The unique Walnut Fruit Forests in Kyrgyzstan are a good example of the multifunctional use of forests in temperate zones. Not only are non-timber forest products (NTFPs) collected but the land in and around the forests is used for grazing and haymaking, as well as for arable cropping and the establishment of fruit orchards. Apart from sustaining the lives of the local mountain people, the Walnut Fruit Forests are extremely rich in biodiversity and have an important function as a watershed for the Ferghana valley. The simultaneous dependence of the population on both agriculture and forest offers ideal conditions for the extension and improvement of existing agroforestry systems. However, solutions must be found concerning the practice of uncontrolled grazing, the insecure land and tree tenure situation, the low productivity of the existing land use systems, the lack of agricultural advice and training and the serious impact of firewood collection on the forests in order to safeguard the Walnut Fruit Forest’s biodiversity while integrating the needs of the local population into forest management.

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