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Project Activities

CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT 

Our project aims to improve the advisory capacities of private and public service providers (e.g., agricultural extension services, industry associations) on environmentally sustainable resource use. With the help of trainings or peer to peer coaching, we advise across various sectors such as agriculture, aquaculture, forestry, eco-tourism, and livestock on different levels from individuals to entire organizations. In addition, our project develops innovative cross-sectoral consulting and information packages on sustainable resource use in the Aral Sea region. 

As an example, we offer training programs to strengthen the skills of planning officers on the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the use of earth observation as well as other digital planning tools. The GIS training modules cover i.a. water management, land management, hydrology and forestry. For this our project closely works with the Reiner Lemoine Institute (RLI) to conduct module-based GIS training courses. As part of the GIS training, we have organized a GIS study tour to Germany for Uzbek and Kazakh partners for an advanced workshop at RLI, to participate in a conference on GIS, and to visit the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The newly acquired skills and relationships with their peers allow our partners to have stronger collaborations and enhanced use of GIS in their daily work.  

Furthermore, our project collaborates with the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Together we set up a GIS laboratory at the Agrarian University in Nukus as well as a geoportal solution for an enhanced results visualization and analysis. The DLR conducts satellite data processing of Landsat and Sentinel-2 optical imagery to derive different base products for further applications and planning activities. These products consist of several maps mirroring an up-to-date land cover situation as well as evolution of abandoned crop land, development of natural vegetation and bare soil in the regions around the Aral Sea and its dried seabed.  

These maps were first used to support the selection of potential sites for Artemia cultivation and for the assessment of sites selected for different afforestation measures. The final maps will cover the entire area of our project and contribute to regional cross border activities. 

STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING OF ECO ARAL IN TASHKENT 2022-2023

Since its launch in 2020, every year the regional project of GIZ ECO ARAL holds a Steering Committee Meeting (SCM) to discuss the implemented activities of the past year and to discuss the plans for the upcoming year. The Steering Committee was established in January 2021 during the kick off meeting of the project with the aim of coordinating the activities with the political partners. On March 10, 2023, ECO ARAL held the SCM at Hampton by Hilton Hotel in

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ECO-ARAL PROJECT STEERING COMMITTEE WORKSHOP 2022-2023

The second meeting of ECO-ARAL Project Steering Committee, established to coordinate the activities of the project, as well as the development of key areas and coordination of activities implemented under the project, took place in Astana on December 2, 2022. During the meeting the project team presented the results of the project in 2022 and discussed the work plan for 2023. According to the results of the current year: During the discussions there were many comments and suggestions for joint

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Measures FOr ecologically oriented resource use

 

 

The ECO ARAL project implements measures for ecologically sustainable resource use in the Aral Sea region.

The Aral Sea region has been facing increasing challenges for decades with unusable soils and water shortages. Highly saline soils are no longer usable for conventional agriculture. Challenges that require new ideas. Our project provides innovative ideas and approaches to transform supposedly unusable natural resources into economic prospects.

For example, our project is introducing ecologically friendly Artemia cultivation in Uzbekistan. Where hardly anything else survives, Artemia also known as brine shrimp feels at home. Artemia is primarily used as feed in fish farming. Currently Artemia still persists in the remaining Aral Sea, where it is being collected for export. But the quantity and quality are continuously decreasing due to the decline of the Aral See and the ever-increasing salinity. It is only a matter of time before the current business model runs dry in the coming years.

Our ECO ARAL project showcases the transition to a new business model, by cultivating artemia in environmentally friendly constructed earth ponds. The saline soil and water, unusable for agriculture and humans, thus become an important resource in Artemia cultivation. Higher yields and improved quality should contribute to higher incomes and help Karakalpakstan position itself more strongly in the global Artemia market.

The project organized a study tour to Thailand with representatives from government and academia and have sent Uzbek professionals to Vietnam for an extensive training program on ecologically friendly pond construction and Artemia cultivation. We have contracted one of the leading Artemia specialists in the world to conduct multiple missions in Karakalpakstan which resulted in findings and reports crucial for developing a thriving Uzbek Artemia sector.

All findings are being compressed in an Artemia info-package to present service providers, beneficiaries and decision-makers a new and ecological way for constructing earth ponds and to cultivate Artemia in an environmentally friendly way.

STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING OF ECO ARAL IN TASHKENT 2022-2023

Since its launch in 2020, every year the regional project of GIZ ECO ARAL holds a Steering Committee Meeting (SCM) to discuss the implemented activities of the past year and to discuss the plans for the upcoming year. The Steering Committee was established in January 2021 during the kick off meeting of the project with the aim of coordinating the activities with the political partners. On March 10, 2023, ECO ARAL held the SCM at Hampton by Hilton Hotel in Tashkent with 43 participants consisting of the political partners – Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Uzbekistan – and

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DIGITAL MAPPING AND ASSESSMENT OF NATURAL SYSTEMS OF THE ARAL SEA REGION

On August 4, a workshop on “Digital mapping and assessment of natural systems of the Kazakhstani part of the Aral Sea dried bottom”, organized by the International Scientific Complex “Astana” together with ECO-ARAL project, was held in Almaty. The workshop was devoted to the results of the project “Complex research assessment of natural and environmental criteria of the Kazakhstani part of the Aral Sea dried bottom (ASDB) using modern technologies of remote sensing and GIS in combination with ground works”. Specialists from state institutions and research organizations dealing with the problems of the Aral Sea region took part in the

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Policy Advice

All our efforts, pilots and implemented measures translate in policy advice to our political partners in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

For example, in the forestry sector, our project has developed a series of maps (soil, vegetation, hydrogeology and climate) of the dried Aral seabed on the Kazakh side. Based on the maps we designed recommendations on the potential for afforestation measures. Decision makers can use the maps and recommendations to strategically plan afforestation and other measures (e.g., ecotourism routes, pasture restoration), which, in turn, may assist in combating desertification, land degradation, preserve biodiversity, and improve the livelihood of the people that live in these areas.

Our project has also supported a delegation visit of the Forestry Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the Kazakhstan part of the dried Aral Seabed. We organized a bilateral meeting to exchange experiences and determine the direction of further cooperation and collaboration between the two countries. During the visit the intergovernmental Roadmap on “Joint forestry cooperation activities: 2021-2022” was signed between the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Forestry and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Together with other two GIZ projects, Integrative Land Use in Central Asia and Green Central Asia, our project is providing exchange visits and policy dialogues between staff of protected areas from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. All three countries share protected areas among their borders. The exchange and dialogue strengthen the collaboration across borders to protect wildlife and biodiversity.

PILOTING STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT IN KAZAKHSTAN

ECO-ARAL project continues works on piloting the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in Kyzylorda and Mangistau provinces. From 7th to 9th of September the project together with the experts from INTEGRATION Environment & Energy, Integra Consulting, Ecoline International and Green Bridge consulting companies held workshops-meetings with representatives of the departments of the two province Administration (Akimats), during which the principles and benefits of the SEA were presented and the matrix of environmental impacts of the province development plans were discussed. According to the results of the work, the experts will present a report on SEA and recommendations for improving the Plans.

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WORKSHOP ON STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT IN KAZAKHSTAN

July 7, 2022, Kazakhstan | As part of the piloting of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in Kyzylorda and Mangystau provinces, the ECO-ARAL project in cooperation with Ecoline International Ltd and Integra Consulting s.r.o. held the first online workshop on SEA in Kazakhstan. The workshop was organised to introduce the SEA basic principles and procedures and to discuss the pilot project with representatives of province Akimats and their structural subdivisions working in the field of economic planning, environmental protection, agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Consultants of Ecoline International Ltd. and Integra Consulting s.r.o. presented the main elements, benefits and advantages of

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