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Uzbekistan launches project on sustainable land management

24 August 2014

United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) launched a project "Reducing the burden on natural resources as a result of competing of 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, 78.8 percent are plains made ​​up mainly of desert and semi-desert areas. Reform of land use is mainly focused on irrigated agriculture which occupies about 10 percent of all territories.

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

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

Within the framework of the project until August 2018 studies and introduction of better practices on sustainable pasture and forestry land management in the country, integrated planning of land use in the target areas of Uzbekistan are scheduled.

In addition, it is necessary to explore the potential 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 worth more than $2.5 million worth is funded by the GEF - $2.314 million and UNDP - $200,000. The main partners in 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.