GEF Small Grants Programme in Uzbekistan
The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (the GEF SGP), is a global initiative which began its work in 1992 and is currently being implemented in 101 countries around the globe. The GEF SGP has worked in Uzbekistan since the beginning of 2013.
The programme provides small grants to projects conducted by people in communities, initiatives that are local in size but can have positive global impacts. Local environmental initiatives may seem very limited in scale, but they can result in global benefits. For instance, initiatives preserving any biological species can benefit the global ecosystem, and the prevention of even the smallest greenhouse gas emissions is good for the entire planet. Several small but highly-impactful projects have been supported in Uzbekistan, specifically working to preserve biodiversity, promote climate change adaption, and prevent land degradation and desertification.
The goal of GEF SGP, in Uzbekistan and around the world, is to promote the improvement of the global natural environment via the implementation, by means of local people, of local initiatives designated to preserve and restore the environment by implementing and replicating sustainable natural resources management practices that improve people’s livelihoods. The programme’s motto in Uzbekistan is ‘Think Globally – Save Locally’.
- Drip irrigation, a proven approach to effective water use for farming in dry regions, is being utilised in the Namangan region to significantly reduce the quantities of water, fertilizers and fuel needed in agriculture;
- The use of Biogas technology has been introduced in the Syrdarya, Khorezm, Kashkadarya, Tashkent and Namangan regions, as a means of generating electricity, heat and fertiliser in an environmentally-sustainable way;
- The ‘zero tillage’ approach to agriculture is being introduced in Uzbekistan, which involves keeping vegetation mulch on field surfaces, planting wind-breaking tree lines, and introducing limited crop rotation;
- Laser leveling has been introduced in the Khorezm, Namangan, Kashkadarya and Samarkand regions, and in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, as a means of guaranteeing the equal distribution of limited irrigation water across fields, and consequently the best possible agricultural outputs;
- The planting of pistachios, a crop that does not require any water and can serve as a means to prevent land degradation, has been undertaken in the Djizak, Fergana and other arid regions of Uzbekistan;
- Land quality in arid regions of Uzbekistan have been improved through fitomelioration – the variating of types of crops grown on land in order to maintain its fertility;
- The introduction of solar greenhouses in rural Uzbekistan, particularly in the Khorezm regions, as a means of maximising crop outputs even in times of energy shortages.