Naurzum Natural Reserve






Central Asia


WLI Asia


A government and non government project run by partners of the Siberian Crane Wetland Project in Russia, China, Iran and Kazakhstan. A United Nations Environment Programme/Global Environment Fund/International Crane Foundation/Forestry and Hunting Committee, Ministry of Agriculture Republic of Kazakhstan project.

Main goals are to develop a network of wetland sites using the Siberian Crane as a flagship species for wetland and migratory waterbird conservation, and biodiversity conservation for project wetlands.

Main outcomes

Education of local communities about global significance of project sites and alternative livelihoods.
Public awareness on global significance of project sites (their motherland)
Database development – biodiversity of project sites.
Capacity building for international cooperation
Training and education of reserve and ministries staff
Stakeholder participation
Biodiversity input to regional planning; monitoring
Support national measures to strengthen legislation, policies and plans
Development of management plans

In 2006, 60 people were educated on alternative livelihoods, and 360 about wetland biodiversity.



Began in 2005. Working with Naurzum Natural State Reserve. Our experts have organised workshops for local village communities. We developed:

Education programmes on wetland biodiversity
Public awareness strategy
Training programme
Strategy on social development of local communities
Education programmes on alternative livelihoods of local communities.
Support materials including handbooks and textbooks, modules for teachers and learners


National Project Manager oversees 10 experts who work directly with CEPA activities.

Work Areas

Naurzum district is 15,200km2 – 7.8% of the whole territory of the region. In 2005, 13030 people (density 0.86 people/km2) live there in seven rural districts and two villages. No major roads – railway, grain elevator, petrol storage depot. The area is 200 km from the regional centre and 107 km from Amankaragay railway station.

Basic income sources are wages, small business, pension and social allowance, incomes of individual farms. There are six bakeries and eight mills.

Officially, 34.3% of the population have a consumption level below a living wage (the real figure is probably higher).

Project targets are:

Small children – 5-6yrs
Schoolboys – three age levels
Hunters and fishermen.

Key species/features

Naurzum lake system with adjacent steppe and island forests ensures the existence of 20 vulnerable or endangered bird species. Important species include Imperial and White-tailed Eagles, Saker Falcon, Pallid Harrier, Sociable Lapwing, Little Bustard, Black-winged Pratincole, Demoiselle Crane, Dalmatian and White Pelicans, White-headed Duck. Siberian Crane, Lesser White-fronted and Red-breasted Goose top over here on migration.

The area contains most habitats found in the region and has 687 spp of higher plants, 10 fish spp, 3 reptile and amphibian spp, 291 bird spp (incl 158 nesting) and 45 mammal spp. It is important as a mass moulting site for many waterfowl, a mass autumn stop for waterfowl and cranes, and a refuge in times of drought.

Up to 100% of the western Siberian Crane population stop here for 3-4 weeks in autumn.


Main activities are local community education on global significance of project sites and on alternative livelihood projects; capacity building for international cooperation, and training/education of reserve and ministries staff.

Formal (school and university) learning

Teacher handbooks cover biodiversity (definitions, threats, types, biodiversity at project sites, importance of conservation of wetlands as flyway networks, migration etc.); extinction; hunting; endangered/threatened species; economic incentives for biodiversity conservation, Convention on Biological Diversity; Bonn and Ramsar Conventions, CITES, importance of Naurzum Reserve locally, regionally and globally; cranes in folk tradition etc.

Handbooks are useful for teachers of biology, ecology, geography, biodiversity conservation trainers, Ministries and departments, students, postgraduates and teachers of high schools. They contain the basis for developing educational modules.

Development of educational modules – including illustrative material, practical tasks, interactive exercises, situations. They can be used (by trainers) for different audiences.

Development of educational text books – e.g. For younger schoolboys (wetlands, their value, variety of birds globally and locally, migrating birds, wetlands for waterbird conservation, quizzes, games etc.).
For students (theory of wetland protection, questions about biodiversity and its conservation, practical exercises and games).
Informal (general public) learning
Use of mass media – regular information in Ecopravda – a national e-newspaper; cooperation with TV news channels.
Some printed books – in 2007, more than 2000 pieces will be printed in Kazakh language.
2007 will see start of Eco-education programme working with teachers and ngos.

Staff and volunteers run a Crane Day Festival


We hold international, national and local meetings and workshops.

We produce technical reports in different fields of activity at project sites.


Vera Inyutina
National Project Manager