Aksakals’ guide on Community-based Landscape Restoration (CLR)
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A century ago forests covered large foothill chains in Uzbekistan and provided manifold benefits. Currently, only 7.3% of Uzbekistan is forested. Specifically villages below mountains or lower ranges suffer from mudflows after hails and even slight rains. Climate change will fuel these risks, e.g. by increase of hails. Community-based Landscape Restoration (CLR) can significantly enhance the living conditions and the future prospects along mountain ranges. Potential benefits are multiple: reduced mudflows by reforestation of slopes, harvest from drought tolerant medicinal trees like Amygdalus or Crataegus, more rain-fed forage shrubs to sustain livestock, better local climate, recreational areas for villagers and visitors, new option to establish tapchan-tourism. CLR is based on participatory developed local climate change adaptation strategies. It includes (1) establishment of Foothill User Groups (FUG), (2) governance agreements with neighbor villages, (3) terracing and establishment of a nursery (4) continuous monitoring of controlled grazing by elected local core teams of FUGs. It can be implemented by aksakals or other reputed villagers with backing from Khokimiat. CLR is a low-cost method and has the potential to restore diverse and valuable forest by community action to enhance climate change resilience. This makes it valuable for out scaling in many countries in the drylands worldwide.