The Republic of Uzbekistan is a dry country with an appoximate total area of 44.5 million hectares, 21 per cent of which is mountains, and 78.8 per cent is flat lands, the later including mostly desert and semi-desert areas, and some intensively-irrigated valleys. However, since independence reforms have mainly been oriented towards enhancing the irrigated agricultural sector, which occupies only 10 per cent of the whole area.
This means that support towards maintaining or improving effective land use within non-irrigated arid lands has been limited. Thus, arid lands being used in Uzbekistan face a significant and growing threat of degradation, as forestry and extensive pastures compete for land use, with significant direct implications for local rural populations, significant national implications for food security and long term sustainable development, and global implications because of the impact on biodiversity.
The project will promote the integrated management of rangeland and forests at a landscape level (focusing on non-irrigated, arid mountain, semi-desert, and desert landscapes) to reduce pressures on natural resources from competing land uses and to improve the socio-economic stability of communities.
The project components are (1) Best practices on sustainable rangeland and forestry management and Integrated Planning of Natural Resources Use (INRM) planning up-scaled in target districts of Uzbekistan; and (2) An enabling cross-sector environment and in-country capacity (at system, institutional and individual levels) for applying integrated landscape management in arid mountain, semi-desert and desert areas of Uzbekistan.
- We will improve vegetative cover of approximately 6,000 ha of rangeland and 1,000 ha of forestry territory through enhanced land use management using sustainable best practices.
- The project activities will help 50,000 people living in non-irrigated regions of Uzbekistan to learn new sustainable land management approaches and use them to improve their livelihoods.
- Our experts will develop practical mechanisms of Integrated Planning of Natural Resources Use (INRM), and adequate technical and managerial capacities will become available for the application of INRM at the national level.
- The project aims that 140 specialists, representing key national institutions involved in land management and other stakeholders, will be able to apply methodologies for the Integrated Planning of Natural Resources Use.
- On a national level, the project will provide an enabling environment through the strengthening of legislative, regulative, and institutional frameworks, to support the application of sustainable integrated land use management in Uzbekistan's arid non-irrigated mountain, desert, and semi-desert landscapes.