Experts from Central Asian countries discussed the conservation and sustainable use of cold winter deserts in Central Asia at the virtually held inception workshop. The workshop was organized by the Interim Regional Central Asian Desert Initiative (CADI) Secretariat, which started its work in Tashkent in 2021. The main objective of the virtual meeting was to ensure participation of stakeholders and to include their views and comments for the further elaboration of the CADI Secretariat’s plan of work.
The seminar has facilitated the exchange of views and ideas between participants. It was recommended to take measures for the modification of the border zone barriers between countries and to establish cooperation with border services in order to address the impact these barriers have on migrating species. Furthermore, establishing international collaborations with the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea and Green Central Asia (initiative of the German Agency for International Cooperation – GIZ) is advised to be included in the Secretariat’s work programme. The possibility of setting up the Aral Sea Regional Geopark, with the inclusion of the Aralkum region in it has also been discussed in the workshop.
Taking into account the specific activities planned in the CADI member countries, a 5-year plan of work for the Secretariat has been developed. The composition of the Interim National CADI Secretariats in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan has been approved as a result of the workshop. Along with this, registration of the Interim CADI Secretariat as an NGO in Uzbekistan has also been elaborated on.
The Central Asian Desert Initiative (CADI) aims to promote the conservation and sustainable use of temperate deserts, which are unique ecosystems of global importance. These deserts are important migration areas for birds as well as for wild ungulates. The target countries of CADI are Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. They bear a special responsibility for the preservation of the temperate deserts, which are threatened by anthropogenic and climatic factors. The CADI project, funded by the German government, has been implemented since 2016 by the University of Greifswald, the Michael Succow Foundation (Greifswald, Germany) and FAO.