Building-up efforts for biodiversity conservationOct 5, 2016
Biological diversity is about having a variety among living organisms, including diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. The main threats to biodiversity today are habitat degradation, over-exploitation, pollution, invasion of non-native species, and climate change. UNDP and the State Committee for Nature Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan have a long-standing successful cooperation on biodiversity conservation and sustainable natural resources management of ecosystems of Uzbekistan rich in unique biodiversity. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by these two parties has further strengthened this synergy.
This Memorandum will serve as a backbone for building-up joint efforts for biodiversity conservation, particularly in mountain ecosystems, and will serve for the successful launch and implementation of the “Sustainable natural resource use and forest management in key mountainous areas important for globally significant biodiversity” project. The international conference on “Ecological tourism – important factor in sustainable development and environment protection: Uzbekistan experience and foreign practice” served as the occasion for the signing ceremony.
The new project is supported by UNDP and the Nature Protection State Committee, and financed by the Global Environmental Facility. Its goal is to make sure the mountains’ resources are carefully managed, so that vital species like the leopard, lynx, ibex, brown bears and other endangered species can be conserved. The project will also focus on enhancing the livelihoods of rural communities living around protected areas, and encourage a shift to a more sustainable forest and pasture use practices.
During the month of August 2016, the UN Resident Coordinator Stefan Priesner, the UNDP Resident Representative, and colleagues and representatives of national counterparts conducted a 5-day visit to the project sites to see the vulnerable ecosystems and develop a better understanding of the status of rare species living in the areas. The project will focus its efforts in the following areas - Ugam-Chatkal National Park (668,350 ha) and the Gissar Nature reserve (80,986 ha) on the western spur of the Gissar ridge in Pamir Alai.
To have a glimpse of the visit, please watch the video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0geTdLO00Y