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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. 

KARAKALPAKSTAN FARMERS VISIT KHOREZM FOR OBSERVING AND LEARNING ADVANCED PRACTICES TO GROW HEALTHY MUNGBEAN CROPS

ECO-ARAL in cooperation with the International Centre for agricultural research in the Dried Areas (ICARDA) selected ten farmers’ fields in Karakalpakstan and Khorezm region as piloting plots, to introduce crop diversification for increasing the economy and improvement of the soil quality in the Aral Sea region. Since then, the farmers are participating in the evaluation of innovative crop rotation plans to improve income and soil health compared to the traditional 2-year wheat-cotton rotation. Following up the training programmes in June

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DEMONSTRATION OF INNOVATIVE TOOLS AND ADVANCED COMPUTER MODELS FOR ASSESSMENT, ANALYSIS AND MONITORING OF WATER RESOURCES IN KHOREZM REGION OF UZBEKISTAN

The regional project of GIZ Ecologically oriented regional development in the Aral Sea region (ECO-ARAL) in cooperation with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and Information and Analytical Resource Center of Ministry of Water Resources of Uzbekistan in the framework of a joint project entitled “Increasing water use efficiency in the Aral Sea Region”, organized a one-day training on 26 August 2022 in Urgench. In the event a diverse group of 42 participants representing specialists of Basin Irrigation System Authority,

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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.

STUDY ON SAXAUL MARKET ANALYSIS IN THE ARAL SEA REGION

September 15-19, 2021, Kazakhstan. The ECO-ARAL project is conducting a study on saxaul market analysis in the Aral Sea region (Kyzylorda and Mangystau provinces) and the potential for development of commercial saxaul plantations and their role in the market. Mr. Yerlan Syzdykov, a modeling expert, held meetings with local executive authorities in the field of forestry, public organizations on the Aral Sea region development, experts in saxaul cultivation, representatives of saxaul nurseries and forest farms in Kyzylorda region, farmers who are considering saxaul plantations, representatives of companies for processing of wood raw materials.The purpose of the meetings was to get

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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.

IWMI EXPERT MISSION ON WATER USE EFFICIENCY IN THE ARAL SEA REGION

ECO-ARAL project with the support of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is carrying out a study on improving water use efficiency in the Aral Sea region.During November 21-24, 2021, IWMI experts visited Kazakhstan to further study the current situation of water resources management and use. Meetings were held with representatives of the Mangistau province administration (oblast Akimat), Zhaik-Caspian Basin Inspection of the Committee for Water Resources, Institute of Geography and Water Safety, Institute of Hydrogeology and Geo-Ecology named after U.M. Akhmedsafin, and the Institute of Water Resources Management. The experts were acquainted with the representatives of specialized organizations on

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DEMAND AND POTENTIAL ANALYSIS OF ECOLOGICALLY ORIENTED BUSINESS MODELS IN THE SECTORS OF ECONOMY OF KAZAKHSTAN

ECO-ARAL project is conducting a study to analyze the potential of ecologically oriented business models across sectors for Kyzylorda and Mangystau provinces. A study will give an overview over the various economic sectors and existing business models as well as their current use of natural resources and ecological soundness.On October 14-15, this year, representatives of the project and the international company UNIQUE Forestry and Land Use visited Mangistau province to hold meetings with representatives of local executive authorities, financial institutions and businesses, to discuss innovative methods in crop and livestock production, which have high growth potential in the province and

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