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Certification can help in fight against corruption in Kyrgyzstan’s forest sector

International certification will reduce the level of corruption in the forest sector. The head of the Association of Forest Users and Land Users of Kyrgyzstan Aytkul Burkhanov told this at the international conference «Forests for All Forever.»

According to him, the international organization «Forest Stewardship Council» (FSC) works in more than 90 countries of the world.

«One of the main requirements for obtaining the certificate is compliance with the principle of environmental continuity and social benefits of the population, as well as ensuring sustainable development of the forest sector,» he said.

According to him, today there are big shortcomings and problems in the forest sector and the introduction of an international standard will allow preserving biodiversity, improving the image of the sector as a whole, and reducing the level of corruption. One of the main advantages is the possibility to export our products to foreign markets.

«FSC standard certificate ensures that the products are made from managed forests, they are legally exported and meet the requirements and standards. At the same time, not wood but non-timber forest products are the priority for us,» he said.

According to the deputy head of the Department of the Agriculture- Industrial complex and Ecology of the Government’s Executive Office, Kylychbek Zhundubayev, the introduction of certification can give an impetus to the reform of the forest sector.

«Kyrgyzstan is a small state, but it has a wide variety of flora and fauna. The government pays great attention to biodiversity conservation issues and specially protected areas. Recently, a special department of the State Agency of Environment and Forestry Protection was established,» he said.

More than a million people in Kyrgyzstan live in forest areas and use natural forest resources.

«They depend on forest resources. Therefore, harvesting and collection of non-timber products is important for the local population. However, the state does not pay attention to the conservation of biodiversity. The further preservation and rational use depends on the involvement of the population,» said Kylychbek Zhundubayev.

According to him, in Kyrgyzstan, 52 users of pilot forest management enterprises have already received certificates.