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Analyzing the potential for developing forest plantations in Kazakhstan


Kazakhstan is a forest-scarce country, with forests covering only 4.6 percent of the total area. Nearly 90 percent of the land is made up of steppe, desert and semi-desert. 26 million hectares are designated as forest estate (i.e. the forest fund), but less than half of this is actually covered with forest (12.5 million hectares).

The national state agency in charge of forests manages 5.78 million hectares, or 20 percent of the forest fund. Regional governments manage 79 percent of the forest fund, while privately owned forest area is minimal. The 2003 Forest Code makes special provision for the establishment of timber plantations in the forest fund through a variety of mechanisms, including through partnership with the private sector. However, despite these provisions and the availability of suitable land, the private sector has not been heavily involved in establishing plantations in the forest fund lands.

The recently completed Forest Protection Reforestation Project (FPRP) demonstrated significant demand for Participatory Forest Management, meaning where local communities participate in the management of forest resources in and around their communities. Results from the FPRP were influential in making changes to the Forest Code in 2012, including specific provisions for participatory/community forest management in the 2003 Forest Code.


This activity builds on the FPRP and will contribute to the analysis and research required for the preparation of the proposed Forestry Development Project, which includes expanded components on participatory forest management and the establishment of plantations in collaboration with the private sector.

Specifically, this activity will:

1. Analyze how land under the forest fund is currently being used, in order to determine to which areas are suitable for aforestation in partnership with the private sector and/or local communities.

2. Analyze the legal, regulatory, institutional and fiscal framework with respect to establishing plantations in collaboration with the private sector and local communities. This task will identify the reasons why there has been no uptake of the relevant provisions in the 2003 Forest Code, look into possible tenure models, and propose policy options.

3. Review attitudes held by private sector entities and local communities towards establishing plantations. A limited survey will interview potential investors and local communities.

4. Analyze market conditions and estimate demand for plantation products such as fuel wood; wood chips; pulp/chipboard; timber; and - in the case of local community forests -potentially fruits and nuts. This task will help ascertain local market prices for possible plantation products, and estimate the need for establishing local processing plants and the likelihood of there being sufficient local investors.

5. Assess of the overall economic viability of different plantations and tenure models.

Based on these outputs, economic models will be developed to investigate the economic viability of establishing large-scale plantations in collaboration with the private sector and local communities.


This activity is ongoing. Findings will be shared on this page when they become available.

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Last Updated : 02-26-2017