Effective land management requires involvement of the community

Apr 21, 2017

Uzbekistan, located between two great Asian rivers, indeed possesses the diversity of natural landscapes, rich soil, and resources.  The figures speak for themselves. Total landmass of Uzbekistan is 44,900,000 hectares.  Currently 9.7% of land of Uzbekistan (4,325,700 hectares) are used for irrigated farming, about 2% (756,300 ha) are piedmont rainfed lands, 47% (21,128,000 ha) are desert and semi-desert pastures, and around 8% (3,434,000) are forestry lands.  However, along with the intensification of the agriculture in Uzbekistan, challenges related to conservation and rational use of natural resources are emerging. 

The experts and national partners of the of joint UNDP project Reducing Pressure on Natural Resources from Competing Land Use on Non-irrigated Dry Mountainous, Semi-desert, and Desert Landscapes of Uzbekistan project of the United Nations Development Programme, Global Environmental Facility, and the State Committee on Land Resources, Geodesy, Cartography, and State Cadastre (Yergeodezcadastre) of Uzbekistan reviewed the issues related to legal, economic, and environmental aspects of rational use of land resources and their conservation.

The presentations of the speakers touched upon the relevant issues such as findings the ways for improved management of dry lands in Uzbekistan; the methods to improve the effectiveness of the works to improve the productivity of pastures and rainfed lands; training of land experts, basics of sustainable use of land resources and growing organic products.

The speakers also shed light on the development and implementation of modern methods of land surveying and inventory in Uzbekistan; advanced digital soil mapping technologies; soil and geographic databases, GIS (geospatial information systems) and remote sensing technologies upon surveying land surface.

This meeting served as a platform for discussion of the relevant issues emerging in the context of modern land use, utilization of natural resources, ecosystem services, and agroecolandscapes.

The workshop participants noted that for improved management of natural resources, including farmlands, it is essential, in addition to the government support, to actively engage the local communities - main users of natural resources and involve them in the process of effective management. Also, the prospects of further review of the principles of land use based on the principles of sustainable, environmentally acceptable agriculture utilizing accumulated local and international experience were discussed.

This event was organized in partnership with the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan, the Committee on Ecology and Environmental Protection, Environmental Movement of Uzbekistan, and UzGIPROZEM State Research Institute. 

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The Reducing Pressure on Natural Resources from Competing Land Use on Non-irrigated Dry Mountainous, Semi-desert, and Desert Landscapes of Uzbekistan project is focused on formulation and improvement of policies, legislative and institutional framework for comprehensive and sustainable management of arable rainfed lands, pastures, and forests.