Integrated research initiatives to combat land degradation

Photo credit: CGIAR

Demonstration site in Rasht Valley, Tajikistan. Photo credit: Aziz Nurbekov


2015 in Review: Combating land degradation and climate change in Central Asia

Submitted by Sherzod Shoasilov on January 26, 2016

Year 2015 saw the implementation of several integrated research initiatives to combat land degradation, mitigate the effect of climate change and improve soils in Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Declared as the “International Year of Soils” by the 68th UN General Assembly, the year 2015 marked a series of multidisciplinary research achievements to combat land degradation, mitigate the effect of climate change and improve soils in Central Asia and the Caucasus. The following provides an overview of the collaborative research initiatives and outcomes – nested in the integrated systems approach – by the scientists of the CGIAR Regional Program for Sustainable Agricultural Development in Central Asia and the Caucasus (CAC), donors and partner national research institutions, whose work contributes to the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems.  Most of this work aims at developing the national research capacities for sustainable productivity increases in agriculture through development, adoption, and transfer of improved knowledge and technologies.

Actions to combat land degradation

Land degradation is a key challenge in Central Asia. To address this challenge, the three-year Knowledge Management Project of the Central Asian Countries Initiative for Land Management (CACILM) continued to be implemented in 2015 to streamline the use, creation and dissemination of knowledge on sustainable land management in five countries, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), acting as the CACILM coordinating center of convened an annual meeting of partners in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 17-18 March, followed by its Steering Committee meeting in Istanbul, Turkey on 24 June. During these two events, scientists and partners reviewed achievements and constraints, and agreed on a plan of activities for the upcoming year 2016. To date, the project has collected and described in standard format more than 100 SLM approaches and technologies applicable to the four main agro-ecosystems found in Central Asia, relating to rainfed and irrigated agriculture, as well as mountains and rangelands.

Read the full article: CGIAR

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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