World Bank and Uzbekistan join forces to fight impacts of climate change on agriculture

May 19, 2010

The World Bank will work with Government on a climate change and agriculture program

Tashkent, May 19, 2010 - The World Bank, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, and the State Nature Protection Committee of Uzbekistan have joined forces to reduce the vulnerability of farmers to climate change. The program will carry out in-depth analysis of the impacts of climate variability and change on agriculture, and identify practical adaptation options for the country. It will be managed by the World Bank and supported in grants from the World Bank, the World Bank-Netherlands Partnership, and the Trust Fund for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development.

Agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate change. Uzbekistan is already experiencing the effects of growing climate variability and change, with increasing temperatures, drying soils, and events like heatwaves and droughts. Furthermore, climate projections for the future predict a hotter, drier and more variable climate across most of the country, with less water resources available for irrigation. These changes could significantly affect the country’s farmers, and they highlight the need to develop and implement actions to increase the resilience of agriculture to climate risks. Beyond reducing the risks of future productivity losses in one of the economy’s key sectors, the program supports economic growth that is faster, greener and more inclusive.

As Loup Brefort, World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan, said: “Helping countries prepare for climate change is one of the World Bank’s global priorities. Since agriculture is so important and so vulnerable to climate change, we are happy to support a process where Government, farmers, research institutions, NGOs and the donor community can work together to think ahead about possible solutions to increase the resilience of Uzbekistan’s agriculture that could be implemented in coming years.”

The program officially starts on May 19, 2010 with a National Awareness Raising and Consultation Workshop to be held at the Business Center “POYTAHT”, hall “Uchkuduk” in Tashkent. The aim of the workshop is to share information and experiences about the impacts of the changing climate on farmers in the country. During the coming months, the World Bank will support the Government and national institutions to adapt agricultural policies, programs, and investments to the changing climate. A joint effort between national experts and a team of world class experts from Europe and North America will undertake the in-depth analysis and develop practical and cost-effective adaptation measures.

One product of this program will be a Menu of Adaptation Options tailored to the specific needs of farmers in each area of Uzbekistan. In addition, a Regional Knowledge Exchange workshop will be organized in collaboration with other Europe and Central Asia countries to share experiences and results, and explore scope for greater collaboration.

Media Contacts
Matluba Mukhamedova