The 10th and last CADI Newsletter is available!
The CADI project ends this July. In the 6 years of CADI, we have implemented a huge package of measures for the conservation and sustainable use of the cold winter deserts in our main target countries Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.
Among the many outcomes of the project are the establishment of new protected areas, the nomination of the Cold Winter Deserts of Turan as a World Heritage Site, the establishment of Farmer Field Schools to strengthen the capacities of farmers for a sustainable use of deserts, the support of young scientists within the CADI Fellowship programme, or the generation of many new baseline data and knowledge about the vulnerable and endangered ecosystem of cold winter deserts.
We would like to thank all partners, supporters and friends of the project for your engagement, interest and incredible efforts over the past six years in implementing this important project, even in such difficult times as during the pandemic. A special thanks to the International Climate Initiative (IKI) for their support over many years.
The current newsletter is also available for download in our media library, where you can subscribe to CADI Newsletter.
On June 9, 2022, the Regional CADI Secretariat held a Regional Workshop in Tashkent within the framework of the CADI (Central Asian Desert Initiative) project. It was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the State Forestry Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan in cooperation with the University of Greifswald (Germany) and the Michael Succow Foundation.
Representatives of international organizations, development agencies, national partner ministries and members of the National CADI Secretariats from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan participated in this event. The regional workshop helped to discuss a status as NGO, organizational structure and statutory document of the Regional CADI Secretariat; finetune its Program of Work; and explore resource mobilization opportunities for the Regional CADI Secretariat.
Abduvohid Zakhadullayev, head of the department of international relations and ecotourism development of the State Committee on Forestry of the Republic of Uzbekistan, noted the successful work of the project and expressed hope that the future work of the Regional Secretariat will contribute to the implementation of the UN Conventions adopted in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 – Convention to Combat Desertification, Convention on Biological Diversity and the Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Temurbek Reymov, Coordinator of Interim Regional CADI Secretariat, said that the CADI Regional Secretariat is expected to be a successor of all CADI activities in Central Asia and noted that the Secretariat is open to other countries wishing to support the initiative to conserve unique ecosystems of global significance.
Since 2019, Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (ACBK) and the Institute of Zoology have been collecting data on animal deaths and, based on this data, preparing appeals to state agencies for appropriate action. From May 13 to 15, 2022, another trench survey was conducted in Turkestan Oblast.
Farmers dig trenches up to 2.2 meters deep to fence off farmland, and they become death traps for reptiles – turtles, lizards, snakes – as well as some domestic animals. In the summer of 2021, after a number of appeals and publications, the Akimat of the region began to solve the problem, orders were given to eliminate the trenches. The regional Land Inspectorate conducted an inventory and found that 216 land users in 17 districts used the trenches. Farmers were held administratively liable administrative penalties and part of the trenches were buried by themselves.
Some of the trenches are still not eliminated and exist since 2019, and one of the longest, 35 kilometers, is on the border of Keles and Saryagash districts. This May, 113 reptiles were rescued in a 4 kilometer stretch of this trench. Last May, about 250 animals were rescued from a 7 kilometer stretch of the same trench.
Given the total length of this trench, the ACBK estimates that up to 1,000 reptiles die in it each year from dehydration and exhaustion or rain flooding, not counting the huge number of invertebrate animals.
On 28 January 2022, the States Parties Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan submitted their documents for the nomination of the Cold Winter Deserts of Turan as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.
The Nature Information and Visitor Center “The Nature of Karakum” was officially opened on June 1, 2022 on the occasion of the International Day of the Environment (June 5). The new information center is located in the research and experimental center Chalysh of the state nature reserve “Bereketli Garagum”.
The information and visitor center was created under the project Central Asian Desert Initiative (CADI). The opening ceremony was attended by about representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Turkmenistan, the Environmental Protection Service, the State Nature Reserve “Bereketli Garagum”, the Secretariat of the National Commission for UNESCO in Turkmenistan, the WWF, the Nature Protection Society of Turkmenistan, as well as teachers of local schools and media representatives.
The center is constructed in the form of a Turkmen yurt and equipped with solar panels. The main purpose of the center is to provide environmental education and inform the public about the ecosystem of the cold winter Turan Desert with a focus on the Karakum Desert. For this purpose, a photo exhibition was organized and information materials on flora and fauna were prepared.
In January 2022, the states of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan submitted the transnational World Heritage nomination of the cold winter deserts of Turan to UNESCO. The CADI offered scientific and organizational support for the UNESCO nomination process. The center provides information about the nomination and could become a World Heritage Visitor Centrein case of its recognition.
Two new protected areas are to be established in the Kyzylkum desert in Uzbekistan.
Under a presidential decree, the Central Kyzylkum National Park will be based in Uchkuduk district, Navoi region, on an area of 1.2 million hectares, and the Aktau-Tamdy State Nature Reserve in Tamdy district on an area of 40,000 hectares.
Both areas will be established under the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Ecology and Environmental Protection to preserve the unique ecosystems of the Kyzylkum desert. The Government of Uzbekistan, being aware of the global responsibility for the conservation of temperate deserts, has been consistently creating new PAs in recent years.
The CADI project congratulates the State Committee on Ecology for this important achievement and supports further efforts to preserve cold winter deserts.
On 9 February 2022, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held a virtual workshop with experts from Freiburg University on Integrated Land Use Management Systems (ILUMS) in Uzbekistan.
The workshop was organized in order to present the research work carried out within the CADI project to the national partners from Uzbekistan. Representatives from the State Forestry Committee of Uzbekistan and graduate and postgraduate students from local universities participated in the workshop.
During the workshop, participants discussed advanced agroforestry practices, evaluated the current state of integrated land use management systems in the region and exchanged potential ideas for future collaboration between organizations. Representatives of academic institutions from Uzbekistan expressed interest in future academic collaboration through joint postgraduate programs to strengthen the capacity of local specialists.
Professors from the University of Freiburg discussed the potential of agroforestry as a profitable area in Uzbekistan, providing detailed information on the challenges of cooperative management agreements and recommendations for future work.
In addition, the researchers presented recommendations for joint management in agroforestry, including the establishment of a control system with regard to forest conservation, restoration and reproduction, the creation of an accounting and monitoring system, and an integrated system for planning and monitoring the production and management of various types of forestry products.
After more than two years of intensive preparation, on 28 January the States Parties Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan submitted their documents for the nomination of the Cold Winter Deserts of Turan as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site to the World Heritage Centre in Paris.
The transnational nomination includes a total of 15 components from seven protected areas of the three countries. Under a Memorandum of Understanding that is part of the nomination, the States Parties agreed on transnational mechanisms for the management and protection of the nominated site, which has a total area of about 3.4 million hectares.
The Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the Cold Winter Desert of Turan is justified by the significant ongoing ecological and biological processes in the cold winter deserts, as well as their importance as habitat for globally threatened animal and plant species.
The nomination process received scientific and organizational support from the CADI project. The basis for the joint approach was laid in January 2020 during a CADI workshop on the Island of Vilm. At the end, the 25 representatives of the three countries expressed their will to jointly prepare the nomination within the Vilm Declaration.
Article of the IKI (16.02.2022)
Article in journal “Turkmenistan – Golden Age” (04.02.2022)
A final workshop on the implementation of CADI project activities in Turkmenistan was held in Ashgabat on 21 December 2021.
CADI project implementation in Turkmenistan started in 2018, after a national process of project registration. This will expire at the end of December. Over the four years, a comprehensive package of activities has been implemented, focusing on the State Nature Reserves Bereketli Garagum, Gaplangyr and Repetek. For all three protected areas, 5-year management plans have been developed for the first time. They will come into force in 2022. In the course of various biodiversity expeditions to the deserts, important scientific data on flora and fauna were collected. These were used for the preparation of the nomination of the state nature reserves as components of the transnational World Heritage Site Cold Winter Deserts of Turan.
Monitoring trainings were conducted to improve the management of the protected areas, and the reserves were also provided with technical equipment, from field equipment to off-road vehicles. In the State Nature Reserve Bereketli Garagum, CADI project also established and equipped the information and visitor centre “Nature of Karakum”.
The activities in Turkmenistan were implemented by the Succow Foundation. The main partner in Turkmenistan was the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection.
Article in Online-Journal “Turkmenistan Golde Age (22 December 2021)