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Project Name: Fauna and Flora International

Purpose of Grant:
Funding to support the Tajik national park and Zorkul nature reserve in Tajikistan with basic equipment for rangers

Continent: Asia

Area of Support:

Applicant: Fauna and Flora International

Amount: £5,000

Date of Grant: November 2012

Description:
Tajikistan has more biological richness than neighboring Kazakhstan, a country twenty times its size. The mountainous Pamir region has dramatic landscapes and rich biodiversity, including the snow leopard, Marco-Polo sheep, wolves, bears and geese.

21% of the country is designated as ‘protected areas’, but two decades of economic turmoil and conflict has left behind a skeleton staff bereft of the necessary basic skills and equipment to manage these areas.

The Tajik National Park covers 11% of Tajikistan and is home to a diverse range of species, but this ‘paper park’ is in a perilous state. There is an absence of trained staff and complete lack of basic resources. Approximately thirty rangers staff this park.

The Zorkul Nature Reserve is also a unique protected area. Surrounded by mountains, Zorkul is one of the world’s highest lakes (4,125m above sea level) with the Tajik/Afghan border running through the centre of the lake. Threats include poaching eggs of threatened birds and hunting of species such as Marco-Polo sheep and snow leopards. Zorkul is patrolled by approximately twenty rangers.

The annual budget of these parks is insufficient even for the most basic activities. Funds hardly cover the cost of transporting rangers to the reserves, with no additional income for further education or training. Rangers use their initiative and resourcefulness to get their jobs done, despite their low salaries and lack of support for activities.

FFI established two resource centres at National Park and Zorkul reserve offices. The resources centres are placed in suitable rooms and available for multi-purposes. The resources centres are refurbished and provide furniture in the form of desks, shelves and chairs. JCT provided funds for basic equipment for these resource centres, including binoculars, compasses, cameras, torches, GPs, SD cards, first aid kits, bookcases and cupboards for security of equipment.

The project has supported the hard-pressed rangers and provided much-needed equipment to help the rangers and staff undertake their vital roles more effectively in protecting the wildlife and countryside of these precious regions.

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