Watershed Management and Afforestation in Charvak Reservoir Catchment

The present RFFL location in Uzbekistan is:

  • Charvak Reservoir, Burchmullo Forestry Enterprise, 100 km north-east of Tashkent (950 m.a.s.l.)

Photo: Typical example of afforestation in the area near the Charvak Resevoir with pines Pinus nigra var. pallasiana (Crimean pine). Photo credit: Palle Madsen.

Unlike 80% of the Uzbek territory, which is arid, the climate of the RFFL is dry. There is almost no rainfall in the summer months (June-September). Farming is possible only on irrigated land in river valleys and the cultivation of food is a national security issue. Nevertheless, the mountains of Uzbekistan are the source of water for its rivers, so-called water towers. Historically, mountain glaciers fed the rivers in the second half of summer, when the summer heat caused melting.

The challenges for tree planting in the degraded landscapes are many and substantial:

  • Free ranging domestic stock grazing
  • Illegal logging
  • Wildfire
  • Summer drought
  • Limited infrastructure and steep slopes
  • Find practices that need little materials for transport across terrain

Objectives and strategies

The objectives of the strategy and goals of afforestation:

  • Reduce soil erosion and mass movement
  • Increase forest productivity, climate benefits, and biodiversity
  • Introduce or create value chains for marketable products or services (nuts, fruits, firewood, medicinal plants)
  • Create jobs in seedling production, tree planting, and plantation maintenance

The strategy has the following principles:

  • Afforest small catchments on slopes
  • Choose appropriate trees for specific locations
  • Test innovative stock types with improved root systems
  • Test innovate protection against livestock
  • Evaluate economic benefits of environmental services.

Around the Charvak Reservoir there is and additional attention on the needs to stop sedimentation of the reservoir and to foster scenic sites for recreation in the area.

Progress so far

Hydrological modelling based on future climate scenarios

Identification of objectives with local partners and managers

Selection of locations and woody species for the demonstration experiments


Where to find us

Forestry Research Institute

Darkhan village, Tashkent district, Tashkent region, 111104, Uzbekistan

Field sites

On the hillsides around the Chervak Reservoir (41°38'32.5"N 70°01'45.3"E), managed by the Burchmullo Forestry Enterprise, and in the Aktash River Basin nearby.


International Conference "Mountain forests and water in Central Asia"