On March 31, 2018, 750 seedlings of birch, weeping willow and common willow were planted in Barskoon gorge, Jety-Oguz region of Issyk-Kul oblast. The trees were planted on the 15th km of the technological road leading to the Kumtor mine, as part of the measures to reduce dust effects of the technological road, implemented upon the AMEC recommendations.
The company allocated about KGS 210,000 for the purchase of seedlings, black soil and tools, as well as for the manufacture and transportation of a domestic animal-proof fence. The fence was made by the locals from the wood waste generated at the Kumtor mine.
More than 30 employees of the company took part in the charity activities called ‘Kumtor’s Ambassadors.’ Employees came from different settlements of Issyk-Kul oblast and Bishkek on their day off and during their rotational leave.
In addition to Kumtor employees, about 40 local residents took part in the tree planting, including the akim of Jeti-Oguz region, the head of the Barskoon rural council, representatives of the regional forestry administration, the local youth association, members of the local women’s council and deputies of the rural council. The contracting organization ‘Jolchu’ and local residents also supported the event by cooking a lunch for all the participants.
Kumtor Gold Company’s Director for Environment Ben Ferris said, “This campaign is carried out to comply with the recommendations of the independent international auditor, AMEC Company, aimed at reducing the dust level on the technological road. We decided to join forces with the local population. Barskoon residents invested their labor efforts, while Kumtor Gold Company purchased seedlings and gardening tools. We all live and work in the same region, and this is a very important and necessary event for strengthening our relations, for our joint future.” He also added that the willow and birch seedlings were chosen upon the recommendation of a competent scientist from the National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan, with which Kumtor has been fruitfully cooperating for years. Doctor of Biology Georgy Lazkov has been conducting a research since 2013. He came to the conclusion that these types of trees would best survive in this area.
In turn, Chief of the Barskoon rural council Ruslan Eshmambetov expressed the hope that joint tree-planting efforts of local residents and Kumtor workers would be continued, “There are 9,000 people living in our village, and I am happy that everyone, who learned about the campaign, has gladly supported it: aqsaqals, young people, representatives of the local women’s council – all of them have enthusiastically come to help. I feel confident about the future of Kyrgyzstan as long as we have such concerned and caring people. Sustainable development can be achieved only through common efforts.”
Local authorities and residents expressed their gratitude to Kumtor Gold Company for the project implementation and committed themselves to ensure its sustainability, having undertaken obligations on watering, maintenance and protection of seedlings from the bovine cattle.
Kumtor Gold Company is going to continue planting the green strip along the technological road as part of the measures implemented upon the AMEC recommendations.