The project was developed as part of the global GEF Impact Program on Food Systems, Land Use, and Restoration (FOLUR) to trigger wide-scale adoption of efficient land management technologies and promote green value chains to reduce degradation of productive agricultural land and associated high value ecosystems in the Northern Kazakhstan Landscape. The project will support Integrated Landscape Management (ILM) policies, capacities, and incentives, thus ensuring the enabling environment for transformation of land use practices to avoid ecosystem and land degradation. The project will support establishment of the cooperative platform with wheat exporters and retail companies, led by the Government and focusing on green wheat as key commodity. For the agricultural landscape, the project will support diversification and improved management of productive croplands, introduce agro-environmental incentives for sustainable food production, restore pasture land and introduce sustainable pasture management techniques. The project will support the establishment of a network of high-nature value ecosystems within game reserves, high nature value forest districts, wetlands, a local protected area and a connecting corridor. The project will finance innovative reforestation pilots and replicable restoration demos for dryland forests, degraded lake and wetland ecosystems. Within its knowledge management component, the project will assist the sectoral stakeholders with the establishment of a national experience exchange network on sustainable food production, organization of vocational and academic training programs in agricultural colleges and universities, awareness raising and advocacy for sustainable food production, SLM, conservation and sustainable use of valuable natural ecosystems in productive landscapes.
The project proposes a four-component approach
Under Component 1, the project will demonstrate the overall approach, techniques and schemes for increasing the effectiveness of land use planning and management in the NKL region of Kazakhstan by enhancing the conservation-friendliness and sustainability of productive agricultural landscapes.
Component 2 is relying on partnership with Ministry of Agriculture and key other financiers of the agricultural support in Kazakhstan to develop new modalities of financial assistance that would become available to farmers.
Component 3 builds on baseline investment in the field of conservation, aiming to address problems stemming from either encroachment of wheat/crop land on ecosystems or to boost ecosystem functions important to support crop agriculture in productive areas.
Component 4 will use GEF funding to enhance the awareness of farmers, local communities, government and the general public of the benefits of green production.