underestimation of the environmental factor in decision-making is largely due to the lack in traditional economic indicators of development of the value of the use of natural capital, the so-called balance of natural resources, reflecting their use (disposal), and the assessment of economic and social damage from environmental degradation. In general, according to expert estimates, at present time over 75% of the country's territory is exposed to an increased risk of degradation of natural capital.
Users of natural resources at all levels derive significant benefits from the use of ecosystem services. A few studies have shown (ELD in Central Asia, 2015), in monetary terms, ecosystems generate significant incomes for users, but these incomes are not obvious and are not perceived by the population as a result of using a natural asset that needs to be maintained and in which it is necessary to invest. These services are also perceived in the same way at the government level. This situation is typical for all sectors of the economy, agriculture, tourism, energy, health care, as well as informal sectors, where consumption of ecosystem services is often significant: wood and non-wood forest products, medicinal herbs, hunting and fishing, community tourism, etc.
The use of natural resources should be carried out on a paid basis, including the “polluter pays” principle, and damage to the environment is compensated. The Concept on Environmental Security points out the need to improve environmental legislation and strengthen law enforcement practices in all areas, including a licensing system and control system. At the same time, comprehensive environmental monitoring is extremely important. The main instruments of the state policy in the field of environmental protection is environmental monitoring over the status of the environment. Procedures should also be introduced to take into account the parameters of restoration capabilities and the potential capacity of ecosystems when planning the socio-economic development of the country.
The task of integrating the value of biodiversity into economic decisions and developing a system of proper monitoring in all spheres of environmental management was also set in connection with the requirement of integrating environmental and sustainable development issues into the strategic planning system, according to the Methodology for development of strategic programs made by the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic .
The country has implemented the Program of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic on energy saving and policy planning on energy efficiency in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2015-2017 (GoKR Statement No. 601). Despite the fact that the document defines “expected results”, neither the expected results, nor indicators to them are actually presented. The entry of the Kyrgyz Republic into the Eurasian Economic Union is mentioned here as a favorable prerequisite for the implementation of the program. As a result, due to the lack of clearly defined expected results, indicators and the short-term nature of the program, there are no results from implementation. Although the potential of Kyrgyzstan in terms of renewable energy is estimated at 11.7–16.1 billion kWh per year, of which 90% of the potential falls on hydropower.
National Target 2.1. Save and restore the most vulnerable ecosystems and genetic resources, significantly reduce the rate of species loss, degradation and fragmentatio n of their habitats ()
In the Kyrgyz Republic, over 99% of 199 thousand square kilometers is occupied by heavily dissected mountains, towering from 500 to over 7 thousand meters above sea level. Of these, about 40% is almost unsuitable for life. These are glaciers, eternal snows, rocks, debris, high-mountain gravelly deserts, etc. Over 7% of the territory suitable for life is occupied by the cultivated landscape: fields and settlements, roads and industrial facilities. The rest of the territory (about 100 thousand square kilometers) is represented by a rich variety of natural communities: walnut, fruit, juniper, spruce, deciduous forests (3.5%), shrubs, alpine, middle-mountain, low-mountain meadows, steppes and deserts, wetlands. There are 20 classes of ecosystems and 160 species of mountain and lowland landscapes. They are inhabited by several tens of thousands of species of living organisms. The representativeness of the flora and fauna is very high relative to the world composition. Of the 22 divisions of the plant kingdom (including fungi), 17 (or 77.2% of the world level) are present in the country. Of the 24 divisions of the animal kingdom, 10 (or 41.7%) are present. It should be noted that most types of animals are associated with seas, located at the distance of at least 3 thousand km.
About 2% of species of world flora and more than 3% of species of world fauna are present in Kyrgyzstan. These percentages are quite high taking into account that the area of the country accounts for only 0.03% of the area of the planet, or 0.13% of the land area. Currently, about 100 viruses, 200 bacteria, more than 2 thousand species of fungi, over 1 thousand species of algae, more than 450 species of mosses, over180 species of lichens and about 50 species of other lower plants are registered in Kyrgyzstan, as well as 18 species of gymnosperms and 3,900 species of angiosperms (vascular plants). As for the animal kingdom, about 100 species of protozoa, more than 1600 species of worms, over 16o species of mollusks, about 100 species of crustaceans and dozens of species of other invertebrates, except for arthropods are present. Arthropods are represented by more than 10 thousand insect species, over one thousand arachnid species, and several dozen other arthropod species. Of the vertebrates, there are 62 species of fish, 4 species of amphibians, 34 species of reptiles, 395 species of birds, 87 species of mammals in Kyrgyzstan. The fauna and flora have not yet been fully studied and new discoveries are coming.
The list of critically endangered and endangered species to be included in the Red Book of the Kyrgyz Republic, approved by Kyrgyz Government Decree No.170 dated April 28, 2005 includes 57 bird species, 23 mammal species, 2 amphibian species, 8 reptile species, 7 fish species, 18 arthropod species and 87 species of higher plants and fungi, which are endangered.
In the last (2nd) edition of the Red Book, the list of plants and fungi to be protected is increased by 22 species (relative to the first edition). The number of protected species of flowering plants increased to 83 (compared to 71), and 4 fungi species were introduced (compared to none in the previous edition).
Human activity has resulted in the complete disappearance of some species and the endangerment of others. Among large and medium-sized mammals, 3 species have become extinct, 15 species are endangered; among girds, 4 species have died out, 26 species endangered; as for plants, the losses are smaller: only one species has disappeared, and 56 species are endangered.
Over the past 20–30 years, some plant species have clearly demonstrated a downward trend, and the state of many plant communities, both in the lowlands and in the highlands, has become extremely poor (Sorbaria olgae is considered to be extinct).
About 150 species of insects and over 30 species of other invertebrates are under a real threat of extinction, and 2 species are reliably considered to be extinct in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Mountainous terrain and high contrasts, determined by the plane and steepness of the slope and the high altitude, explain the limited area of ecosystems. Our mountain ecosystems are therefore characterized by high fragmentation. For example, forests occupy no more than 5% of the area territory but are represented by 350 individual sites. The other ecosystems demonstrate a similar situation. Small areas of individual sites do not allow to fully ensure intra-system reproduction. This circumstance makes mountain ecosystems especially vulnerable under increasing anthropogenic pressure.
The degradation of natural resources, environmental pollution and loss of biological diversity reduce the self-healing ability of ecological systems.
A common feature of changes in the abundance and distribution of many species of terrestrial vertebrates is the ubiquitous reduction of the ranges, number and size of populations. For example, the habitats of mountain sheep and mountain goats are significantly reduced in size and are represented by fragmentary areas. Birds and mammals, in turn, demonstrate an alarming decrease in the number of main hunting species.
Biological diversity suffers both due to uncoordinated economic development policies, and non-compliance with environmental legislation and weak enforcement.
There is an acute problem of invasive alien species being imported into the country without proper control, which threatens the survival of native species. Currently, there are no mechanisms in place for combating alien species in the country. There is no assessment of the risks associated with the introduction of alien species. There is an accounting of adventive species penetrating the country. There is weak intersectoral integration of activities to combat invasive species.
Conserving and reproducing rare and endangered species of animals and plants requires planning conservation and biotechnical measures, raids on sites and detours to prevent and detect violations of the reserve status.
In Kyrgyzstan, there is a trend towards aging of forests. The reasons are both natural factors, for example, the prevalence of overripe trees (especially in spruce forests), and anthropogenic factors, in particular, grazing in the forests. Soft-leaved forests, walnut-fruit trees, pistachios and almonds, which mainly grow in regions with a high population density, experience the greatest anthropogenic stress.
Another negative trend is deforestation, which is a consequence of the intensive exploitation of natural resources by the local population. About two hundred thousand people live within the boundaries of forests and are completely dependent on forest resources. Wood is used as cheap or even free fuel, as well as for construction - these and other factors, in the absence of alternatives to local wood, push the local population towards uncontrolled deforestation. Forest areas are also used for grazing, which limits forest reproduction.
Poaching causes significant damage to animal populations, especially ungulates. There is no reliable statistics on the number of illegally hunted species of animals, including those listed in the Red Book. The absence of such statistics, or even estimates, is associated with a weak and inefficient system of state monitoring of the status of biological diversity and poor enforcement.
Some biodiversity monitoring activities are carried out by NGOs and academic institutions. However, these activities are not conducted on a regular basis and have no follow-up due to insufficient funding.
The national target relates directly to the functional obligations of the SAEPF, the target was discussed internally by the departments, as well as the representatives of the Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic participated in the formulation of the measures to achieve the target. When discussing this target and planning measures to fulfill this task, sectoral programs were envisaged for forest management, wildlife resources, the action plan on desertification, as well as the fulfillment of international obligations under international agreements as leverages to achieve the target
National target 2.2. Improve the management system in the field of biodiversity conservation ()
A regulatory legal framework has been developed in the Kyrgyz Republic that covers almost all aspects of the environmental protection and biodiversity conservation system. However, there are environmental laws that are the framework and do not have prescribed implementation mechanisms and thus should be detailed in bylaws. At the same time, even bylaws demonstrate a narrow sectoral approach, which does not make it possible to sufficiently execute implementation arrangements prescribed in laws. Furthermore, some laws and regulations contain contradictions or duplication.
Work is needed to improve environmental legislation to eliminate shortcomings. The law-enforcement practice of laws and regulations on Protected Areas (PAs) has shown that some matters of PAs organization and protection are not clearly spelled out or are overlooked. The issues of creating a full-fledged protected area network with proper zoning are not being sufficiently addressed. Solving the issues relating to PAs management requires effecting planning and management, making changes to laws and regulations, stimulating the development of management plans at the state level, and developing and introducing programmes providing for alternative sources of income for local communities.
Other issues that must be tackled are the weak partnership between state bodies, local state administrations and local self-government authorities, and the lack of a clear delineation of responsibility, which prevents timely and full-fledged interaction when making environmentally significant decisions.
Historically, many bodies at the republican level are involved in the conservation of natural resources and the preservation of biodiversity, but they lack coordination. The developed sectoral strategic documents of ministries and agencies of the Kyrgyz Republic most often do not take into account biodiversity conservation issues.
However, the strategic planning cycle of the country's development for 2013-2017 uses a sustainable development and a green economy model as the most acceptable for today. This choice leads to the need to measure the progress of the country's progress towards a green economy and sustainable development. An important issue in the implementation of the concept of sustainable development was the identification of practical and measurable indicators. Such indicators should link all three components of sustainable development and reflect environmental, economic and social aspects.
Improving the environmental indicator reporting system should form the basis for adequate decision-making on the management of biodiversity resources.
Organizations involved in environmental accounting and monitoring, such as the National Statistical Committee and scientific organizations, participated in the discussion of this task. There was not enough involvement of stakeholders regarding measures related to intersectoral interaction in economics and environmental management, which subsequently affected the effectiveness of the implementation of measures.
National Target 2.5. Develop regional and international cooperation for the conservation of biodiversity ()
The regulatory framework for environmental cooperation in the Central Asian region, including for biodiversity conservation, is represented by multilateral environmental agreements, regional, subregional and bilateral agreements and conventions in addition to national legislation. The accession and ratification of international legal instruments in the field of environmental protection and development is an important element in the implementation by Central Asian countries of their obligations to the international community. However, often the commitments made by countries in the framework of agreements are not fulfilled at the national and regional level which reduces the effectiveness of global efforts to solve specific environmental issues and achieve sustainable development. In addition to this, the lack of countries’ participation in processes related to international agreements leads to decreased awareness, weakened country’s potential and, as a result, a possible isolation of the country from ongoing global processes, and reforms, and lack of opportunities for obtaining technical and financial assistance, data and knowledge.
Central Asia, which inherited environmental challenges from the Soviet period of unsustainable environmental management, has become a vulnerable region to environmental challenges, which are becoming increasingly difficult to respond to. Climate change, reduction of water resources, soil degradation, air pollution and loss of biodiversity pose a threat to the ecological, economic and social security of the countries in the region. These problems do not have national boundaries and require having a legal and institutional system conducive to the effective implementation of international environmental agreements and other agreements at the national and regional level.
Kyrgyzstan is an active participant of international biodiversity conservation activities. Furthermore, the country is the initiator of some of these activities. Examples include two snow leopard conservation global forums (in 2013 and in 2017) which resulted in the establishment of the international Snow Leopard Conservation Secretariat, stationed in Bishkek. In addition, the country is an active participant in international discussions within the framework of the Ramsar, CMS, CITES, Aarhus Conventions, etc.
Kyrgyzstan became a member of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (2008) and an active member of regional institutes, supporting the idea of sustainable development globally and in Central Asia. Our country also signed the Central Asian Convention on Environmental Protection for Sustainable Development and took an active part in the development of the Regional Environmental Action Plan and the Subregional Strategy for Sustainable Development of Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is a party to the EECCA strategy and the Central Asian Initiative for Sustainable Development (CAISD).
Efficient conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity require creating and strengthening transboundary protected areas, other forms of transboundary cooperation between neighboring protected areas and regional networks.
Kyrgyzstan is one of the few countries that is integrated simultaneously in both European and Eurasian organizations: OSCE, EAEU, CIS, EBRD, SCO, OIC, ECO, ADB, IDB. In 2015, the Kyrgyz Republic joined the Eurasian Economic Union and the Chinese economic initiative “One Belt, One Road”. At the same time, within the framework of these economic initiatives, the issue of biodiversity conservation is raised only in terms of the security of agricultural products and agricultural animals and plants, while the conservation of wild species and ecosystems is not mainstreamed. At the same time, it can be seen today that a number of international economic processes have a negative impact on the state of biological diversity of the country and the region as a whole. It should be noted that there is a lack of research on this issue, as well as a lack of international instruments for regulating the conservation of biological diversity in the framework of economic treaties and processes.
Issues of integration of Kyrgyzstan into regional and international cooperation were widely discussed for the period of the formation of targets with development partners, local and international NGOs and activists. That period, 12 countries were preparing a program for the conservation of the snow leopard and its ecosystems, which was adopted in 2013 at the Global Forum for the Conservation of the Snow Leopard in Bishkek.
National Target 3.1. Improve the management system of SPNAs and ecological network ()
Kyrgyzstan is one of 34 global “hotspot of biodiversity”, according to Conservation International, and one of the 200 priority ecoregions of the planet, according to WWF Global. In Kyrgyzstan, there are three wetlands of world importance under the Ramsar Convention: Issyk-Kul, Son-Kul and Chatyr-Kul. There are also 11 important bird areas (IBAs) and two objects included in the UNESCO programme as international biosphere territories - Issyk-Kul Biosphere Territory and Sary-Chelek National Reserve.
The country's environmental sustainability is determined by the national system of protected areas (PAs), aimed at improving, protecting and rational use of land and water resources, wetlands, while ensuring the preservation and restoration of biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services. The creation of protected areas (PAs) for more than a hundred years has been one of the main effective approaches to the conservation of biological diversity, both at the global, national and regional levels. They are the ecological framework of the country and the region as a whole.
A modern integrated approach to nature conservation requires the expansion of the network of protected areas (PAs), the protection of rare plant and animal species listed in the International Red Book (IUCN) and the Red Book of the Kyrgyz Republic.
One of the leading focuses in the national policy to mitigate the effects of climate change, preserve biodiversity and reduce desertification is the expansion of protected areas to 10% of the total territory of the country until 2020, the creation of an ecological network including protected areas of various categories - in steppe, semi-desert and desert ecosystems that protect 60-65% of the Red-Book species, as stipulated in the Environmental Security Concept of the Kyrgyz Republic, third stage 2015-2020, the National Sustainable Development Strategy 2013–2017 and Priority Directions of Adaptation to Climate Change in the Kyrgyz Republic until 2017.
Conserving biodiversity while avoiding a conflict with the country's socio-economic development objectives requires not only increasing the number of protected areas but also creating a single ecological network, the main components of which are not removed from nature management, but combine the functions of environmental protection and sustainable development. These complex tasks have to be solved against the background of hard anthropogenic pressure. Under these conditions, the preservation of rare and unique species of flora and fauna, objects of inanimate nature is possible only by organizing a representative system of protected areas. The PA Development Programme and Action Plan would lay foundations for comprehensive coverage of existing and prospective representative landscapes, based on a scientifically based approach to the placement of protected areas, modern management methods, personnel development and efficient use of financial resources.
A legal framework must be established for the creation and development of an ecological network, as well as the management and protection regime for the ecological network, and powers and responsibilities of state bodies and in the case of transboundary territories. The development of the network of protected areas in the Soviet period and now is selective in nature. PAs were created in habitats of rare or economically valuable species, places where unique, or, conversely, typical natural objects and phenomena existed. Protected areas systems can only be effective when they make up a single, interoperable network; individual PAs cannot guarantee biodiversity conservation.
In line with the new challenges and issues related to global climate change, the Kyrgyz Republic approved the Priority Directions of Adaptation to Climate Change in the Kyrgyz Republic until 2017, which include adaptation measures in the main sectors: water resources, agriculture, public health, climate emergencies, forest resources and biodiversity. Objective 2.6 of the respective Government decree is to increase the efficiency of management of protected areas.
National Target 3.2. Improve the conservation of agricultural biodiversity and wild ancestors ()
The Kyrgyz Republic has a unique mountain agricultural biodiversity and a rich gene pool of species that represent a potential resource for the creation of highly productive and resilient cultivars, ornamental plants, medicinal, aromatic, technical raw materials. For example, Tien Shan mountain ecosystems are home to 132 species of ancestral forms of relatives of cultivated plants. Specific populations of hexaploid wheat, small-seed peas (Picum) and chickpea (Cicer), initial forms of white and yellow varietal carrots (Daucus), onions and garlic (Alliumcepa and A. sativum), alfalfa (Medicagosativa) originated or were cultivated here. Southern Kyrgyzstan is the center of a variety of ancestral forms of fruit plants, such as apple (Malus), pear (Pyrus), plum (Prunus), pistachio (Pistacia), almond (Amygdalus). Walnut-fruit forests alone provide an inexhaustible stock for the selection of fruit trees and berry bushes. Local breeds of domestic animals and varieties of cultivated plants can make a contribution to agricultural biodiversity. Inexhaustible source for genetic and breeding work is provided by a variety of wild ancestors of cultivated plants and species that can be successfully introduced. Among them are walnut, apple, pear, cherry plum, apricot, pomegranate, grapes, raspberries, currants, tulips, bows, eremurus, other ornamental flowers and shrubs. Genetic resources based in the natural environment (in-situ), as well as traditional knowledge are a unique property of individual regions and the national wealth. Their use is often associated with centuries-old traditions, the traditional nature management of peoples.
The conservation and maintenance of genetic resources outside the natural environment (ex-situ) is carried out in gene banks, repositories, collections. These scientific organizations experience financial difficulties and it is only due to the enthusiasm and dedication of local scientists that they preserve the national wealth - the national genetic resources.
The conservation of agricultural biodiversity is of paramount importance for meeting the need for food, improving the lives of rural residents, and developing the environment. Farmers ply a major role in the conservation, reproduction of local valuable plant varieties and domestic breeds of animals. The protection and preservation of the genetic potential of agricultural biodiversity can effectively solve the issue of food security, develop ecological farming, create and improve varieties that adapt to rapidly changing environmental factors, and improve the existing wild flora and fauna.
Wild forms of fruit crops are endangered due to increasing overgrazing of livestock, deforestation and development of forest areas. The country has several botanical and forest reserves, micro-reserves, and botanical gardens, where wild fruit species are preserved in-situ. In places where wild fruits and nuts grow, local residents over-exploit the genetic resources of fruit species which leads to their genetic erosion. Moreover, wild fruits and nuts with of the best quality are collected for sale in the markets. This causes natural selection under human influence, leaving only seeds unclaimed by the market for natural regeneration. As a result, wild fruit species disappear, and intraspecific diversity in natural forests and reserves decreases.
Fruit crops are faced with the same problems. Since ancient times, farmers have been dynamically managed local varieties of crops for growing commercial crops and varieties most adapted to local conditions. However, while many valuable varieties and forms of these crops are still grown in household plots and small farms, the introduction of uniform high-yielding varieties, the use of chemical fertilizers and toxic chemicals, the increased use of large-scale mechanization leads to a decrease in agricultural land, where local varieties of crops are grown. The result is the loss of traditional agricultural systems based on biodiversity, the degradation of arable land, pollution of the environment (water, soil and air), genetic erosion and loss of biological diversity. Lack of information on the importance of fruit crop diversity and wild fruit species, poor coordination between government environmental agencies in environment protection and agriculture, and insufficient communication between local research institutes and government bodies at local and national levels make it difficult to preserve the genetic resources of fruit crops and wild fruit species. Limited financial resources and inadequate institutional structures reduce the effectiveness of actions to improve the legislative framework for environmental protection. Information and knowledge about the quantity and quality of fruit crops and their genetic resources, as well as about their distribution, conservation and use is incomplete. Many of the existing knowledge about wild species of fruit crops is outdated and cannot be analyzed using modern technologies. The lack of an integrated approach between key actors, including farmers and local communities, research institutes, government agencies and the private sector, impedes the effective implementation of reforms to conserve these resources.
The target was agreed with the relevant departments of the Ministry of Agriculture, Processing Industry and Land Reclamation and the Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic.
National Target 4.1. Improve the social protection of local communities and vulnerable groups, increase their income from the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services ()
Ecosystems are a source of many services necessary for the sustainable development of the whole country. Local communities have used provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting ecosystem services. Flora and fauna, forest, land and water are intensively used for the needs of the population. Besides, ecosystems provide protection against natural disasters and climate change, natural water protection and water regulating mechanisms, natural territories for recreation and rest, etc.
So, out of 3927 plant species, about 13% of plant species are used for traditional purposes (150 species – for food purposes, 115 species support local beekeeping, 119 species provide forage, 20 species are used as natural dyes for wool, felt and other materials. Genetic resources are an important strategic resource that ensures the country’s sustainable development and food security (initial material for the creation of varieties, hybrids).
Herbal ecosystems and mountain pastures occupy 85% of agricultural land in the country. (Source: Kyrgyzgiprozem). Today, more than 2 million rural population (62.5%) in 283 villages live near the forest zone and their social development depends on the use of forest resources. Forest hayfields and pastures provide for the needs of not only forest but also agricultural enterprises (farms). At present, there are 7.1 thousand hectares of arable land, 9.0 thousand hectares of hayfields and 952.5 thousand hectares of pastures in the forest fund of forestry. The uncontrolled grazing of livestock in the forest zone is a great threat, which causes significant damage to the forest ecosystem, as it undermines natural reforestation and leads to the loss of biodiversity.
Forest flora, which produces non-wood products, is an integral component of the forest ecosystem. It creates a favorable ecological environment for the existence of the forest. At the same time, it performs an auxiliary function – by meeting the needs of the population in food. In general, more than 4.5 thousand species of higher plants grow in territories belonging to the State Forest Fund, of which over 150 species have medicinal value and are used in traditional medicine. About 160 tons of medicinal raw materials are harvested annually by forestry enterprises ( leskhozes), which is further used by the medical industry for the preparation of medicines. Forests are the main habitat of the most valuable species of hunting fauna. Forest hunting grounds make up 22.0% of all country hunting grounds.
Use of forest resources is regulated by logging tickets. While illegal logging is predominated by men, women practically do not engage in tree cutting, as the absence of mechanization requires “male power”, specialized knowledge, horse or car and permission . Women and men have equal access to non-timber forest products, but there are differences in the collection and use of such natural resources. Women mostly use forest plots without any agreements (over 35% of the women surveyed) or under informal agreements (20% of women). Although it is mainly women who, often accompanied by children, pick berries, mushrooms and medicinal plants in the forest, income from the sale of non-wood products goes to the family budget, and in most cases, the husband, the head of the household, decides how to use this income. Furthermore, income from the sale of timber is much greater than that from the sale of other forest products, which also puts women in an economically weaker position. However, women have great knowledge of traditional forest trees conservation techniques, such as pruning, watering, pest and disease treatment, as well as the collection and storage of fruits, berries, nuts, and plants used in cooking and traditional medicine. This knowledge is especially important for the conservation and maintenance of forest biodiversity in Kyrgyzstan.
The importance of agriculture stems from its contribution to the country's GDP, which is about 20%, and it remains the country's national economic priority, including in terms of reducing poverty, since 60% of the population is engaged in agriculture. Human activities in the land use sector account for 24% of total global emissions (IPCC, AR5). Today, 6,256,700 people live in the country and 66% of them live in rural areas (National Statistical Committee data). The growing population and therefore needs for food, the land-use sector remains a priority for the country's economy. There are differences in access to land. The overwhelming majority of respondents in a study conducted by the Statistical Committee reported that land plots were registered in men’s names (80%). Improving land use and management (climate-resilient agriculture, agroforestry, forest management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems) under certain circumstances can contribute to the sustainable use of renewable data, food and water security, increased community resilience and reduced emissions. Eradicating hunger, meeting Sustainable Development Goal 2, is an indispensable condition for a safer, more just and peaceful life.
The environmental legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic regulates relations in the field of biodiversity conservation, but due to the lack of mechanisms for participation of the local population and the benefits they receive from biodiversity conservation, it does not fully meet modern international standards and requirements.
During the discussion of this target, no surveys of the needs of local communities were conducted, and the involvement of representatives of local communities was low.
National Target 4.2.Increase the resilience of ecosystems, and thus increase the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks, contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification ()
Section II. Implementation measures, their effectiveness, and associated obstacles and scientific and technical needs to achieve national targets
Improving policies, legislation and institutional development in the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use
In order to implement national biological diversity priorities and the commitments undertaken b under the CBD, in the reporting cycle, the Kyrgyz Republic has planned measures to improve policies and legislation and strengthen the capacity of state bodies and local self-government authorities in law enforcement and natural resource management.
The country has adopted the following strategic documents that cover issues related to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems:
The Kyrgyz Republic has signed and ratified 14 international environmental conventions and 4 protocols to them.
Understanding that numerous functions assigned to executive authorities and their non-optimal distribution have negative effects on the functioning of the state, state bodies have carried out reforms to delineate their political, regulatory, economic functions and powers.
Optimization of public administration in the field of environmental protection has led to the separation of function of the state body in charge of environmental policy and control. The hunting management functions of SAEPF have also been separated, and the Agency is now left with protection functions.
Currently, the environmental policy is implemented by the State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry under the Kyrgyz Republic Government. Control and supervisory functions are assigned to the State Environmental and Technical Safety Inspectorate.
The reform of government bodies affected decision-making. Draft laws and government decrees must be coordinated with the competent government environmental agency - SAEPF (Kyrgyzstan does not adopt SEA).
To improve biodiversity management and conservation, the Government Decree No.227 dated May 07, 2018 established the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Protected Areas at SAPEF .
To implement the fundamental environmental principles, a set of environmental legal instruments has been adopted in the country which regulates a wide range of legal relations related to environmental protection and biodiversity conservation. In particular, these legal instruments set standards and requirements for environmental protection in economic and other activities, introduce various types of environmental offenses, liability measures and the procedure for bringing to justice, the procedure for using natural resources, rates and withdrawal quotas, protective and restoration measures.
The country is now making great effort to combat offenses related to the protection of biodiversity. Compared to 2013-2017, the government managed to improve the collection of fines for violating the laws on the protection of flora, fauna and fish stocks by 1.8 times and settlement of the related claims by 1.1 times. (Statistical compilation “Environment in the Kyrgyz Republic”, 2013–2017) .
The Law “On hunting and hunting management”  adopted in 2014 launched a large-scale reform in the sector, as hunting management prior to the adoption was reduced only to the use of resources. Amendments and additions were made to a number of legal instruments such as the Forest Code, Code of Administrative Responsibility, Laws “On environmental protection”, “On animal world”, “On licensing” and “On weapons”.
To implement the above law, over 10 by-laws and regulations have been developed alongside with 8 methodological instructions (which tightened the rules for assigning hunting grounds, hunting management, hunting, issuing state animal hunting certificates, setting animal catch limits, maintaining the Red Book).
To conserve wildlife and create the best conditions for their habitat, the Kyrgyz Republic Government approved the Rules for Hunting in the Kyrgyz Republic (Decree No.143 dated March 23, 2015) , which provides for the reduction of a hunting period for ungulates such as mountain sheep, mountain ibex, roe deer to two months (January and February).
Hunting management rules and the requirements for tender documentation have been tightened by the Regulation on Tenders among Legal Entities for Hunting Management on Hunting Grounds in the Kyrgyz Republic (Decree No.440 dated August 11, 2016).
Decree No. 189 “On approval of the Regulation on the Red Book of the Kyrgyz Republic” dated April 11, 2016  establishes a uniform procedure for entering and withdrawing rare, critically endangered or endangered species (subspecies, populations) of wild animals, plants and fungi (including those of global importance) permanently or temporarily living and growing in the Kyrgyz Republic, into/from the Red Book. The Decree also defines the structure, content and procedure of keeping the Red Book.
To introduce regulatory incentive mechanisms for the introduction of environmental, resource-saving and low-waste technologies, the Government adopted the Methodology for Determining Charges for Environmental Pollution in the Kyrgyz Republic (Decree No. 559 dated September 19, 2011 , which provides for discriminatory financial policies with respect to enterprises which over-use natural resources or use them illegally. At the same time, environmental payments are reduced for enterprises that introduce energy- and resource-saving technologies. The Methodology also provides for co-financing of environmental protection measures at enterprises against environmental payments. The document is updated on a regular basis to address new challenges that require economic mechanisms to reduce environmental pollution.
On January 1, 2019, the Code on Offences will enter into force to protect the rights, freedoms and interests of individual and corporate entities, public and state interests, and public administration against unlawful encroachments . The Code defines punishments for violations of management rules in the field of environmental, sanitary-epidemiological, radiation safety and environmental protection.
To ensure proper monitoring and limit pressure on pasture biodiversity, in May 2016, amendments and additions were made to the Law “On pastures” , which optimizes the activities of pasture users associations and their executive bodies - zhaiyt (pasture) committees, create conditions for interaction and cooperation of zhaiyt committees with local self-government authorities and territorial environmental and forestry offices. It also strengthens the role of local authorities and public organizations in improving pasture management. In accordance with this law, local self-government authorities have developed and approved a Community Plan for Pasture Management covering 455 zhaiyt committees of the country.
In 2011, the Law “On energy efficiency of buildings” (No. 137 dated July 26, 2011) was adopted to promote a higher energy efficiency of buildings, taking into account an improved inner thermal microclimate, cost effectiveness, reduced consumption (use) of energy and gas emissions into the atmosphere .
Pursuant to this law, the Government adopted the regulation “Procedure for energy certification of buildings (Decree No.531 dated August 2, 2012) , which regulates certification of buildings and their classification into CO2 emission classes.
A procedure of environmental impact assessment of a planned activity (hereinafter - EIA) has been established to prevent and / or mitigate the environmental consequences of this activity and the associated social, economic and other consequences, in accordance with the Regulation on Procedure of Environmental Impact Assessment approved by the Government Decree No.60 dated February 13, 2015 .
Efforts to improve the legislative framework are ongoing, but the legislative framework still does not fully meet modern requirements and international standards.
Due to the lack of effective implementation mechanisms, insufficient funding, legislative instruments on environment protection and biodiversity conservation are not working properly. Some of them contain contradictions or duplications. Often, the provisions and mechanisms laid down in national legislation have no effect or even lose their legal force due to references to the prevalence of international law.
Furthermore, although biodiversity conservation is declared in national legislation, serious discrepancies still remain throughout the legal system. For example, according to the Kyrgyz Republic Law “On biosphere territories of the Kyrgyz Republic”, biosphere territories are protected areas; however, the Land Code, which has a higher legal status, and the National Land Cadastre do not provide for such a regime in these territories. As a result, among others, zoning of the Issyk-Kul Biosphere Territory according to the biosphere principle with the definition of clear boundaries of the core zone, buffer zone, transition zone and rehabilitation zone, as required by the UNESCO biological reserve classification rules for inclusion in the World Network, has not been completed.
Also, no provisions are introduced for the development of transboundary biosphere reserves and ecological networks. Thus, there are serious obstacles to the functioning of protected areas in the country.
At the same time, the legislation still contains a certain number of outdated norms that need to be updated and comprehensively revised. In this regard, further activities to improve the legal framework of the state should be based on the development of the norms of the Constitution, the real needs of the society, the observance of the principle of "rule of law". Therefore, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic intends to work to improve the quality of regulatory legal acts, to identify conflicts, contradicting norms, through the mechanism of inventory of legislation, specialized expertise, etc.
The adoption and execution of strategic documents is always difficult, as they imply reforms. The implementation of strategies affects the legislative framework of the country, which, in turn, has implications for the state and public life.
After analyzing the adopted strategic documents and legislative instruments, one can argue that the country is committed to protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity. However, an implementation analysis of strategic documents demonstrates low impact due to excessively ambitious goals and an improper assessment of the country's ability to finance the planned measures. Measures that have been implemented, as a rule, do not require major changes in public life and significant amounts of funding (measures that correspond to the functions of state bodies such as the development of legislation, conducting training for employees, issuing information materials etc.). Many measures are implemented with the support of international projects.
Thus, the fact that the country is making efforts in environmental protection to meet national priorities and international commitments in the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, as well as improving policy and legal framework, is a good indicator. Nevertheless, the analysis of the impact on biodiversity, socio-economic development, adopted strategic documents and normative legal acts in the field of environmental protection shows their insufficient effectiveness in implementation.
To implement the regulatory legal acts in the field of environmental protection in the country, secondary legislation was adopted. Only those that have the greatest impact on environmental protection and biodiversity conservation are listed here.
In accordance with the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Hunting and Hunting”, more than 10 by-laws and regulations have been developed, as well as 8 methodological instructions (the rules for fixing hunting grounds, hunting management, hunting rules, rules for issuing animal hunting certificates, maintenance of the Red Book). One of the main bylaws is the “Rules of hunting in the Kyrgyz Republic” , under which the period of hunting for ungulates wild animals (mountain sheep, ibex, roe deer, wild boar) was reduced by 2 months. Also in order to improve environmentally friendly standards and the extent of the use of natural resources, a number of regulatory legal acts have been developed and approved. [2-8]
The country is actively working to combat offenses related to the protection of biodiversity. Thus, from 2013 to 2017, the collection of fines and lawsuits for violation of the legislation on the protection of flora and fauna increased (the collection of fines by 1.8 times, the claims by 1.1 times). 
The analysis shows that some laws on nature conservation are not actually implemented and are not supported by consistent implementation mechanisms, which should be provided for by by-laws. The country's legislation contains outdated regulations that require updating and comprehensive revision. The environmental legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic regulates relations in the field of biodiversity conservation, but due to the lack of mechanisms providing for participation of the local population and the benefits they receive from biodiversity conservation, the legislation does not fully comply with modern international standards and requirements.
Obvious is the need for the analysis and the subsequent comprehensive revision of environmental legislation, removal of referencing provisions, legal conflicts, redundancies and duplication, and development of effective implementation and monitoring mechanisms for the existing legislation.
The analysis of strategic documents demonstrated their improper implementation. Complexity or unfeasibility of strategic measures should be discovered as early as at the draft development stage. The failure to do so is an indicator of the weak expert capacity of state bodies in the field of strategic planning.
This work requires specialists who have an educational background in jurisprudence and environment protection and are also knowledgeable of strategic planning. There is a need for a dedicated educational programme to train specialists, with a focus on the principles of sustainable development.
At the intersectoral level, biodiversity conservation tasks have a low priority. Biodiversity conservation is considered to be a functional responsibility of the specialized state body – SAEPF, which results in a lack of coordination. An analysis of the situation reveals a weak partnership between state bodies, local state administrations and local self-government authorities and no clear delineation of responsibilities, which prevents timely and comprehensive interaction.
The Environmental Performance Review of the Kyrgyz Republic, periodically conducted by UNECE in countries with economies in transition, was last conducted in 2008. Political circumstances did not allow the review to begin after the preliminary mission of the U