EU and UNDP Support Sustainable Pasture Management

April 26, 2024
Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Pastures play an important role in mitigating climate change. As carbon sinks, they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, storing it in soil organic matter and plant biomass. This process helps to reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, related to mitigating global warming. In addition, pastures help to conserve biodiversity, stabilize soil and regulate the water cycle, further enhancing their impact on climate change mitigation. By promoting sustainable pasture management practices, we can maximize their positive contribution to climate change mitigation efforts.

Innovation Group led by the Scientific Research Institute of Livestock and Poultry with local farmers from the Ahangaran district in Tashkent region is making significant strides in advancing sustainable pasture management practices through innovative approaches. By implementing strategies such as rotational grazing systems, the introduction of drought-tolerant desert forage plants, and breeding Merino sheep for efficient pasture utilization, the group is pioneering sustainable land management practices. This initiative has been established within the framework of a joint project between the UNDP and the Ministry of Agriculture, generously funded by the European Union "Supporting an inclusive transition to a green economy in the Agri-food sector and development of a climate-smart Uzbek Agriculture Knowledge and Innovation System" (EU-AGRIN).

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Rotational grazing systems, promote the health of pasture lands by allowing vegetation to rest and regenerate between grazing periods in mountain and sub-mountainous areas. This helps prevent overgrazing, maintains soil fertility, and promotes biodiversity. Additionally, the introduction of well-suited to thrive in the face of climate change due to their remarkable adaptability to harsh environmental conditions, drought-tolerant desert forage plants enhance forage availability, balances animal diets, and reduces grazing pressure on fragile ecosystems, especially in arid regions.

Furthermore, breeding Merino sheep is capable for utilizing pasture resources effectively. Their grazing behavior’s helps maintain pasture health and prevents overgrazing, contributing to sustainable land management practices. Artificial insemination of Merino sheep represents a valuable tool for adapting sheep breeding programs to climate change, improving the resilience and sustainability of the livestock sector, and ensuring the long-term viability of Merino sheep production in a changing world. Artificial insemination minimizes the environmental footprint of sheep breeding operations by reducing the need for natural mating, which can lead to overgrazing and soil degradation in pastureland. 

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Overall, the implementation of these innovative approaches underscores the Innovation Group's commitment to promoting sustainable land management practices and mitigating the environmental impact of agricultural activities. Through collaborative research, knowledge exchange, and capacity-building initiatives, the group is paving the way for a greener, more resilient agriculture sector in alignment with the objectives of the #EUAGRIN project.

The financial support provided by the European Union and implemented by UNDP jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan for innovative initiatives underscores their commitment to sustainable agricultural development, climate resilience, and an environmentally sustainable future.