The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) held a validation workshop on the new project "Conservation and Sustainable Management of Land Resources and High Nature Value Ecosystems in the Aral Sea Basin for Multiple Benefits” which is being developed jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Turkmenistan and to be funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The purpose of the validation workshop is to validate if the project design reflects the national priorities, whether it is a useful platform for further development in this area and to receive comments and recommendations from participants, according to which the Project document will be finalized.
The workshop was attended by the representatives of UNDP, departments of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Turkmenistan, State Committee for Water Management of Turkmenistan, Ministry of Economy and Finance of Turkmenistan, State Committee on Statistics of Turkmenistan, Main State Service "Turkmenstandartlary", Academy of Science of Turkmenistan, State Commercial Banks “Dayhanbank” and “Halkbank”, Joint-Stock Commercial Bank "Rysgal", Hyakimliks of Lebap and Dashoguz velayats, Scientific-information Center of the Interstate Committee on Sustainable Development, the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan, NGOs and international organizations carrying out environmental protection activities in Turkmenistan.
“UNDP is eager to continue supporting efforts in implementation of the national strategy of Turkmenistan to combat desertification and conservation of the biodiversity”, emphasized Farhat Orunov, UNDP Programme Analyst on Resilience, Climate and Energy portfolio.
During the event participants discussed goals, objectives and planned activities as well as the concrete role of each beneficiary in order to more effectively implement and achieve the project objectives.
The project "Conservation and Sustainable Management of Land Resources and High Nature Value Ecosystems in the Aral Sea Basin for Multiple Benefits” aims to preserve and efficiently use protected areas, key ecosystems and land and water resources, as well as to promote the concept of land degradation neutrality (LDN) in the Turkmen part of the Aral Sea basin. This will be achieved through a multipurpose strategy with three interrelated pillars that will support government efforts to identify policy priorities and technical capabilities to address desertification and biodiversity loss, and to generate multiple Global Environmental Benefits (GBEs). GEF investments will contribute to sustainable agriculture in agro-ecological landscapes in the selected pilot regions of Dashoguz and Lebap velayats in the Turkmen part of the Aral Sea basin, while effectively conserving critical ecosystem services through a zero-loss approach to land-based natural capital, coupled with supporting sustainable incomes for local resource users. The project will also further promote Turkmenistan’s initiatives within the framework of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.