The State Committee on Forestry of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the support of the Joint United Nations Economic Comission for Europe (UNECE)/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Forestry and Timber Section and the FAO Country Office in Uzbekistan organized the National Forest Policy Dialogue on “Forestry Sector Feasibility Study Towards Resilient Landscapes Restoration in Uzbekistan” on 20-21 September 2022 in Tashkent.
The dialogue brought together experts from the Ministry of Agriculture, State Committee on Forestry, State Committee on Ecology and Environment Protection, NGOs, Academia, UNECE, FAO and from the country-based international organisations. The event became good platform for the national and international experts to review the enabling environment (policy, legal and institutional frameworks) for the forestry sector, the finance mechanisms and financial sustainability of the forest landscape restoration works in the country as well as the forestry sector economic, social, and environmental aspects. Participants of the dialogue also discussed on-going and planned national and regional projects which are aiming to contribute to the forest landscape restoration works in the country.
At the dialogue it was noted, that in 2018, the Government of Uzbekistan pledged to restore over 500,000 ha of degraded landscapes under the Bonn Challenge. The Bonn Challenge is a global goal to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes into restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. To date, 61 countries, 8 states and 5 associations have accepted the Bonn Challenge. Uzbekistan’s active participation in the development of the regional Strategy for landscape restoration and greening the infrastructure of the Caucasus and Central Asia was also highlighted.
The participants of the dialogue emphasized Uzbekistan’s efforts within the framework of the nationwide project “Yashil Makon” (Green Space), initiated by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev in 2021. This nation-wide afforestation program was added to the Strategy for Developing the New Uzbekistan during 2022-2026 and envisages expansion of forest cover area in the country by planting 200 million trees annually. The “Yashil Makon” project foresees a comprehensive scheme of greening efforts with engagement of various public agencies and research communities.
The National Forest Policy Dialogue in Tashkent was organized as part of UNECE/FAO Integrated Programme of Work 2022-2025. The event provided good plattform to exchange information, support policy development and promote cross-sectoral cooperation in the forest sector of Uzbekistan.