Climate-Resilient Farming in Turkmenistan

Project Overview

Turkmenistan is arid, but also dependent on agriculture for sustenance and commerce. Regional water scarcity contributes to trans-boundary water issues. Climate change is expected to exacerbate the situation via diminishing water supply – through increases in temperature, further climate aridification and regional competition for water.

This project aims to improve water prospects through the implementation of water efficiency and irrigation measures, as well as the development of water user associations benefiting over 30,000 farmers. The most vulnerable communities will be served during the initial phase of this project; lessons learned from the pilot are intended to inform water policies at the national level by establishing price incentives, technologies and management systems to achieve greater water use efficiency. Stakeholders include government officials, private sector farmers, and providers of water management and agricultural support services. Successful completion of this project will have a larger import via the dissemination of water preservation strategies throughout the wider water-vulnerable population of Turkmenistan.

Click here for the update one year into the project, written by Matthew Savage, Project Chief Technical Advisor (July 2013). 

Project Details

Levels of Intervention

Community

Source of Funds

The Adaptation Fund

Key Implementers

Local Governments
National Governments

Funding Amounts

$2,929,500 (amount requested and approved 2011-03-18)
N/A

Project Partners

Ministry of Nature Protection, Government of Turkmenistan
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Adaptation Fund

Introduction

Turkmenistan is arid, but also dependent on agriculture for sustenance and commerce. Regional water scarcity contributes to trans-boundary water issues. Climate change is expected to exacerbate the situation via diminishing water supply – through increases in temperature, further climate aridification and regional competition for water.

This project aims to improve water prospects through the implementation of water efficiency and irrigation measures, as well as the development of water user associations benefiting over 30,000 farmers. The most vulnerable communities will be served during the initial phase of this project; lessons learned from the pilot are intended to inform water policies at the national level by establishing price incentives, technologies and management systems to achieve greater water use efficiency. Stakeholders include government officials, private sector farmers, and providers of water management and agricultural support services. Successful completion of this project will have a larger import via the dissemination of water preservation strategies throughout the wider water-vulnerable population of Turkmenistan.

Click here for the update one year into the project, written by Matthew Savage, Project Chief Technical Advisor (July 2013). 

Project Details

Climate change is projected to have significant impacts on water resources in an already arid Turkmenistan. Water availability and supply are likely to suffer from increasing shortages due to elevated temperatures, overall climate aridification and competition for water arising from regional trans-boundary water issues. Turkmenistan‘s inherent aridity and reliance on agriculture as a source of both income and food renders the country particularly vulnerable to these climate change impacts.

Improved water harvesting and saving techniques are necessary to ease the increasing shortages, and to allow communities to revert to agriculture, make livestock management more sustainable and to stop the increasing degradation of the slopes.

This project’s main objective is to strengthen water management practices at both local and national levels in response to climate change-induced water scarcity risks that are increasingly affecting farming systems in Turkmenistan. It will assess and deliver concrete water adaptation measures to local vulnerable communities in the three typical agro-ecological regions, while also strengthening national level water legislation and pricing to ensure water availability for the non-state sector farmers. The participating communities would be able to benefit from not only the improved economic returns from agriculture, but also from increased involvement in adaptation planning and investment processes. Training modules for communities on the risks and climate vulnerability are also developed and implemented.

This initiative aims to increase resilience in 3 different agro-climatic zones in Turkmenistan by implementing hard water efficiency and irrigation measures, and developing water user associations benefiting over 30,000 farmers. These communities are among the most vulnerable and water stressed, and for the most part lack access to state subsidy or support. Innovative approaches, such as drip irrigation, laser levelling will be studied by the national ministries to assess their effectiveness before scale-up. To ensure that the beneficial impacts of the project can be replicated among other communities, the project will also seek to internalize climate change risks into water policies at the national level by establishing price incentives, technologies and management systems to achieve greater water use efficiency. It focuses on increasing the resilience of water resources for the most vulnerable and water-stressed communities, who are engaged in non-state agriculture, horticulture and livestock management and who are unlikely to benefit from Government ́s large-scale water supply and storage infrastructure.

Thematic Area: 
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Level of Intervention: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Farmers; Pastoralists
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
Ministry of Nature Protection, Government of Turkmenistan
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Adaptation Fund
Project Status: 
Under Implementation
Location: 
Rural
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
$2,929,500 (amount requested and approved 2011-03-18)
Co-Financing Total: 
N/A

Key Results and Outputs

Component 1: Policy and Institutional Capacity Strengthening

A socio-economic impact assessment of climate change on water availability (Output 1.1) to inform modification to the water code, with focus on basin/sub-basin level of management and financial incentives for water efficiency (Output 1.2)

Recent Progress as of May 2014:

The new Law on changes and amendments to the Water Code of Turkmenistan (1 March 2014) includes recommendations submitted by the AF project in 2013.

Taking into account the provisions of the new Law on Nature Protection of Turkmenistan (2014), National experts developed a package of amendments, additions and changes to the draft Water Code of Turkmenistan and submitted to the Ministry of Water Economy. The analysis of the socio-economic impacts of climate change on water availability in all three pilot regions was performed as well as cost-benefit analysis of adapatation measures. Also, a method of calculating the differentiated water tariffs for water supply services was developed. In addition, methodology for calculating water tariffs developed and presented to key stakeholders.

Component 2: Community-Based adaptation initiatives

Develop and implement community-based water harvesting techniques (e.g. slope terracing, small rainwater collection dams, tillage, mulching) in Nokhur mountainous region (Output 2.1); well and water point management measures (e.g. sand fixation and drought-resistant grains) in Karakum desert region (Output 2.2); and improved irrigation services in Mary Oasis (Output 2.3).

Recent Progress as of May 2014:

On the basis of the identified local needs of local communities and Vulnerability Community Assessment (VCA)  implementation of the investment plans started in each pilot region. Investment plans for adaptation measures were developed for each region in a participatory manner. The developed investment plans identified on local community needs cover the following number of beneficiaries:  Nohur region to benefit- 4,000 agri-pastoralists;  in Karakum region - 8,000 farmers and pastoralists and  in the Sakar-Chaga region - 20,000 people.

Some adaptation measures have been already implemented: afforestation measures on 10 ha (1250 seedlings of Turkmen Archa -Juniperus) in Nohur region; 3 local nurseries were established in 3 project regions; 16 water regulating devices were installed in Sakarchaga region. Also, at least seven water harvesting techniques/saving measures were initiated in Nohur and will be finalized by the end of 2014.  It is expected that the following adaptation measures will be implemented by the end of 2014: 1) in Karakum region: construction of 7 wells and 11 sardobs (traditional water storage device); repair of 6 wells, 5 kaks (small seasonal water reservoirs) and 4 Sardobs; 10 ha of sand dune fixation; 2) in Nohur: reconstruction and repair of the existing drip irrigation system on 20 ha; construction of 5 dams with water reservoirs; repair of 2 dams; repair works related to the protection and rational use of the 4 springs; construction of reinforced concrete basin for water storage; organization of production of organic-compost and bio-humus; afforestation of 5 ha; 3) in Sakarchaga: construction of 5 water regulating devices and land leveling of irrigated lands with application of laser equipment; development of project design documentation for the following measures: construction of 10 water regulating devices, repair of 2 water regulating devices; reconstruction and cleaning of the interfarm collector  (35 км); construction of the new interfarm collector (5 км); reconstruction and cleaning of on-farm collectors (31,5 км); rehabilitation of abandoned lands (50 га).

Component 3: Communal Systems for water delivery

Work with local water use associations to foster resilience in local water services (Output 3.1). Develop community-based adaptation plans that focus on water delivery services and directly engage at least 30,000 farmers and pastoralists (Output 3.2), then invest in at least 4 of the resulting water management projects (Output 3.3). Generate and disseminate lessons learned on Community-Based Adaptation options in various agro-climatic conditions (Output 3.4).

Recent Progress as of May 2014:

The prepared documents on establishment of Water User Association (WUA) and Water User Groups (WUG) were included in recommendations for amendments and additions to the draft Water Code of Turkmenistan and submitted to the Ministry of Water Economy of Turkmenistan through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan in January 2014. Establishment of WUG is to maintain and develop farm level water management practices and infrastructure post projects. In addition, a methodology of calculating the more progressive and differentiated water tariffs for water supply services was developed. Most importantly, the local communities in each pilot region were trained on the principles of functioning and advantages of the WUA structure. The project initiated establishment of five Water User Groups (WUG) and worked closely with their members to develop and agree on membership policy, mandates, procedures, etc.

 

The project mobilized US$ 346,000 in co-financing in the reporting period. Especially important is co-financing from the beneficiary communities (US$178,000), which demonstrates high level of project ownership. 

Programme Meetings and Workshops

List of events in 2013:

1. Two consultation round tables with key stakeholders (to initiate discussion and to present the findings) and two working meetings with the Ministry of Nature Protection (MNP), Ministry of water economy (MWE), Ministry of Agriculture in the frame of Output 1.1. Socio-economic impact of climate change on water availability costed and documented, including cost-benefit analysis of adaptation measures. To conduct the study on the socio-economic impact of climate change on water availability and assessing the effectiveness of adaptation activities, following measures have been taken: Social assessment; economic assessment; adaptation measures identification; cost benefit analysis of adaptation measures.

2. Meetings of the interdepartmental working group to prepare proposals and recommendations for changing the Water Code and tTo lobby for amendments of the Water Code in the frame of Output 1.2: A package of modifications in the water code, with particular focus on communal water management; and financial incentives for water efficiency (e.g. differentiated and progressive tariff) developed.

3. A national workshop was held in Ashgabat focusing on improvement of water related legislation of Turkmenistan in the context of climate change. Major issues related to improvement of the Water Code of Turkmenistan (adopted in 2004) were discussed at the workshop in the frame of Output 1.2.

Representatives of the ministries and state agencies of Turkmenistan including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan , Mejlis, Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan, Ministry of Water Economy of Turkmenistan, Ministry of Agriculture of Turkmenistan, Ministry of Economy and Development of Turkmenistan, Ministry of Justice of Turkmenistan, National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna under the Ministry of Nature Protection, National Committee for Hydrometeorology under the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, State Corporation “Turkmengeology” as well as national and international experts of the project and UNDP representatives participated in the workshop.

4. One training in MNP and 1 workshop in Ashgabat, 30 participants for each to increase awareness of decision makers on climate change and sustainable water use.

5. Workshops in three project regions to discuss water supply issues and to identify community needs to identify local community needs for sustainable water supply in relation of climate change.

6. One working meeting in three project regions to discuss the identified adaptation measures To identify community based adaptation solutions, conduct cost-benefit analysis and select areas for their implementation in three project regions.

7. Training for trainers community mobilization activities.

8. Trainings in the three project regions to explain the advantages and implementation of WUA in the frame of output 3.1

9. Consultation meetings with communities to identify adaptation measures to be included in the community-based adaptation plan in the frame of 3.2.

10.  Meeting to collect and distribute lessons learnt in the frame of Output 3.4: Lessons learned on community-based adaptation options under various agro-climatic conditions of Turkmenistan disseminated through ALM (Adaptation Learning Mechanism) and other networks.

 

 

Reports and Publications

Project Brief / Fact Sheet
Communications Products
Reports and Publications by country teams
Highlights
News article
PIFs

Multimedia

Climate-Resilient Farming in Turkmenistan - BTOR Turkmenistan video

Climate-Resilient Farming in Turkmenistan - addressing climate change risks in farming systems in Turkmenistan at the national and community levels.

Based on the back to the office report, Anna Kaplina, Turkmenistan, September 29 - October 5, 2014. 

Monitoring and Evaluation

Project monitoring and evaluation will be conducted in accordance with established UNDP procedures. The logical framework provides performance and impact indicators for project implementation along with their corresponding means of verification. These and others to be developed prior to implementation will form the basis on which M&E of the project will be conducted. Both quantitative and qualitative indicators and targets are established to evaluate the performance of the projects as provided below.

Outcome 1 : Policy and Institutional Capacity Strengthening

·       A package of amendments to water code with proposed water tariff and other economic instruments developed and submitted for adoption by end of 2012. Update of the water code by end of 2013.  

·       At least 2 sets of sub- regulations developed under the Water Code to implement a) progressive and differentiated tariffs, b) support for water delivery services under communal management

·       At least 2 water legislative acts amended and 2 water regulations introduced to reflect climate change cost estimations and ensure water supply

Outcome 2 : Community Based Adaptation Initiatives

·       At least one water harvesting technique and saving measure implemented in Nohur region to benefit 4,000 agri-pastoralists by end of 2014

·       At least two watering points established in Karakum region to benefit 8,000 farmers and pastoralists by end of 2014

·       Set of at least three agronomic measures (terracing, intercropping, saksaul planting) implemented in at least 3 communities by end of 2014

·       Canal level irrigation improvement measures implemented in the Sakar-Chaga region to benefit 20,000 people by end of the project

Outcome 3: Communal Systems for water delivery

·       At least 80% of targeted population of approximately 30,000 people has access to improved water services that are resilient to drought and climate aridification

·       At least 6 associations have clear mandates, institutional capacities and skills to manage and deliver water services to the target communities by end of 2013

·       At least 6 community plans on water adaptation have been designed and budgeted through the government’s social development programmes

·       At least 6 local water adaptation investment projects have been funded through WUA and associated community organizations

In order to have a realistic picture of impacts, outcomes and performance, as well as sustainability, it is important to know the perspective of local and national stakeholders. Therefore, stakeholders and selected communities will have a key role in the monitoring process. A cross-section of stakeholders will be associated to the monitoring of the project results. During the reporting period, women, land owners, doctors and teachers were actively engaged in the implementation of all project activities to take gender consideration into account. Stakeholder workshops featuring farmers, CBOs, local authorities, governmental and, and possibly nongovernmental organizations will regularly be carried out to monitor progress and disseminate results.

The views of farmers and their associations will be sought by questionnaire survey and group discussion, and those of Government administration by face-to-face dialogue. This will be completed by the project team‘s observations, to serve as a basis for analysis and reporting.

Contacts

UNDP
Anna Kaplina
Regional Technical Advisor
UNDP Turkmenistan
Ahmed Shadurdyev
Project Manager

UNDP used community-based adaptation approaches to develop community-managed water delivery services for over 30,000 farming and pastoralist communities, and to introduce drought resistance varieties of grain.