Many of the boundaries between the Central Asian countries of the Former Soviet Union have never been demarcated. Along the border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in particular, neighbors in the same village may have different nationalities and different passports. They each follow their respective country’s laws, with each country claiming the territory as their own. Likewise, many countries in the region have disputed claims to pastureland and water, two critical resources in Central Asia.

As the population in Central Asia continues to grow, resources become even more scarce. Without strong laws and policies to govern use, show boundaries around resources, and determine who can use those resources, conflict is inevitable.

RDI has partnered with USAID to help understand and ease tensions over land and natural resources along the border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan through community resource management.

Current program:

Approach to participatory management of natural resources.


Landesa is leading a team to mitigate and manage conflict over pastoral land on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border. The project is developing and piloting an approach to community management of conflicts over natural resources, including a situational analysis, community mapping resource allocation and use, development of a sustainable community conflict management plan, a public information and awareness campaign, and an assessment of the project upon completion with recommendations for replication and scaling. April 2009 to present.

Past programs include:

Uzbekistan and Kyrgyz Republic agricultural factor market research workshop.


Landesa participated as a consultant in a research workshop on the impact of farm restructuring on land, labor, and financial markets. Analyzed Uzbek land legislation, conducted field research, and provided comparative information on the Kyrgyz Republic. Wrote a paper regarding the Uzbek land legislation and its impact on farm restructuring and land markets. January 1998 to February 1998.

Kyrgyz Republic agricultural sector review.

The World Bank.

Landesa served as a consultant on land reform and farm restructuring for sector review team in the Kyrgyz Republic. October 1993 to January 1994.

Training of local Kyrgyz leaders to provide education and advocacy.

The World Bank.

Pursuant to a recent World Bank Development Marketplace grant, Landesa designed and implemented a program to train local, traditional community leaders (both men and women) in several Kyrgyz locales regarding legal land rights and advocacy skills. The project provides ongoing assistance to traditional leaders as they assist villagers who are not able to exercise their rights due to recalcitrant collective farm bosses or local government officials. January 2002 to December 2003.

Study of local institutions that enforce customary law in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The World Bank.

A Landesa lawyer/gender specialist and a Kyrgyz sociologist conducted field research in rural areas of Kyrgyzstan to determine how local institutions go about enforcing the customary law and whether the enforcement precludes women from exercising their formal legal rights to land and other assets. A findings and recommendations paper has been prepared. May 2001 to October 2001.

Land market development, land reform, and regulatory reform legal and policy consulting in the Kyrgyz Republic.

ARD/Checchi and USAID.

Landesa provided legal regulatory and institutional reform, legal drafting assistance, and policy advice on the new Kyrgyz land code and laws on registration, peasant farms, cooperatives, mortgage, and privatization of land. Landesa also organized and lead an extensive field research and survey effort directed at obtaining baseline information on land administration, dispute resolution, land use, servitudes, and zoning to inform the drafting of regulations and institutional reform. Landesa also participated in the design and writing of a training program on land legislation and legal issues related to land ownership and land transactions that was presented to Kyrgyz lawyers slated to staff legal assistance centers. Landesa lawyers participated in the 3-week training session as trainers and facilitators. August 1999 to October 2001.

Ongoing policy and legal advice to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The Eurasia Foundation and the LeBrun Foundation.

Landesa provided consultant services on land reform, farm restructuring, rural credit, and cooperatives to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic. September 1994 to 2002.

Women’s access to real property in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The World Bank.

Landesa organized and led a team of legal and social sciences researchers in rural areas of Kyrgyzstan to determine the extent to which Kyrgyz women’s rights to real property had been affected by new land tenure laws. The research focused on determining and contrasting customary rights with written legislation. The findings paper was presented to World Bank staff in Washington, D.C., headquarters, and at a 1-day workshop in Kyrgyzstan for government and donor representatives. May 2000 to August 2000.