A document in the framework of the Central Asian Desert Initiative (CADI) was signed yesterday in Warsaw on the margins of a joint meeting of the Committee on Forests and Forestry and the European Commission on Forestry. From the Uzbek side, the chairman of the State Committee of Uzbekistan for Forestry, Nizomiddin Bakirov, and the side of FAO was represented by the subregional coordinator in Central Asia, Yuriko Shoji.
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan will also take part in the three-year project worth 1.36 million dollars. It is expected that its implementation will begin with a familiarization seminar in Uzbekistan in early November, where representatives of two neighboring countries will be invited.
"About 85% of the territory of Uzbekistan is occupied by cold winter deserts and semi-deserts, and these ecosystems account for 83% of all pastures. FAO is ready to use its expertise in the field of adaptation of remote sensing methods for the inventory of land use and taking into account the changes occurring in it in Uzbekistan, as well as for assessing the available natural resources," Y.Shoji said.
According to her, within the framework of the project, FAO will work to raise awareness of the public and decision-makers, create an interim governing body for the implementation of the CADI, will prepare a joint work program and organize an international conference on the conservation and sustainable use of drylands.
In experts opinions, at present, there are practically no measures to prevent over-exploitation and degradation of desert habitats resulting from grazing, collecting fuelwood and developing infrastructure. Inclusion of measures to conserve biological diversity and natural resources in the state methods of land management is vitally important. However, according to experts from FAO, it is necessary first to build the potential of technical knowledge and skills.
Experts treat ecosystem services and products provided by cold winter deserts as biomass production, sand consolidation, fuelwood supply, as well as underground and aboveground carbon sequestration and retention, and buffer function in its annual circulation.