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Round table in Yagnob: results of work and plans for the future

On November 13, 2023, a round table “Experience gained for the further development of mountain communities of Yagnob” was held in the mountain village of Makhtimayn. It was organized by the Little Earth within the project “Sustainable management of natural resources and participation of women in mountain communities of Yagnob.”

The event provided an opportunity to sum up the results of two years of work in the target villages, discuss areas for further cooperation and the involvement of women in the decision-making process, as well as get acquainted with existing plans for the development of the natural-ethnographic park.

The round table was attended by 26 residents from 6 villages of the Yagnob Valley: Makhtimain, Nomitkon, Mushtife, Bidef, Vaginzoy and Dumzoy. Among them were project participants, village chairmen, activists and representatives of the administration of the Yagnob National natural-ethnographic park.
Opening the event, the employees of the Little Earth made a presentation, recalling the main activities carried out and the results obtained over the 2 years of the project. They once again emphasized that without the participation of women it will be impossible to achieve effective results in the development of local communities.

Then the floor was given to one of the project participants - Karimova Surayo. She shared her opinion about the project activities and spoke about her experience in using the energy efficient equipment.
I am very glad that I became part of this project and was able to take part in various events that have been held over the past 2 years. I not only became the owner of energy-efficient equipment, but also gained new knowledge. I especially enjoyed our study tour. My worldview has changed a lot,” she said.
In turn, the director of the Yagnob natural-ethnographic park Karimov Niyoz noted in his speech that the preservation of the traditions and culture of the Yagnobi people and the biodiversity of the valley will largely depend on how the residents who live on its territory relate to natural resources. He also said that the park administration needs all possible assistance to create the necessary infrastructure and develop tourism.
I want to thank the Little Earth and Centralasiengrupperna for their contribution to improving the quality of life of project participants and their families and preserving natural resources. We are ready to assist the Little Earth in their further work in the territory of our park,” said Karimov Niyoz.
After the presentations, the round table participants jointly identified, in their opinion, the most pressing issues facing local communities in the valley. In addition to the bad road, the lack of a school and a medical center, the following challenges were also mentioned: high fuel consumption for cooking and heating, sparse vegetation, difficulties in growing fruits and vegetables (largely due to the climate).

Divided into small groups, the participants tried to find possible solutions to the named problems. They noted that they lack not only resources, but also information and knowledge. Participants felt it was important to continue to provide new training workshops and introduce available alternative technologies.
The Little Earth staff members spoke about technologies and practices that could potentially be used in the villages of the valley. These include the construction of solar greenhouses and bio-cellars, the introduction of solar water heaters and dryers, the use of energy-efficient stoves, and planting and caring for trees.

By the end of the event, the participants once again expressed gratitude to the Little Earth for implementing the project in the villages and expressed hope for continued cooperation.

Let us remind you that the project “Sustainable natural resource management and women's participation in Yagnob mountain communities” is supported by the Swedish association Forum-CIV and implemented with the assistance of the Swedish partner Centralasiengrupperna.

Timur Idrisov
The Little Earth