Ecosystem based Land Use and Ecosystems conservation along the lower reaches of Amu Darya:Turkmenistan

Partners:Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental protection of Turkmenistan, State Committee on Forestry of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Project period: 2018-2020

Background of the project

Global processes in climate change, changes in water flow regimes in Central Asia, more use of water in the Amu Darya downstream section for irrigation and changes in seasonal water availability potentially result in massive economic losses for the population and progressive destruction of the remaining Tugai forests.

There is a need to use the full potential of existing ecosystem approaches in this region related to land use and conservation of biological diversity, in particular, tugai forests, as well as to raise awareness of these ecosystem services and ways to strengthen or improve their use, in a sustainable maner.

Our objectives

The Regional Programme supports the national partners in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in the development of Ecosystem based Approaches in Land use and biodiversity conservation in the lower reaches of Amu Darya, as well as in the conservation of forests in the riparian Tugai zone, with special climate change aspects.

Assistance in the development of EbA models countering land degradation

Based on past studies and pilot measures further analysis will be carried out to describe ecosystem services, best practices and use of comparative and other methods of analysis. Environmental and socio-economic analysis results (level of degradation established through GIS maps 1:100 000, environmental, economic and costs analysis of land use, economic valuation of ecosystem services) of degraded land will be provided to national partners in both countries. Ecosystem based adaptation measures will be identified and implementation initiated.

Tugai forest / biosphere reserve strengthening

In Uzbekistan the Lower Amu Darya State Biosphere Reserve (LABR), formed in 2011 at the initiative of the Government, is still pending international recognition. Employees from the Lower Amu Darya Biosphere reserve and other relevant stakeholders will be supported by allowing simultaneously preserving valuable ecosystems, thus contributing to the region sustainable development and international recognition of the reserve.

An adapted management plan for the LABR and the preparation of the nomination dossier for the recognition by UNESCO Program “Man and the Biosphere” (MAB) will be elaborated.

In Turkmenistan, advice will be provided in the form of recommendations on land use and pasture management based on the protection of natural resources along the Amu Darya.

Expected Results

The land use opportunity cost of Forest Ecosystems in comparison to agriculture will be analyzed and relevant information to national partners provided. To reduce the pressure on Tugai ecosystems support will be provided through the development of appropriate action plans, contributing to their sustainability. The capacity-building of local and national project participants and the achieved results will raise the commitment to introduce and spread Ecosystem based Approaches and adaptation practices.

The partners will be able to independently identify and implement the cost-efficient and climate-smart land use and biodiversity conservation measures and to incorporate them into national climate change adaptation strategies as well as in regional and international platforms.