Building a Resilient Future: Restoring high-value arid ecosystems in the Lower Amu Darya Basin

July 27, 2023
Photo: Sadulloev Didor / UNDP Tajikistan

The Lower Amu Darya Basin is a beautiful and important ecosystem in Tajikistan. It is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including some that are found nowhere else in the world. However, this area is also under threat from a variety of factors, including climate change, overgrazing, and deforestation.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), is going to implement a project to help conserve the Lower Amu Darya Basin in Tajikistan and the biodiversity it supports. The project is called "Conservation and Sustainable Management of High-Value Arid Ecosystems in the Lower Amu Darya Basin." It will work to improve the management of forests, pastures, and other important ecosystems in the river basin. It will also work to involve local communities in the conservation effort.

Photo: Sadulloev Didor / UNDP Tajikistan

The project is expected to have a number of benefits. It will help to protect the Amu Darya landscape’s biodiversity, improve the livelihoods of local people, and contribute to Tajikistan's progress towards Land Degradation Neutrality.

Not only that, this project will also help to improve the management of 45,300 hectares of high conservation value forest (HCVF). This forest is home to a variety of rare and ecosystem health indicator species, including the Red deer, the Tajikistan even-fingered gecko, etc. It will reduce the impact of overgrazing and deforestation on the forest, involving local communities in the management of the forest so that they can benefit from its resources.

This initiative is a great example of how conservation and development can go hand-in-hand. By working to protect the Lower Amu Darya Basin, the project is helping to ensure a sustainable future for the people and wildlife of Tajikistan.