TASHKENT, December 9, 2021 – The Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction of Uzbekistan, the World Bank, and the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) hosted a roundtable “Building climate resilience through crosscutting measures - Sustainable and efficient use of natural resources.” The roundtable participants discussed how managing natural resources efficiently can support agriculture, economic growth and quality of life in rural areas.
This roundtable was the eighth in a series of 11 public policy dialogues on Green Growth and Climate Change in Uzbekistan that are held in Tashkent from August 2021 through January 2022. This event brought together officials from the Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Water Resources, State Forestry Committee, the State Committee for Ecology and Environmental Protection, the Agency for Rural Restructuring and national and international experts.
The roundtable participants discussed how shifting towards a market-oriented, inclusive, and private sector-led agriculture can improve the sustainable use of land and water resources, as well as the lives and livelihoods of the poor, majority of whom live in rural areas.
It was noted that Uzbekistan’s agriculture generates about 1/3 of the GDP. However, in terms of land productivity, the country ranks well below average for lower middle-income countries and currently is in the bottom 20 countries globally for water productivity. Water withdrawal rates exceed 90 percent of the total renewable resource due to inefficient management. Meanwhile widespread land degradation caused losses equivalent to 4 percent of GDP in 2016.
“We greet and highly appreciate the initiatives and efforts of our partners in addressing the challenges associated with the sustainable and efficient use of natural resources such as land and water,” said Bahadir Kariev, Head of the Department for Supporting the Development of Green Technologies of the Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction of the Republic of Uzbekistan
“The growing population of Uzbekistan and the importance of ensuring food security conditioned a new approach to land issues. In the course of the implementation of the action strategy, a number of documents and a procedure for the development and reuse of lands were developed,” noted Furkat Ortikov, Chief Specialist of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
“The issues discussed within the framework of this session to ensure the sustainability and effective use of limited resources and to improve the efficiency of water resources management are very relevant for Uzbekistan and the entire region,” said Zokir Ishpulatov, Head of the Department of the Ministry of Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
"Climate change is one of the greatest threats to a sustainable future, but at the same time, addressing this challenge presents a unique opportunity to work together in finding solutions and building a water secure future for all," noted Verena Schaidreiter, Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist in the World Bank’s ECA Water Global Practice.
The policy dialogues provide a forum for public discussion on the country’s progress in implementing its climate change commitments and accelerating the transition to a green economy, which are outlined in the Government’s Climate Change Strategy 2021–2023 and Strategy on Transition to a Green Economy 2019–2030. The policy dialogue roundtables, among other issues, focus on, supporting the Government of Uzbekistan in building green, just, and low-carbon industry and economy; developing climate resilience; mobilizing green finance; and helping elaborate a roadmap for accelerating the transition towards green growth and climate resilience.
For more information, please visit an event page on the World Bank website: https://www.worldbank.org/en/events/2021/09/21/uzbekistan-policy-dialogues-green-growth-and-climate-change