Sultry and endless deserts of Uzbekistan are important biodiversity hotspots. It features unique habitats, breeding grounds, migration corridors and flyways for many rare and endangered animal species. The CADI (Central Asian Desert Initiative) aims to preserve and sustainably use temperate deserts, which are now under threat from overexploitation of natural resources and large-scale infrastructure construction.
The CADI project, funded by the German government, is being implemented since 2016 by the University of Greifswald, the Michael Succow Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Along with Uzbekistan, the target countries of the Central Asian Desert Initiative are Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, which are also known for their unique landscapes and vast deserts with rich wildlife.
In December 2021, the office of the Interim Regional CADI Secretariat was officially opened in the building of the State Forestry Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan. From now on, important tasks will be solved here to preserve deserts, expand saxaul plantations and create transboundary protected areas, and most importantly, to support the population, which is engaged in the development of agriculture in the harsh conditions of temperate deserts.
«The newly established CADI Regional Secretariat is expected to continue and expand the work of the CADI project on the conservation of flora and fauna, as well as the sustainable use of temperate desert ecosystems in Central Asia. We hope that the secretariat will fill in the existing gaps in the implementation of the UN conventions adopted in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 — the Convention to Combat Desertification, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Framework Convention on Climate Change. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to the State Forestry Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for supporting the CADI Regional Secretariat», – emphasized Nariman Nishanov, National Coordinator of the CADI project in Uzbekistan.
Today CADI National Secretariats already function in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan contributing into conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of ecosystems in the cold winter deserts of these countries.