Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
Strengthening Capacity to Manage Ecosystems Sustainably for Human Well-Being

Assessment of the Central Asian Mountain Ecosystems


The geography of mountainous ecosystems of Central Asia covers five countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The total area of the region is about 3,9 thousand km2.

Lead institution

The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia

Contact information

  • Vladimir Bogachev
    Project Manager
    Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia
    40, Orbita-1
    Almaty 480043
    Phone: 7 (3272) 292 619, 785 022, 785 110
    Fax: 7 (3272) 705 337

Focal issues

The main objective of the assessment is to evaluate accurately and scientifically the state of natural and human ecosystems in the study areas. With this information, the goal is to recommend measures for sustainable use of the ecosystem services and contribute actively to the strengthening of management capacity of regional bodies to improve the well being of populations in the region.

Key features of assessment

The interest in the Mountain Ecosystems stems from their nature as the most typical ecosystem in the region. They are important as a catchment area for the major Central Asian rivers, whose conditions determines water supply for the economy and the Central Asian population. Secondly, the variety of ecosystems makes it an important area for global biodiversity. Moreover, it is an area of intensive economic use and its condition affects the social and economic status of the local populations in the mountains. The mountainous areas have the main forest ecosystems in Central Asia. They play an extremely important role in preserving the water regimes of the rivers, serve as a habitat for various animals, and as a source of fuel, timber and forest products for local populations. The two mountain ranges of Tyan-Shan and Pamirs have the world’s largest glaciers and freshwater reserves.

Timeframe, budget

The total budget is US $515,000. The assessment will be undertaken from January 2003 to December 2004.