The GEF Small Grants Programme

in Uzbekistan

Geographic focus of the GEF SGP on agro-landscapes - a question for everyone

As you know, our program should develop a national programmatic strategy, which should become a framework document for the implementation of the GEF SGP for the next GEF budget period. The next GEF budget cycle is the 6th in a row and will cover the period 2015-2019. This process for the GEF SGP was conducted by the Ecosan International Charitable Foundation. The process was detailed when we were looking for an organization that could undertake the preparation of our strategy.

The document was prepared, sent out for comments to all possible partners. A round table was also held where comments were collected. And after the round table, work continued to collect all the comments and recommendations for the strategy. After all the dialogues, a pre-final version of the strategy was prepared. You can see it below.

download a preliminary version of the program strategy of the SGP GJF in Uzbekistan for the period 2016-2019.

In order to briefly present the information, the focus of the GEF SGP for the next cycle was directed to the agrarian landscape, which includes irrigated and rainfed agriculture, excluding pastures. By and large, we planned to focus our work on the zones indicated on the map in green and beige (zones 60 and 61, respectively).

The strategy was sent for verification to the GEF SGP headquarters. And came back with the following comments:

The selected landscape is in perfect harmony with the priorities of Uzbekistan and the direction of work of the GEF. However, given the limited resources allocated for the implementation of the GEF SGP in the next period, it is recommended to limit the scope of work to a strictly defined geographical area. At the moment, the landscape is present in all provinces of the country and is scattered throughout the territory. This can increase the costs of project implementation and monitoring, as well as make it difficult to achieve a more focused approach that will help to obtain more significant benefits for the dissemination of the results of the GEF SGP at large national and global levels.

In fact, we are asked to concentrate on the chosen geographic area. It can be a watershed, or a typical area around natural objects (a national park, an important landscape under threat, etc.), just a unique place in terms of its characteristics of threats and potential benefits. Overall, the strategy needs to be more focused.

It is now important to define this territory. And that is why we turn to all possible partners. We do not have time to conduct extensive consultations and therefore we want to use online technologies. We can discuss and collect comments by email or through our website, here.

We will be glad to hear your suggestions for the selection of territories. What are the suggestions? What thoughts? We need to repel threats and causes of environmental degradation, which may be typical and common with other parts of the country, so that the GEF SGP could in the future extend our practices to other parts of the country, in the course of dissemination of knowledge.

Now there is an idea to select the watersheds of the Chirchik and Akhangaran rivers as a geographical focus (for now, just a picture of a truncated map is attached). Why? What are the criteria?

1. Threats - the main threats are typical for the agricultural landscapes of Uzbekistan and of course we will define them more accurately during additional analysis, but the most obvious are the following:

a. A decrease in the content of organic matter in the soil and, accordingly, in the productivity of the agroecosystem - incorrect practices of land cultivation, irrigation, lack of skills and knowledge to preserve fertility, poor agronomy, etc .;

b. Degradation of vegetation cover - felling, improper land exploitation practices, overgrazing, etc .;

c. Decrease in biodiversity - loss of pollinators, decrease in aboriginal agrobiodiversity, disappearance of wildlife as a potential genebank of biodiversity, etc.

d. Climatic risks - aridization, growing scarcity of water resources, especially for rainfed agriculture, redistribution of the amount, quality and seasonality of precipitation, etc.

2. Representativeness - This territory, in terms of its climatic and physical-biological characteristics, is quite representative for many other territories of Uzbekistan. Of course, on this territory in irrigated agriculture there is practically no such big problem of Uzbekistan as land salinization (i.e. we cannot advise much later on the Syr Darya, Khorezm and Karakalpakstan), as a consequence of many threats, and rainfed is largely provided. But this territory is very similar in characteristics to large territories of the Fergana Valley, part of the territory of the Jizzakh region (the same Zaamin) and Samarkand regions. Those. the results of our projects will be where to distribute.

3. The importance of the territory in terms of impact on the natural area - We have a large and important natural area in this watershed - Ugam-Chatkal National Park. With the help of our work, we can reduce at least a little pressure on her.

4. Convenience of work - close to Tashkent, which will help to effectively establish management and monitoring processes. It is also convenient to hold all meetings on the dissemination of knowledge in Tashkent, because partners from all areas often come here.

5. Potential partnership - the selected geographical area is also of interest for the future work of FAO, as our main, so far, future partner in the selected landscape.

We really look forward to your feedback and your suggestions. Your opinions will be very important.

The GEF SGP is grateful in advance for your reasoned suggestions, comments, recommendations and consultations.

You can leave your feedback on the website in the form of comments, on the GEF SGP Facebook page or send it to the e-mail address of the GEF SGP national coordinator - alexey.volkov@undp.org

Since we have very little time to finalize the strategy, we ask you to send your proposals by the end of this week, March 6, 2016.