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How much does the forestry sector of Uzbekistan contribute to the sustainable development of the economy?

Published: 15 May 2007

You can find the answer to this question by reading the recently published UNECE/FAO discussion paper “Forest and Forest Products Country Profile: Uzbekistan” (ECE/TIM/DP/45).

The primary role of forests in Uzbekistan is to protect agricultural lands, populated areas and soil of surrounding territories from water and wind erosion, to prevent mudflows, and to stabilize sands of deserted areas. At the same time, the country’s forests are the source of some low-quality timber (also used for energy purposes), as well as of non-wood products such as nuts, fruits, medical plants and fodder.

Forest areas constitute some 8 percent of the land and are unevenly distributed over the territory of the country. The forest ecosystems of Uzbekistan are extremely fragile and sensitive to human intervention. The area under forests has considerably declined during the last century, but the process is currently being stabilized.

The forest and forest products sector of Uzbekistan like that of most of the countries of Central Asia has undergone considerable transformations during recent years. The transition to a market economy demands deep reform of forest management, so that it would be sound not only economically, but also socially and ecologically.

A shortage of funds for foresters and poor equipment of forestry enterprises has led to significant losses of wood through illegal logging. The current transitional economic and socio-political developments in Uzbekistan might create the opportunity to develop a forest legislation, supporting new systems of sustainable forest management, new policies and approaches regarding the use of forest resources.

For more information, contact:

Mr. Kit Prins

Chief, Timber Section

UN Economic Commission for Europe/ Food and Agriculture Organization

UNECE Trade and Timber Division

Palais des Nations

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Phone: + 41 (0) 22 917 2874

Fax: + 41 (0) 22 917 0041

or visit the UNECE/FAO website at http://www.unece.org/timber/

Ref: ECE/TIM/07/P02

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05