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Empowerment & Local Action (ELA) Kazakhstan

Building the capacity of poor local communities in rural areas in Kazakhstan


Countries: Kazakhstan
Donors: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MinBuza), The Netherlands; Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Germany
Partners: Public Association Mountain Club Jabagly-Manas
Issues: Energy & Climate, Water & Sanitation
Duration: 01/2008 - 12/2010

For more information about the Empowerment & Local Action programme, click here.

Project proposals

Organisation: Public Association Mountain Club Jabagly-Manas
City: Taraz
Project title: Promotion of Sustainable Development of Rural Communities around Especially Protected Natural Areas in Kazakhstan

Issues & short description:

  • Conservation of biodiversity and natural resources
  • Realization of social-economic and ecological programs, development of ecotourism and others environmentally friendly mountaineering sports.

Protected Territories
Kazakhstan is rich of protected territories: game reserves, national parks, located at the most picturesque places rich with natural resources. In mountain areas such as, for instance, the Aksu-Zhabagly game reserve, rivers are formed, on which the life of millions of inhabitants of mountains, foothills, steppes and desert zones are dependent, and which fill in large water bodies such as the Aral Sea. Due to the ongoing economic crisis the paradoxical situation has been created in Kazakhstan, that rural communities, living in areass rich with natural resource, turned out to be in the worst position, than the rest of the country. Poverty of the rural population, poor awareness, backwardness - causes disease and high mortality rate, particularly of women and children.

Water Resources
Sustainability of rural communities is mainly connected with the condition and use of water resources, in particular, with drinking water. The deficit of clean drinking water, contamination of surface and ground waters with wastes of human life activity, results in infectious and other diseases of the population, and it is an overall problem on all territories regardless of natural conditions. Absence of warm toilets in rural schools is a chronic problem of the whole Kazakhstan and it causes catarrhal diseases of children, particularly of girls. Absence of comfortable toilets is one of the factors, which restrains development of ecotourism on the territories of the republic rich with natural resources.

Project objectives:

  1. Improvement of health of the population, living on the territories, adjacent to EPNT of Kazakhstan, in particular around Aksu-Jabagly and Naurzum game reserves.
  2. Decreasing of poverty and contribution to sustainable development of the communities, living on the territories of Kazakhstan adjacent to EPNT.

Activity on awareness raising will be implemented on the territories (project sites) around 23 EPNTs. Education - at five of them. To demonstrate efficient approaches in practice, which are based on experience of the projects of WECF, GEF and the other organization, two project sites with different typical natural conditions: around mountain Aksu-Jabagly reserve in the south and steppe Naurzum reserve in the north of Kazakhstan, have been selected.
The key role in this project will be played by local NGOs and EPNTs, who are declared, according to the resolutions of the World Congress in Durban, to become initiators of sustainable development of local communities. 250 thousand people will be involved into awareness raising activity of the project.

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