American University of Central Asia - AUCA - COMDEKS Project


Landscape Baseline Assessment of ecosystems and productive lands of waterside zone of the Lake Issyk-Kul for the Community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative (COMDEKS) project in Kyrgyzstan 

Donor: The GEF Small Grants Programme/COMDESK, UNDP

Duration: September 20 - November 20, 2013

Goal: Provision of a case study, conduction of consultations in communities, provision of participation of the stakeholders, determination of key sustainability indicators in socio-ecological productive landscapes, search for co-financing and drafting a COMDEKS Country Landscape Strategy in Kyrgyzstan.

Short Description: TSPC shall act to collect data on potential program partners, identify stakeholders, define boundaries of the project area;  select areas to assess the state of the landscape areas, sustainability of socio-ecological productive landscapes; run consultations with the local communities and conduct a country workshop in Issyk-Kul; finalize a COMDEKS Country Program Strategy, and have it translated into Kyrgyz and English.


The overall objectives of the project are to provide a case study, conduct consultations in communities, to ensure the participation of the stakeholders, determine key sustainability indicators in socio-ecological productive landscapes, search for co-financing and draft a COMDEKS Country Landscape Strategy in Kyrgyzstan.


Activities to be undertaken in the framework of the project:

  • Data collection on potential partners of the Programme, identification of stakeholders, definition of boundaries of the project area, data collection and analyses of information for compiling a list of meetings with local partners in the Issyk-Kul and potential partners of the Program;
  • Field trips of experts in four focus areas to selected areas in order to assess the state of the landscape areas, sustainability of socio-ecological productive landscapes, and preparation of reports;
  • Consultations with the local communities and conduction of the country workshop in Issyk-Kul;
  • Finalization of COMDEKS Country Programme Strategy, its translation into Kyrgyz and English;
  • Organization of a field trip of senior staff of the State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry for familiarization with partners and mechanisms of COMDEKS Country Programme Strategy on the ground.


Background information on the Satoyama Initiative

The Japanese word satoyama means the hills next to residential settlements. Since ancient times, the Japanese would go to the forests of these hills to procure firewood, timber, medicinal herbs and berries, and hunt for birds and animals. However, in recent years, forests have been disappearing due to urbanization. The beautiful satoyama are gradually disappearing. Due to this, in various places around Japan, attempts are made for their revival - rebuilding coexistence of man and nature, combining traditional methods and modern technology.

The Satoyama Initiative is a proposal for the sustainable use of natural resources. The term "Satoyama" refers today to the traditional method of integrated use of natural environment in rural communities - not only in Japan, but all around the world.

Such way of life ensures sustainable use of natural resources and protection of biodiversity. The Satoyama Initiative encourages new insights into agricultural communities around the world where people have practiced wise approaches towards nature. A correct and in-depth approach to the land use aimed at ensuring conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity is particularly important for developing countries.

The Satoyama Initiative was formally adopted within the framework of the sustainable use of the Convention on biological diversity at the meeting of the parties (COP10) in October 2010.

Kyrgyzstan acceded to the Satoyama Initiative in 2013. The ecosystems and productive landscapes of the coastal zone of Lake Issyk-Kul have been selected as the pilot area for the implementation of the Community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative (COMDEKS) project in Kyrgyzstan, following a decision by the National Observatory Committee of GEF SGP Kyrgyzstan of June 10, 2013.


Priority areas of the program:

In June 2011, UNDP launched a 2-year program in "The Community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative (COMDEKS) in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ), Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) and the United Nations University (UNU) for the sound development of socio-ecological production landscapes within the framework of the support for the Satoyama Initiative on the part of UNDP.

The main priorities of the program:

  • Natural resource use within the carrying capacity and resilience of the environment
  • Cyclic use of natural resources
  • Recognition of the value and importance of local traditions and culture
  • Natural resource management by various participating and cooperating entities
  • Contributions to local socio-economies

The main criteria for potential project proposals:

  • A compact community area;
  • The mosaic landscape where protected lands and land in use are neighboring with other types of land;
  • Compliance with the priorities of the program;
  • The existence of co-financing from other partners, including direct cash financing.

Social aspects of the Initiative:

Each project under Satoyama Initiative needs to take into account:

  • Improved management of natural resources.
  • Knowledge management.
  • The social component is the involvement of women, youth and other social aspects.

Useful links:

Satoyama Initiative Website:

COMDEKS Project website:

UN Convention on Biological Diversity website:


Information about GEF/SGP

The Global Environment Facility's Small Grants Program (GEF/SGP) is managed by UNDP and is currently carried out in 54 countries. Because the program is an integral part of the corporate business plan for the GEF and a structural unit within the GEF/UNDP cluster, implementation of the GEF/SGP program is decentralized and management is undertaken at the country level. Since its inception in 1992, the GEF/SGP have worked to support community (local) initiatives meets the criteria and objectives of the GEF.


Raises awareness and promotes achievements in the field of global environmental problems;

  • Enhances the ability of communities and non-governmental organizations in their response to these problems;
  • Provides a mechanism for the demonstration and dissemination of experiences gained at the community level and solutions to global environmental problems.

GEF/SGP provides proven approaches that can be replicated to benefit the global environment.

The GEF SGP website:


Phone: +996 (312) 915000 ext. 326, 327


Address: 7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060



American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060

Tel.: +996 (312) 915000 + Еxt.
Fax: +996 (312) 915 028
AUCA Contacts