08 Sep '11, 12pm

Saving Ancient Walnut Forests In the Valleys of Central Asia

Saving Ancient Walnut Forests In the Valleys of Central Asia

Saving Ancient Walnut Forests In the Valleys of Central Asia The former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan is home to some of the world’s largest remaining forests of walnut and wild fruit trees. In an effort to sustainably manage this global resource, an international project has focused on ending Soviet-style management and giving power — and a profit incentive — to local farmers. by mike ives Kyrgyzstan’s fertile and densely populated Fergana Valley is home to some of the largest intact stands of walnut trees on Earth. Its so-called walnut-fruit forests — which contain 300 species of plants and trees, including ancestral strains of apples, plums, and pears — cover roughly 30,000 hectares, splashing green onto an otherwise dry-and-dusty Central Asian landscape. Driving beside a riverbed on the valley’s floor, you might momentarily mistake nearby walnut forests for the olive g...

Full article: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/saving_ancient_walnut_forest...

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