Regional approaches to combat drought, sand and dust storms in Central Asia

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Countries in Central Asia are highly vulnerable to drought and sand and dust storms (SDS), particularly outside high-elevation areas where the climate is mostly semi-arid to arid. Recognizing the increasing risk of drought and SDS, UNCCD Parties adopted decisions on addressing the negative impact of drought (decisions 29/COP.13 and 23/COP.14) and SDS (decisions 31/COP.13 and 23/COP.14).

In collaboration with various partners, the UNCCD secretariat has developed drought and SDS policy advocacy frameworks, providing support for countries to develop national drought plans, methodology frameworks and tools, including the Drought Toolbox, as well as compiled the SDS Compendium and SDS source base-map in assisting country Parties to enhance the preparedness and resilience to drought and SDS.

The project in developing regional approaches for combating SDS and drought will focus on supporting the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in developing and implementing risk reduction strategies for SDS and drought at national and regional levels, while mobilizing experts, partnerships and resources. This will facilitate a multi-stakeholder coordination processes including government agencies, academia, practitioners and local communities. With a comprehensive SDS and drought risk reduction strategy, including monitoring and early warning systems, Central Asian countries can achieve stronger regional advocacy and capacity to effectively enhance preparedness and resilience to these environmental disasters by focusing on pre-impact governance in line with national disaster risk reduction and mitigation and national land and water management plans. 

The project will run from January 2020 to July 2021 and will be implemented by The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) – an independent, non-political and non-for-profit international organization with a regional mandate to assist the Central Asian governments, regional and international stakeholders in addressing environmental and sustainability challenges across Central Asian region and Afghanistan. 

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