Towards solving issues of desertification and land degradation
Currently the process of desertification and drought is one of the serious environmental issues and challenges caused both by natural and anthropogenic factors and that should be promptly addressed and combated. The World Day to combat desertification and drought was declared by the UN General Assembly in 1994 and since that time has been annually celebrated on 17 June to attract public attention and to promote public awareness of the issues related to land degradation, desertification and effects of drought. It is a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and they could be achieved through strengthened community participation and co-operation at all levels. To celebrate this day interested governmental and non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders organize various outreach activities worldwide.
The “Multi-country capacity building: CACILM” Project jointly with the Center for Hydro meteorological Service under the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan conducted a workshop dedicated to the World Day to combat desertification. The event aimed at discussion of current activities in the area concerned, strengthening coordination of partners’ joint efforts towards combating land degradation, mitigation of drought effects and improving quality of life in places affected by desertification was attended by more than 50 participants including experts from interested ministries and agencies, research institutions and educational establishments, representatives of international organizations and projects, NGO and etc.
The workshop included interesting presentations and discussions on the following main topics: “Combating desertification and land degradation in Uzbekistan” as well as “Drought management and mitigation of drought effects”. Speakers in their presentations pointed out a significant work having been undertaken in the area concerned including joint interventions and projects with donor community aimed at introduction of new approaches towards sustainable land management (SLM), wide dissemination of best practices in the area of combating land degradation, sustainable pasture management, mobilization of financial and innovative resources for SLM and etc.
During the Panel discussion on “Measures towards tackling issues of desertification and land degradation” the speakers answered questions and shared their views on institutional and practical aspects of combating desertification in Uzbekistan and the Central Asian region as a whole. Issues of adaptation to climate change and water resources management in Uzbekistan were also of a particular interest to workshop participants. In his presentation Mr. Umid Abdullayev, Director of UzGIP Institute outlined key water management issues in the country, measures of rational water usage as well as dependence of water availability on climate change and etc.
It is expected that conducted workshop would become a further step towards addressing issues of land degradation in Uzbekistan, and would contribute to consolidation of efforts of all interested parties and partners towards formulation of common approaches and methods to combat desertification and drought effects.