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Community / Land projects / Conservation and sustainable management of lakes, wetlands, and riparian corridors as pillars of a resilient a

Conservation and sustainable management of lakes, wetlands, and riparian corridors as pillars of a resilient a


12/21 - 12/26


This project is part of


To enhance the resilience and sustainability of landscapes and livelihoods in the Aral basin, and progress toward Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN), through integrated management of land, lake, wetland, and riparian ecosystems, with engagement of private sector and local communities.


Note: Disbursement data provided is cumulative and covers disbursement made by the project Agency.

Target Groups

The envisaged benefits to local and national stakeholders will be interconnected with the aggregated environmental benefits enabled by the project’s features: (i) embedded integrated benefits and synergies across focal areas, (ii) mechanisms for integrated decision making and (iii) landscape-scale designed interventions. The project incentivizes local actors away from destructive behaviour through engaging them in alternative economic activities, as well as biodiversity friendly livelihoods around protected areas. Adequate awareness, technical knowledge and access to funding are key to ensuring that stakeholders will be able to adopt innovative, environmental-friendly practices. The project therefore aims at increasing capacity of 300 public sector employees and PAs staff who will be trained in integrated water-land management and biodiversity management. Approximately 50 local farmers and pastoralists will benefit from the project’s Micro-scheme support for livelihoods ( under Output 3.2.3) and it is estimated that their income will register at least 50% increase as a result of the implemented SLM measures. This is a conservative percentage, as income generation from recommended SLM measures (captured under GEF/UNDP Project Annex 24) will likely provide more benefits: e.g. according to past donor-supported projects[1], application of rotational grazing alone can provide an estimated net profit of up to $16 per sheep ( after subtracting the costs per sheep of about $8) ; similarly, planting drought resistant crops to enhance forage production and prevent erosion leads to a significant generation of profit estimated at $243-$341/ha from the third year onwards, made from selling of seeds and use of hay; whereas the income generation resulted from agroforestry measures as a land reclamation practice, varies e.g. maximal profit may be obtained from cultivation of Russian olive Eleagnus angustifolia due to annual selling of fruits (approx.. 3500 euro/ha within 7 years period); the firewood harvested from Populus euphratica can give a profit of 2300 euro/ha[2] A conservatively estimated number of up to approximately 9700 local households (benefiting 48,500 people, considering 5 family members/household) are envisaged to take up SLM measures promoted and demonstrated by the project and have their livelihoods improved. This number represents 10% of the people employed in agricultural sector in the targeted districts, that are expected to benefit from the project’s activities and the promoted SLM measures: rotational grazing, planting forest shelterbelts, innovative land restorations measures, sustainable irrigation and crop rotations to increase soil productivity. The project will further mobilize governmental funds in the form of subsidies for farmers applying SLM measures on degraded land (through amendments to the Concept “ On measures for the efficient use of land and water resources in agriculture”-June 2019) . Other forms of project support will be extended for alternative local income generating enterprises such as medicinal herb production, handicrafts workshops, green house agriculture, fodder crop agriculture- to provide some form of compensation to farmers/pastoralists who may lose an existing source of income from extensive livestock farming, due to the implementation of sustainable pasture management plans. These measures will yield socio economic benefits and will contribute to the achievement of environmental benefits. Implementing pasture rotational grazing, letting land rest from grazing for a specific period, leads to increase in carbon sequestration in soil and vegetation; increase of pasture botanical composition which is expected to increase livestock welfare and milk production. Promoted use of manure as fertiliser to improve soil structure will reduce chemical use and agricultural expenses. These practices are also inferred to reduce hazards to soil, wildlife and human health. The benefits produced by the SLM interventions have the potential to reduce vulnerability to climate change, supporting multiple sources of food, energy and income thereby reducing community dependence on any single resource that might be affected by climate change. For example, various and innovative measures of restoring degraded land in targeted districts and supporting local communities’ alternative income from vegetable gardens, fruit tree cultivation, rustic poultry, basketry etc contribute to both food security and income diversity. Rehabilitation of water pumps and wells will ensure crop productivity which is especially important considering the past decade’s increase incidence of drought. Furthermore, tree planting and ecosystem protection activities in forests and pastures contribute to increase soil productivity and decreased soil salinity, thus providing ecosystems goods and services that further mitigate the negative effects of climate change. Replication and scaling up embedded in project design will ensure multiple benefits occurring during and soon after the project will end, through the formed partnerships that leveraged the resources of multiple sectors such as private companies, research institutes, NGOs, other donors. The mechanisms for integrated decision making that the project will promote under GEF/UNDP Projects Outputs 1.1, 1.2, 2.1 and 2.2 and community outreach/collaborative approaches in support of PAs management under 3.2.2 will provide opportunities to reduce conflicts among resource users and/or overlaps in institutional mandates. General agreements on potential trade-offs promoted through an integrated and participatory manner, provide the platform for improved environmental and socio-economic benefits. In addition to agricultural activities, as it has been demonstrated by many other projects, during participatory mechanisms, farmers use these opportunities to talk about water, climate, sanitation and social issues and by so doing they are able to engage local authorities as partners in different other proposals for rural development. Finally, the project’s focus at landscape-level in Lower Amudarya and Aral Sea Basin (LADAB) landscape and on the implementation of multiple interventions within a spatial unit, allows for generating more synergistic benefits. Healthy ecosystems will ensure resilience of the region to climate and human threats, and the maintenance of ecosystem services for local communities. [1] Examples recorded in UNCCD/WOCAT database [2]