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

March 10, 2011

Tashkent, March 10, 2011 – The World Bank, jointly with the Uzbekistan Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources and the State Committee for Nature Protection, held a National Dissemination and Consensus Building Conference on Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change in Uzbekistan’s Agricultural Systems in Tashkent on March 10, 2011.

The objectives of this Conference were to provide a forum to discuss key findings and recommendations in the draft Impact Assessment and Menu of Adaptation Options for reducing the vulnerability of Uzbekistan’s Agricultural Systems to climate change, build consensus among key participants and stakeholders on these recommendations and identify key priorities for policies, programs and investments to increase the resiliency of the agricultural sector to climate change in Uzbekistan.

The draft Impact Assessment and Menu of Adaptation Options for Uzbekistan’s Agricultural Systems was developed in partnership between national experts and farmers and a team of world-class experts from Europe and North America from the Industrial Economics Incorporated (IEc) consulting firm. This draft was discussed with key stakeholders at the national and local levels during the National Dissemination and Consensus Building Workshop and key recommendations for policies, programs and investments are now being prioritized and finalized, in full cooperation with the MAWR.

As Fasliddin Rakhimov, Acting World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan, said: “Helping countries prepare for climate change is one of the World Bank’s global priorities. Agriculture is of vital importance to Uzbekistan, in terms of employment, rural livelihoods, food security and self-sustainability and exports. However, because this sector is highly climate sensitive, the potential adverse risks of climate change are likely to increase the vulnerability of rural populations. 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.”

Over the course of this Program, which officially began in Uzbekistan in May, 2010, the World Bank and the Government of Uzbekistan have held an Awareness Raising Workshop, developed a Country Note for agriculture and climate change in Uzbekistan, conducted multiple farmer consultations throughout the three agro-ecological zones (AEZs) in Uzbekistan and have produced a draft Impact Assessment and Menu of Adaptation Options for Uzbekistan’s agricultural sector

Making national-level adaptation and capacity building a high priority, overall findings of the report include:

  • Temperature will increase and precipitation will become more variable in Uzbekistan as a result of climate change;
  • The direct temperature and precipitation effect of future climate change on crops are projected to reduce yields for most crops, but increase yields for grasslands and alfalfa;
  • Farmers in Uzbekistan are not suitably adapted to current climate, particularly regarding efficient use of irrigation water; this effect is sometimes called the “adaptation deficit,” which in Uzbekistan can be large for many high-value crops such as tomatoes;  and others.

The participants of the conference included the Uzbekistan Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, the State Committee of Nature Protection, and national agencies, research institutes, farmer associations, environmental and rural development NGOs, World Bank sectoral and country staff, international development partners and representatives from the public and private sectors.

Media Contacts
Matluba Mukhamedova