Workshop on transboundary cooperation: land degradation and sustainability of agri-food systems in Central Asia are on the agenda

Publication date: 15 March 2024

Tashkent, Uzbekistan – On 12-15 March, 2024, a workshop on transboundary cooperation in Central Asia was held on a number of issues: land restoration, prevention of sand and dust storms and shared natural resources, leveraging synergies from integrative land-biodiversity-climate action for improving monitoring, reporting, and investments into sustainable agri-food system transformations.

The workshop aims to sensitise regional stakeholders to cross-border cooperation approaches and rationale, funding opportunities, and map potential priority locations, project ideas and entry points for Peace Forest Initiative activities in the region.

“This workshop has become a platform for concerned parties and communities in the region  to co-design conservation, sustainable management, and restoration of shared natural resources as a joint asset to promote sustainable development, resilience, and peacebuilding”, said Utchang Kang, Programme Management Officer, The Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

The discussion builds around the following four workstreams: 1) Combatting sand and dust storms ; 2) Environmental dashboard; 3) Sustainable resource management in climate-security hotspots: the Ferghana Valley and high mountain areas; 4) Integrated Drought Managementand the implementation of the Regional Strategy for Drought Risk Management and Mitigation in Central Asia for 2021-2030.

“The challenges associated with erosion and degradation of land resources, sand, dust and salt storms in Central Asia are increasing every year. They cannot be solved by the efforts of one department and do not know state borders. We are grateful to the UNCCD for the opportunity to support the holding of a regional workshop to develop the concept of a regional project for ecosystem restoration and biodiversity conservation in the Ferghana Valley in the context of climate change,” said Zafar Makhmudov, Executive Director of the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC).

Sharing his comments about the event, Akmal Akramkhanov, the Regional Manager of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas for Central Asia and the Caucasus (ICARDA-CAC), mentioned that “Such an event is very timely and an excellent occasion to synergize the work in Central Asia under the three so-called Rio Conventions – the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The joint study process we are launching in partnership with GIZs Regional Programme on Integrative and Climate-Sensitive Land Use in Central Asia (ILUCA) and the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative (ELD) led by our sister center International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) aims to support policymakers in Central Asia, both at regional and national levels.” “Land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss are closely interlinked. Therefore, collaboration and integrative approaches across the land-climate-biodiversity-agriculture nexus bear the potential to support sustainable land management more efficiently and to facilitate achieving national targets across all three Rio Conventions. Synergies are also important in the context of regional cooperation – as transboundary ecosystems and shared environmental challenges should be tackled jointly” Wiebke Foerch, Deputy Head of GIZ´s ILUCA Programme complements on the objective of the joint project on leveraging synergies


The workshop resulted in the ideation and conceptualization of regional cross-border cooperation projects with potential financing opportunities identified. These results will enable the UNCCD Secretariat to engage partners, relevant national and regional stakeholders to formulate and finalise a more detailed overarching proposal and/or a joint action plan for Central Asia’s transboundary cooperation.

The workshop was organized by the UNCCD Global Mechanism, in partnership with the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC), Korea Forest Service, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the World Bank, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Other workshop partners include the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Asian Forest Cooperation Organisation (AFoCO), Global Water Partnership (GWP), the Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation, adelphi, and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The workshop is hosted by the Ministry of Ecology, Environmental Protection and Climate Change of the Republic of Uzbekistan.


Additional information: Ludmila Kiktenko, Environmental Management Programme’s Manager, CAREC,   

#UNCCD #CAREC #SDS #draughts #biodiversity #agriculture #ICARDA #ClimateChange #GIZ #IRRI #ICARDA #GGGI #GWP #UNDP #OSCE #IDMP #WMO #Adelphi #ELDsolutions

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