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$4 million allocated for conservation of Tien Shan biodiversity

The Global Environment Facility has allocated $ 4 million for the conservation of biodiversity and associated with it land and forest resources in the Western Tien Shan. UNDP informed 24.kg news agency.

Unique ecosystems and biodiversity of the Western Tien Shan due to poor management of forest and land resources are under threat. More than 2,500 species of plants (12% of which are endemics, 54 — Red Book listed species,) more than 400 species of vertebrates (27 of which are Red Book listed, including snow leopards) are on the verge of extinction.

Western Tien Shan is UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the 34 global biodiversity hot spots threatened by species extinction due to loss of habitat, climate change.

«Intensive, uncontrolled use of agricultural pastures reduces the area of ​​meadows and forests of the Western Tien Shan. More than 60 percent of pastures in the Western Tien Shan suffer from erosion. This adversely affects the number of wild ungulates that compete for pastures with domestic animals. Declining number of wild ungulates reduces the food base for the snow leopard, endangering its survival,» the UNDP explained.

GEF and UNDP are funding a five-year project aimed at promoting a landscape approach for conserving biodiversity through optimizing forest and land management, creating alternative income sources for local communities.