Sheep grazing near a lake in Uzbekistan with mountains in the background

Program Summary

This 5-year program aims to support agro-forestry and sylvopastoral practices in highly degraded border terrestrial ecosystems that focus on forests and protected areas, and degraded areas due to agriculture land uses in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. These areas in both countries have high poverty indices. The program will also add a Landscape Restoration Component to the Central Asia Climate Information Platform (CACIP), funded by the Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for Aral Sea Basin (CAMP4ASB, World Bank-funded) and managed by the Central Asia Regional Environmental Center (CAREC). The CACIP will provide a regional platform for knowledge management and communication on landscape management and restoration; policy harmonization; and RESILAND Program monitoring, reporting and outreach.

Challenge

Land and forest ecosystems of Central Asia provide important ecological services for economic growth and play a leading role in sustaining the wellbeing of rural communities. However, unfavorable natural conditions combined with policy failures in the past have led to land degradation, erosion, and loss of vegetation cover. Consequently, livelihoods and food security have eroded, and emissions from land use change and landscape degradation have intensified. Climate change impacts are expected to worsen the countries’ natural resources. In June 2018, the countries signed the Astana Resolution, reaffirming their national commitments to the Bonn Challenge. To meet these targets and commitments, the countries need to improve their cross-sectoral planning, collaboration, and capacity, and include local stakeholders more prominently in planning and implementing integrated and resilient landscape-scale solutions. The PROGREEN program will help bridge these gaps in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and regionally by applying incentives, training, and knowledge to governments and communities, and enlisting local communities with the engagement of the private sector to invest in their landscapes, thus helping the governments to transition to a new plateau of sustainability.

Approach

This PROGREEN program will support the agricultural systems of irrigated areas and pastures in South Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which are in geographical proximity to each other and have similar characteristics. In South Kazakhstan, PROGREEN will support agro-forestry practices (for example, private tree plantations) for restoration of degraded agricultural lands near protected areas to help alleviate the pressure on the protected areas while helping to restore the agricultural land. In Uzbekistan, PROGREEN aims to support the transformation of wheat and cotton production that traditionally has a heavy environmental footprint (consuming considerable amounts of water resources, polluting with chemicals and depleting the land’s nutrient context and limited economic benefits). Program activities will focus on improving horticulture production, agroecological food production, and sylvopastoral systems to be more commercially viable, environment friendly, and climate resilient. 

Results

In Kazakhstan, PROGREEN is supporting scaling-up the GEF-financed Kazakhstan RESILAND project in protected areas. PROGREEN will help pilot community-centered agroforestry practices and build government capacity for integrated landscape management of protected areas.

In Uzbekistan, key results include:280,000 hectares of land area under sustainable landscape management practices(PROGREEN direct contribution = 14,000 hectares; 25,000 land-users adopting landscape restoration practices(PROGREEN direct contribution = 1,250 beneficiaries, 375 of whom are women); 26,536 hectares of Protected Areas under improved management(PROGREEN direct contribution = 1,326 hectares) using the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) score; and supporting Land Degradation Neutrality and NDC targets.

PROGREEN support has contributed to the following results: 

  • Assessment of climate change impacts on terrestrial ecosystems in Kazakhstan. 
  • 11 policy dialogues in Uzbekistan on “Choosing an Innovative and Green Future” in collaboration with Government of Uzbekistan and UNDP, and with co-financing from the Climate Support Facility, NDC Support Facility, and UK Aid.  
  • The green growth policy dialogues in Uzbekistan involved the participation of the private sector including entrepreneurs, farmers, and SMEs as well as the Global Green Growth Institute.  
  • Deep Dive study on rangelands to inform Kazakhstan’s CCDR – sets out policy reforms and investments needed to build resilience to climate change impacts and reducing GHG emissions.  
  • Preparatory work for the “Almaty Tree Management and Urban Green Corridor Action Plan”.  
  • Preparatory work for a deep dive study on natural capital to inform Uzbekistan’s CCDR.  
  • Preparation of a study on viability of using AnchorEd Schools Project model to raise awareness on landscape restoration among youth in Central Asia.  The study “Anchor Schools as a Model for Landscape Resilience in Central Asia: Feasibility Study in Rural Tajikistan”, was presented at the Second International Peace Conference in February 2022

 

  • Internal & External Events: Combating Desertification in Central Asia, MENA, and the Sahel, The ABCs of Environmental and Climate Education in Central Asia, Restoring Landscapes to Reduce Sedimentation in Water Reservoirs: Experiences from Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan, 4th Central Asia Conference on Climate Change in Dushanbe, RESILAND CA and Global Disruptive Tech Challenge Featured on the Global Stage, Uzbekistan Green Growth Policy Dialogues, Paris Agreement, Article 6. Approaches to Cooperation: Opportunities for Central Asia, RESILAND CA+ Presented at the Second International Conference on Environmental Peacebuilding, World Forestry Congress: RESILAND CA+ Goes Global, ENB in ECA and MNA Present at UNCCD COP15 Sand and Dust Storm Day   

 

  • Reports: 

          Forest Policy Note for Uzbekistan 

          The Value of Landscape Restoration in Uzbekistan to Reduce Sand and Dust Storms from the Aral   Seabed

  • Blogs & Media: 

         Uzbekistan, Policy Dialogue Builds Momentum for Transition to a Green Economy

           Five Steps for Cleaner Air in Central Asia

           From the Alps to the Pamirs: Investing in Mountain Economies to Make People and Places More Resilient

           Why Tajikistan must strengthen the resilience of its forests and restore its landscapes

           Rethinking Landscape Restoration in Central Asia to Improve Lives and Livelihoods

 

Relevant links:

Climate and Environment (CLIENT) Program in Central Asia

is a Country Program