Uzbekistan starts project on sustainable land management

United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) have launched a project on "reducing the burden on natural resources by exploitation of rain-fed dry lands in mountainous, semi-desert and desert landscapes of Uzbekistan", UNDP's Tashkent office told Trend.

The total area of Uzbekistan is 44.5 million hectares, of which 21.2 percent are mountains and 78.8 percent are plains made ​​up mainly of desert and semi-desert areas. The country's land reforms are mainly focused on irrigated agriculture which occupies about 10 percent of all territories.

Due to its dry climate, Uzbekistan is very susceptible to environmental degradation. Arid lands in Uzbekistan face increasing degradation associated with competition in land usage by forest farms and the vast pasture agriculture.

In this regard, it is necessary to decrease the level of intensive usage of natural resources in rain-fed areas of the mountainous arid, semi-arid and arid regions of Uzbekistan through the implementation of some integrated policies towards management of rangelands and forests.

Within the framework of the project until August 2018, several studies on sustainable pasture and forestry land management are scheduled. Meanwhile, there are integrated planning for land usage in the target areas of Uzbekistan.

In addition, it is necessary to explore the capacities of the country on systemic, institutional, and individual levels for the application of an integrated land management in arid mountain, steppe and desert regions of Uzbekistan.

The project's worth standing at more than $2.5 million is funded by the GEF - $2.314 million and UNDP - $200,000. The main partners of the project are the Ministry of Agriculture, the State Committee for the Academy of Sciences, and the local administration of a number of districts of the republic. The State Committee on Land Resources, Geodesy, Cartography and State Cadastre of the Republic of Uzbekistan is The National Executing Agency.