Uzbekistan is situated in the heart of Central Asia, bordering Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The main part of Uzbekistan's territory falls on the desert plains. Uzbekistan's terrain is mostly flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes. Desert forests account for 78 percent of its territory. The eastern part and the north-east consist of mountains and foothills. Potential adaptation measures include: the implementation of an integrated water resources management system, water saving, the improvement of irrigation-drainage systems, the introduction of drought-resistant plant species, and monitoring for potential natural hazards. Uzbekistan's climate is arid continental. The northern region of Uzbekistan is temperate, whilst the southern region is subtropical. The country’s climate is characterized by seasonal and day-to-night fluctuations in air temperatures. Summer in Uzbekistan is long, dry and hot; Spring is humid; and Winter in Uzbekistan is irregular. Air temperatures in the desert can reach 45-49 degrees Celsius. In the southern region, temperatures can drop down to -25 degrees Celsius. In the plains of Uzbekistan, precipitation is minimal (between 80-200 millimeters). In the foothills, precipitation can be as much as 300-400 millimeters per year, and about 600-800 millimeters per year on the west and south-west slopes of mountain ridges. Biodiversity in Uzbekistan is currently threatened due to high anthropogenic load. Climate change intensifies the desertification process and decreases water resources, leading to reduced biodiversity in riparian forests and water ecosystems. The biodiversity of the Aral Sea, for example, has been greatly reduced. An increase in the frequency of natural disasters is a potential issue for Uzbekistan. Estimates show increases in the number of mudflows and avalanches are expected up until 2050.
Uzbekistan is the world’s fifth largest cotton producer and second-largest cotton exporter. Major raw materials exported include gold, natural gas, copper and other non-ferrous metals and construction materials. The country possesses a young and educated labor force, rich agricultural resources and has significant economic potential (World Bank, 2010; UNDP, 2009). The service sector of Uzbekistan constitutes 39.5 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The agriculture sector is also vital to Uzbekistan's economy, constituting 24.1 percent of the country’s GDP. Irrigated farming forms the base of agricultural production. Consequently Uzbekistan uses approximately 90 percent of surface water for irrigation. Lack of water resources and land degradation are currently threatening the productivity of this sector. Increasing air temperatures associated with global warming pose a significant threat to this sector, reducing the available water for irrigation. As up to 80 percent of the foodstuffs required for the country's population are produced by the agrarian sector, reductions in productivity could threaten the food security of the country. High soil salinity is also an issue in Uzbekistan. Arable lands located at the lower reaches of rivers are especially saline, affecting agricultural productivity.
- On 29 August 2016, the Government of Uzbekistan reached out to UNDP to request their support on the formulation and implementation of a National Adaptation Plan process.
- With support from NAP-GSP, a preliminary mission was undertaken 25-27 October 2016 to hold stakeholder consultations, and identify Uzbekistan’s needs regarding the NAP process.
- Assessment of initiatives on climate mainstreaming and of the institutional framework and capacities relevant to the NAP process through a stakeholder roundtable, qualitative interviews and an extensive desk review.
- The mission also built on Uzbekistan’s participation in the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia Regional Workshop on the NAP Process, held on 28–30 June, 2016 in Chisinau, Moldova by UNDP and NAP-GSP.
- The mission aimed to provide a snapshot of the currently available and intended planning capacities of the government agencies on climate adaptation planning in order to facilitate systematic mainstreaming of adaptation action in the country’s development planning process. The purpose was to assess and arrive at a consensus on needs and capacities for climate change adaptation and to inform the preparation and development of the country’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP).
Strengthening Capacity towards Conventions Implementation through Institutional Strengthening and Professional Development in Uzbekistan - Project Document (2009)
The project aims at assisting Uzbekistan to improve its national environment governance system, by creating adequate national capacity to accommodate global environmental concerns into the national development and environmental management plans. The project’s goal is to effectively mainstream global environmental priorities into national development planning and management processes of Uzbekistan.
Improving Capacity towards Conventions Implementation through Institutional Strengthening & Development in Uzbekistan
The project aims at assisting Uzbekistan to improve its national environment governance system, by creating adequate national capacity to accommodate global environmental concerns into the national development and environmental management plans. The project’s goal is to effectively mainstream global environmental priorities into national development planning and management processes of Uzbekistan. The overall objective of the project is to build national capacity for more effective environmental management in Uzbekistan, by improved national environmental policy planning and financing.
The project plans to attain its objective through the accomplishment of two major activities. These are: (i) Improvement of environmental planning and management to accommodate global environmental objectives; (ii) Improvement of financial management capacity of the National Environmental Fund for increased global environmental financing.
Based on the results of the National Capacity Self-Assessment (NCSA) process and subsequent analysis of the existing opportunities during the preparatory process (PDF-A), it became evident that the national system of environmental management should be further improved for better accommodation of global environmental priorities. The environmental concerns in Uzbekistan can only be addressed when all involved stakeholders at the national level have a common strategic vision on outstanding environmental issues and attempt to solve the problems jointly, and in a cost- effective way.
This can be done through a number of instruments that will strengthen coordination and cooperation efforts of the stakeholders. At present, governmental agencies that are involved in the process of natural resources and environment management do not have a joint mechanism that enables them to coordinate activities for more effective implementation of sound environmental practices. This leads to a situation when not only every sector of the national economy, but also institutions directly engaged in environment management, develop their own departmental action plans, which do not take any account of plans from other sectors, and thus do not bring any additional value to activities. In these conditions, improvement of coordination and cooperation mechanisms becomes vital.
This dissociation is further exacerbated by low levels of understanding among personnel of involved sectoral and environmental ministries regarding real values of environmental products and services, and their significance for sustainable development of the country.
The NCSA and the preparatory analysis have demonstrated that deficiencies in environmental management planning and management processes as well as in environmental professional education, indeed exist and should be regarded as priorities for Uzbekistan. These deficiencies cause constant omission of environmental concerns, while composing national development plans, and must thus be addressed immediately.
The analysis undertaken during the NCSA process identified key weaknesses in national environmental management capacities that seriously impede more synergistic and cost-effective implementation of the global convention requirements. The PDF-A confirmed the recommendations of the NCSA and determined that such key barriers as ineffective financial management capacities, weak coordination of efforts between focal environmental areas’ responsible entities, low level of environmental understanding among decision makers seriously affect implementation of global and national environmental agenda, and addressing of the most outstanding environmental priorities.
The proposed project will build upon the findings of the NCSA process, and use the momentum available after NCSA completion. The following features favors implementation of the current project at this point in time:
- This is a good timing for follow-up interventions, as the NCSA process has initiated and kept alive a profound discussion of the capacity needs in the area of environmental management, major stakeholders involved in the process of NCSA assessment have fresh memories of discussions and are eager to continue the process as the findings of the NCSA were the result of their direct contribution
- The government understand the need to improve its environmental management capacities and open to modernization of environmental management processes
- The Government has taken up the recommendations of the NCSA, by including its capacity development Strategy and Action Plan in the State Programme for Environment Protection 2006-2010, thus putting capacity development needs among the Government’s priorities in environmental management
The GEF project will take this process further, by assisting the government in improving planning and implementation mechanisms for the five year State Programme for Environmental Protection, introducing the participatory planning model with a detailed set of procedures, timelines and accountability system for monitoring and evaluation. The project will coherently link the SPEP planning process and with other planning exercises under the global conventions and various related sectors; it will also more rigorously tie the SPEP with the funding framework set by the Environmental Fund.
The project will increase effectiveness of EF operations in support to global environmental objectives, by introducing the appropriate eligibility criteria, as well as quality management system to the Fund’s operations. In so doing, the project will look into the good practices and lessons learned from the other countries of Eastern and Central Europe and CIS. Environmental fund management practices from Bulgaria’s National Trust Ecofund, the Czech State Environmental Fund and others will be reviewed and lessons learned considered, based on existing analysis and performance reviews.
Particular focus will be placed on the following key elements of EF management and operations: (i) roles and objectives of funds; (ii) legal foundations and institutional structures; (iii) revenues; (iv) spending strategies and expenditures; (v) project appraisal and selection (“project cycle management”); (vi) monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
The proposed project aims at assisting Uzbekistan’s administrative and environment governance system to enhance effectiveness of environmental management, by creating adequate capacities of involved stakeholders in financial management of the environmental expenditures, strengthening professional capacities of the environmental institutions’ personnel and developing suitable level of environmental education among sectoral decision makers for more effective planning and implementation of the environmental programme.
The approach of developing capacities within both environment and non-environment Ministries to promote global environmental issues, is seen as an essential complement to other GEF supported interventions in Uzbekistan, inasmuch as it will provide a conducive environment for these interventions, as they seek a dialogue with national and regional environmental planning authorities in the context of realizing their site-specific, or focal area specific objectives. These cross-cutting capacities are of critical importance for realizing the objectives of multiple GEF focal areas.
To implement the project strategy, it will be essential to involve and build ownership of the project among other key stakeholder groups as well – regional and local authorities, environmental institutions, academia, local NGOs and makhallyas (lowest level municipalities), and private enterprises/companies. All these groups are essential to influencing and changing the current practice in terms of how national, regional and local planning documents and environmental expenditures plans are formulated and implemented.
The main imperative should lie in stressing the importance of joint measures that will improve efficiency of the national activities to fulfill the general commitments related to the Rio Conventions and increase coordination of the inter-sectoral activities and interaction among all involved participants at all levels.
The overall objective of the project is to build national capacity for more effective environmental management in Uzbekistan, by improved national environmental policy planning and implementation.
- Outcome 1: Improvement of environmental planning and management to accommodate global environmental objectives
- Output 1.1: Introduction of a new mechanism for coordinated environmental planning and management for SPEP and programming from environmental funds
- Output 1.2: Improvement of professional capacity of the environmental institutions to develop, formulate and evaluate effectiveness of the environmental programmes and environmental plans
- Outcome 2: Improvement of financial management capacity of the National Environmental Fund for increase
- Output 2.1: Introduction of fund management tools for improved operations of the EFs
- Output 2.2: Improvement of skills and knowledge of the EF personnel to effectively manage EF
Project Inception Workshop: will be held within the first 2 months of project start with those with assigned roles in the project organization structure, UNDP country office and where appropriate/feasible regional technical policy and programme advisors as well as other stakeholders. The Inception Workshop is crucial to building ownership for the project results and to plan the first year annual work plan.
Day to day monitoring of implementation progress: will be the responsibility of the Project Manager, based on the project's Annual Work Plan and its indicators, with overall guidance from the Project Director. The Project Team will inform the UNDP-CO of any delays or difficulties faced during implementation so that the appropriate support or corrective measures can be adopted in a timely and remedial fashion.
Project Progress Reports (PPR): quarterly reports will be assembled based on the information recorded and monitored in the UNDP Enhanced Results Based Management Platform. Risk analysis will be logged and regularly updated in ATLAS.
Annual Project Review/Project Implementation Reports (APR/PIR): This key report is prepared to monitor progress made since project start and in particular for the previous reporting period (30 June to 1 July). The APR/PIR combines both UNDP and GEF reporting requirements.
Periodic Monitoring through Site Visits:
UNDP CO and the UNDP RCU will conduct visits to project sites based on the agreed schedule in the project's Inception Report/Annual Work Plan to assess first hand project progress. Other members of the Project Board may also join these visits. A Field Visit Report/BTOR will be prepared by the CO and UNDP RCU and will be circulated no less than one month after the visit to the project team and Project Board members.
Mid-Term of Project Cycle:
Mid-Term Evaluation: will determine progress being made toward the achievement of outcomes and will identify course correction if needed. It will focus on the effectiveness, efficiency and timeliness of project implementation; will highlight issues requiring decisions and actions; and will present initial lessons learned about project design, implementation and management. Findings of this review will be incorporated as recommendations for enhanced implementation during the final half of the project’s term.
End of Project:
Final Evaluation: will take place three months prior to the final Project Board meeting and will be undertaken in accordance with UNDP and GEF guidance. The final evaluation will focus on the delivery of the project’s results as initially planned (and as corrected after the mid-term evaluation, if any such correction took place). The final evaluation will look at impact and sustainability of results, including the contribution to capacity development and the achievement of global environmental benefits/goals. The Terminal Evaluation should also provide recommendations for follow-up activities.
Project Terminal Report: This comprehensive report will summarize the results achieved (objectives, outcomes, outputs), lessons learned, problems met and areas where results may not have been achieved. It will also lie out recommendations for any further steps that may need to be taken to ensure sustainability and replicability of the project’s results.
Learning and Knowledge Sharing:
Results from the project will be disseminated within and beyond the project intervention zone through existing information sharing networks and forums.
The project will identify and participate, as relevant and appropriate, in scientific, policy-based and/or any other networks, which may be of benefit to project implementation though lessons learned. The project will identify, analyze, and share lessons learned that might be beneficial in the design and implementation of similar future projects.
Finally, there will be a two-way flow of information between this project and other projects of a similar focus.
As part of the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNDP, global project on public health adaptation to climate change, the "Piloting Climate Change Adaptation to Protect Human Health in Uzbekistan" is working to pilot adaptation measures in Tashkent and Syrdarya provinces. These efforts are working to increase the adaptation capacity of health care system in the provinces to cope with climate induced diseases.
More specifically, the Uzbekistan project aims to reduce negative impacts of climatic drivers by equipping health care personnel and the wider population with essential tools and knowledge to prevent detrimental effects of climate on human health. Effective prevention will be monitored through the reduction of the risk of morbidity and mortality of acute intestinal, cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases induced by climatic factors.
Uzbekistan is one of seven countries taking part in this Global Pilot. The seven countries, Barbados, Bhutan, China, Fiji, Jordan, Kenya and Uzbekistan, together represent four distinct environments (Highlands, Small Islands, Arid Countries and Urban environments) and their related health risks.
Project Brief / Fact Sheet
The objective of this first global project on public health adaptation to climate change is to “increase adaptive capacity of national health system institutions, including field practitioners, to respond to climate-sensitive health risks”. This will contribute to the broader goal of ensuring that “Health sectors are able to cope with health risks resulting from climate change, including variability”.
Uzbekistan Project Objective
To pilot adaptation measures in Tashkent and Syrdarya provinces that will increase adaptation capacity of health care system in these provinces to cope with climate induced diseases.
Key Health Concerns and Vulnerability to Climate Change
Uzbekistan will have significant health affects caused by climate change and rising temperatures. Most of the health problems are related to water and its availability. Water Borne diseases play a major role in Uzbekistan's health issues. More than 30% of household's nationwide lack quality drinking water and over 1000 settlements have no potable water at all. The water quality is poor with microbial and chemical pollution due to insufficient infrastructure to treat waste water and purify drinking water. Bacterial pollution increases in warmer temperatures and is reflected in the number of cases of intestinal diseases during summer.
As an example, bacterial dysentery increases by a factor of 3 in the summer. Dust storms are a particular problem for Uzbekistan and water shortages and increasing aridity caused by climate change coupled with land degradation problems have aggravated the desertification processes. As a major consequence, this has resulted in an increased number of dust storm events. Excessive exposure to dust constitutes a major health risk for many parts of the country already. For instance, Karakalpakstan exceeds the maximum safe threshold of the concentration of total suspension particles (TSP) by more than a factor of 2. Winds transport the sand particles for long distances extending the geographic boundaries affected by this phenomenon and over 5.5 million people have become increasingly affected by the dust storms.
Results and Learning
The project aims to reduce negative impacts of climatic drivers on health by equipping health care personnel and the wider population with essential tools and knowledge to prevent the detrimental effects of climate on human health. The effective prevention will be monitored through the reduction of the risk of morbidity and mortality of acute intestinal, cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases induced by climatic factors. It will achieve this by addressing the following barriers:
- Knowledge - Health care system personnel are not fully aware of the relationship between climate change and variability and health impacts. There has been no specific training of the personnel in regard to adaptation to climate change and mitigating its negative health impacts.
- Capacity - The level of knowledge and skills to prevent diseases connected with climatic factors are also limited among the general population.
- Monitoring and surveillance - The climate and health monitoring and surveillance systems are not conducted at the right geographical and temporal scale that would allow observations of trends and make advance forecasts to direct interventions against climate sensitive diseases.
- Research - No mechanisms currently exist to give early warning to the health system and undertake preventive measures. No research is currently conducted to observe the trends and the health system does not have clearly developed indicators that would give a chance to react. Thus no early warning system has been developed.
The most significant benefit expected from this project is the reduced number of acute intestinal, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases that are induced by climate change. Other benefits include:
- Improved general health of the national population and through this will contribute to the human development in Uzbekistan.
- Increased knowledge and skills to monitor variations in climate and make preventive steps in order to minimize possible detrimental effects on human health.
- The public will have enhanced knowledge on how to protect themselves against diseases that can be triggered by climate factors.
- People would be equipped with the concrete instruments to cope with climate variability and change.
- The Government will benefit from healthier and more economically active population and fewer social payments to disabled (sick) people.
- Climate change and health early warning and planning systems
- Institutional and technical capacity to manage climate change health risks
- Demonstration Measures to reduce vulnerability
- Regional Cooperation to address climate change health risks
Outcome 1: An early warning system that provides reliable information on likely incidence of climate-sensitive health risks established
- Cooperation agreement on information flow sharing between governmental agencies is reached.
- Computer-based information system established to share climate change and health information to Government decision makers in the two pilot states.
- An early warning system of potential health impacts of climate events on vulnerable groups will be designed and tested.
- Contingency plans for health care system developed in the event of adverse climate variation.
Outcome 2: Skills and knowledge of health care personnel to cope with climate sensitive diseases enhanced and awareness of the population to take self-preventive measures for climate-induced diseases are increased
- Capacity building training programs for medical personnel and primary care workers on the relationship between diseases and climate developed and introduced.
- Increased awareness raising to the local population in the health risks associated with climate change and how to take self-preventive measures against climate sensitive diseases.
Outcome 3: Action plans to address climate sensitive diseases successfully implemented within the 2 study provinces
- Intervention plans for climate-sensitive health outcomes implemented within the study regions.
- Effectiveness of interventions will be monitored.
Project activities will be executed following established UNDP national execution modality (NEF). The Ministry of Health will act as the Executing Agency (EA) for the project and will be executing the project in cooperation with WHO and UNDP-GEF. The project will establish a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) which will consist of the Project Manager (PM), and an administrative/finance assistant. National consultants will be recruited upon necessity according to an established plan of activities developed by the PM.