The first 80 seedlings of mixed tree species were planted in a high mountain village of Nisur (Bartang valley, Tajikistan) in November. Planting of seedlings was carried out by the Little Earth within the project "Clean energy and women on the Roof of the world", which is implemented with the support of the US Forest Service.
What was done before the planting
In early autumn, a general meeting of residents was held in the village of Nisur, where the land plot of Odzhatbegim Gulomshoeva (project participant) was selected as a pilot one for planting mixed species of trees. The employees of the Little Earth held a series of preliminary consultations with the local forester, Barambek Barambek, during which they discussed the details of the upcoming event, including the purchase of seedlings, the basic rules for planting and caring, etc. An agreement was signed between the forestry service and Ojatbegim Gulomshoeva on the lease and use of the plot (the land belongs to forestry). According to the agreement, after the trees grow, the owner will transfer part of the harvested crop and timber to forestry.
How the first part of seedlings was planted
In November, employees of the Little Earth, with the assistance of volunteers from the village of Nisur, began planting seedlings. Together they set up a 50 by 50 meters metal mesh fence around the perimeter of the plot (the metal mesh, supporting metal corners and tools were purchased and delivered by the Little Earth). A fence is necessary to prevent cattle and wild animals from eating seedlings.
Then, pits were dug for the seedlings. 2 dump trucks of fertile land and 650 kg of manure were delivered to the site. Tree seedlings were purchased partly from forestry, partly from local residents. Planting of seedlings was carried out in accordance with the recommendations of local foresters. Women promised to help the owner of the plot with watering trees. At the first stage, 80 seedlings were planted (60 fruit trees (20 apple trees, 20 apricots and 20 cherries) and 20 non-fruit trees seedlings (poplar, willow). The remaining seedlings will be planted next spring. In total about 300 trees are planned to be planted on the site.
In mountain villages, land resources are limited to small plots on slopes or along riverbeds. The plot of land where the seedlings were planted has its advantages and disadvantages. The site that Odzhatbegim Gulomshoeva got is a former river bed (water is now partially diverted to the canal). On the one hand, it is flat and is in close proximity to a water source. On the other hand, there are many stones that the river brought with it. To turn the site into a garden, you will need to gradually clear it from the boulders.
“There is still a lot of work to bring the site to normal. But I'm glad that I got this piece of land. I am also grateful to the Little Earth for the fact that the organization helped me to fence it and plant the first seedlings. I will try to do everything so that trees grow. Extra fruits are always good to have, and when the non-fruit trees grow, we will use their branches as firewood,” says Odzhatbegim Gulomshoeva.
We support women and preserve nature
Within the project “Clean energy and women on the Roof of the world,” we are doing everything possible to provide women with an opportunity to participate in discussions of social and environmental issues their villages faced with and to develop their own initiatives and solutions. The Little Earth believes that without strengthening the potential of women and enhancing their role in natural resource management, it will be difficult to achieve any significant results related to the long-term development of local communities.“There are a number of obstacles why local residents do not plant trees on their own - this may be a lack of funds for the purchase of fencing material (cattle and wild animals immediately eat seedlings) or lack (or limited access) to water for irrigation. Another problem is the difficulty in obtaining land lease documents. For a number of reasons, it is much more difficult for women to do this than for men. That’s why we supported the tree planting initiative of Ojatbegim Gulomshoeva, one of the participants in our project,” says Anton Timoshenko, executive director of the Little Earth.
Timur Idrisov, Little Earth