In-depth: Environment & Energy

Community residents who have participated in a regional environmental develpoment initiative
UNDP in Uzbekistan: The Environment and Energy Unit has worked extensively to encourage greater public awareness and interest in environmental preservation and management

Uzbekistan’s geographic and climatic features, combined with its growing population and economy, can increase the nation’s vulnerability to environmental challenges. An on-going national objective has been to balance the effective management of existing environmental resources with the requirements of continued economic and industrial development.

Helping achieve this objective has been a main goal of UNDP’s Environment and Energy Unit. In close cooperation with the national and international partners, UNDP has worked with and provided assistance to both local communities and government agencies responsible for natural resources management and environmental protection. 

What Has Been Done

Building national capacities to improve the quality of degraded land in Uzbekistan, especially in regions surrounding the Aral Sea, has been a key focus of our initiatives. Preserving and enhancing fragile ecosystems from desertification and land degradation, as well as integrated landscape management are among other important interventions. Other initiatives have worked to ensure the best use of limited water resources in the Zarafshan River Basin.

One of the key national objectives is to promote the further deployment of renewable energy resources and energy efficiency across major sectors of the national economy. Initiatives to promote energy efficiency in public buildings in Uzbekistan, as well as to support the introduction of clean energy sources are also at the core of our operations in Uzbekistan.  

Uzbekistan’s natural environment contains unique and often endangered flora and fauna. UNDP has worked with Uzbekistan’s oil and gas industries to ensure that their work does not negatively influence vital regional wildlife. Efforts have also been made to protect biodiversity in Uzbekistan, through the support of the implementation of the Biological Diversity Strategic Plan in Uzbekistan from 2011 to 2020. Work is also being conducted to expand and strengthen the sustainability of Uzbekistan’s National Protected Area System.

Uzbekistan is located in a highly-seismic region, and has experienced strong earthquakes in the past. Therefore, UNDP has worked to increase awareness of the population and relevant institutions of Uzbekistan’s regarding the skills and knowledge they need to cope with natural disasters. Essential linkages between climate change impacts and disaster risk reduction have been showcased in UNDP’s flagship programme in climate risk management.

Future Initiatives

UNDP will continue to be positioned as a major trusted development partner of the Government in the field of environment protection and energy. With major funding mobilised from the Global Environmental Facility, UNDP will work to capitalise on this long-standing partnership with the Government to support innovative programming and resource mobilisation in the environment and energy field.

Based on the Government’s key development priorities and UNDP’s sound results, the Environment and Energy Unit will continue to promote the deployment of renewable energy sources and will lead participatory policy dialogue, piloting and advocacy works undertaken to boost the scale-up of energy efficiency initiatives across the country. This work will be undertaken jointly with the State Architecture and Construction Committee, the Ministry of Economy and other relevant national institutions and international donors. UNDP’s key role in the development of a national energy efficiency programme for expanding energy efficiency interventions has been well received by partners.

UNDP will also continue to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, the State Committee for Land Resources, Geodesy, Cartography and State Cadastre, and other institutions in the land and water sector, in order to mainstream integrated management approaches and improve the quality of degraded lands and the efficient use of water resources. UNDP will continue to build on the results of its work in the water sector and joint work for scaling-up these initiatives will be carried out. 

Together with its major partners, including the State Committee for Nature Protection and the Centre for Hydrometeorological Services under the Cabinet of Ministers, UNDP will also continue to support biodiversity conservation (including emphasising of its bio-economic value), and climate change mitigation and adaptation, to help Uzbekistan meet its objectives under the key international environmental conventions it is part of. Work regarding the mainstreaming of environmental concerns into industrial processes and different sectors of the national economy will be extended.

UNDP will continue to enhance national capacities in disaster risk reduction, partnering with the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Together with the government, UNDP will help position this area as one of the key areas for international cooperation. The regional programme on climate risk management, closely linked with disaster risk reduction, will be continued.

The Environment and Energy Unit will also continue to support national post Rio+20 processes.