Central Asian Desert Initiative launched in Tashkent
On November 8, Tashkent hosted an inception workshop dedicated to the launch of a project entitled Central Asian Desert Initiative - Conservation and adaptive use of cold winter deserts in Central Asia (CADI).
CADI is an initiative taken by Michael Succow Foundation for the Protection of Nature (MSF), University of Greifswald, FAO and national partner institutions that aims for long term commitment by governments for conservation and sustainable use of Central Asian cold winter deserts. It seeks to generate knowledge, transfer practical knowledge into sustainable land management practices, foster the protection of the ecosystem and improve nature conservation, and feed lessons learned into national, regional and international dialogue.
This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.
The Central Asian countries have a major responsibility for the conservation of cold winter deserts, one of the least protected biomes worldwide.
These deserts are threatened by desertification processes caused by overexploitation of natural resources, e.g. timber and firewood collection, inappropriate grazing practices and large-scale infrastructure development. This resulted in a tremendous and partially irreversible loss of habitats and species, among them globally threatened and endemic. The vulnerability of this biome is still poorly understood, but ongoing degradation processes are already putting million people’s livelihoods at risk.
CADI will strengthen the conservation and management of cold winter deserts, their biodiversity and ecosystem functions trough an active and committed regional network. A 3-year initiative (2017-2020) will cover activities in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.
Action plan and project activities for the coming year were agreed upon, and potential pilot project sites were also proposed in the course of the workshop.