Tuesday, 30 June 2009

News: Central Asia conservation is the key for Bournemouth lecturer

A Bournemouth conservation lecturer has launched a new preservation scheme in Central Asia to protect the region’s endangered forests.

Professor Adrian Newton, from the school of Conservation Sciences, will lead the project that will seek to prevent the extinction of 44 species of fruit and nut trees.
The work will branch over Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.
"We held a meeting between all the nations three years ago and it was the first time any of them had met, since the break up of the Soviet Union. We discovered that many of the species of tree are genuinely threatened and extinction for some remains a real possibility," said Newton.

The three-year project is mainly centred upon the Tian-Shan region of Kyrgyzstan, with members of the local community also being trained by Bournemouth practitioners.

The university hopes to assist in sustaining the harvesting of fruit, nuts and crops, as well as combat deforestation.
"We need to understand the needs of the local people. We need to involve them, train them and if they are willing then they can take ownership. We don’t want to completely protect the forests, as these communities survive from them. This is their livelihood," added Newton.

With work underway, the project is set for completion in April 2012.

Info http://darwin.defra.gov.uk/project/17001/