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
This conference, which was attended by more than 50 people from the Uzbekistan Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, State Committee for Nature Protection, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economy, the International Finance Corporation, the Asian Development Bank, UNDP, USAID, local farmers, representatives from the media and other key agricultural stakeholders. The conference was opened by Mr. Muhammadjon Kosimov, Deputy Head of the Complex of Economic Reforms at the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (MAWR), who noted that the research and findings being presented at the conference was in line with the interests of the Uzbekistan government. He stressed the importance of addressing the issues of climate change in agriculture today, particularly the impacts on water resource availability, in order to respond in a timely and adequate manner. Mr. Kosimov noted that this conference was an important step in identifying key ways to reduce the vulnerability of Uzbekistan’s agricultural systems to climate change and encouraged active participation during the conference in order to gain further consensus on key recommendations. Opening remarks were given by Mr. Kamoliddin Sidikov, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Nature Protection (SCNP), who stressed the importance of this program and the continuing need to identify adaptation which can help reduce the adverse impacts on natural resource management and food security.
The objectives of this Conference were to provide a forum to discuss key findings and recommendations in a draft Impact Assessment and Menu of Adaptation Options for reducing the vulnerability of Uzbekistan’s Agricultural Systems to climate change, designed to help increase the resiliency of Uzbekistan’s agricultural systems to climate change. This conference was also a forum to build consensus among key participants and stakeholders on these recommendations and identify key priorities for policies, programs and investments to help reduce the vulnerability of Uzbekistan’s agricultural systems to climate change.
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.
This draft Impact Assessment and Menu of Adaptation Options for Uzbekistan’s Agricultural Systems is the latest initiative in the Program Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change in Uzbekistan’s Agricultural Systems, which officially began in Uzbekistan in May, 2010. Over the course of this Program 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 the draft Impact Assessment and Menu of Adaptation Options for Uzbekistan’s agricultural sector.
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.”