Central Asian Desert Initiative (CADI)

Conservation and sustainable use of cold winter deserts of Central Asia


The Central Asian countries have a major responsibility for the preservation of cold winter deserts, one of the least protected biomes worldwide.
The cold winter deserts are a major migration area for wild ungulates as well as migratory birds and deliver a broad range of ecosystem services, providing the most important pastures in the arid and semi-arid drylands of the region, fixing sand and dust and sequestering carbon. Yet, these deserts are threatened by degradation processes initiated through overexploitation of natural resources, e.g. firewood collection, inappropriate grazing practices and large-scale infrastructure development. A tremendous and partially irreversible loss of habitats and species, among them globally threatened and endemic, became apparent. The vulnerability of this biome is still poorly understood, but ongoing desertification processes are already putting million people’s livelihoods at risk.
As national governments are becoming increasingly aware of desertification processes, national strategies and legislations on the conservation and sustainable use of desert ecosystems are being elaborated in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The international community must now join forces to become involved into conservation and sustainable use of cold winter deserts of Central Asia. The Central Asian Desert Initiative (CADI) intends to build the solid foundation.

CADI, initiated as the quintessence of eight years experience on scientific and implementation projects in Central Asian desert regions, by Michael Succow Foundation and Greifswald University, and jointly elaborated with the FAO as an implementation partner, is planned to become leverage for future conservation and sustainable use of the unique desert ecosystems in Central Asia. The project intends to elaborate jointly with national stakeholders a neutral platform to engage in a constructive dialogue with all relevant acteurs. Using their knowledge, networks and experiences on arresting and reversing land degradation trends, promoting conservation of desert ecosystems and increasing resilience to climate change and extreme weather events in Central Asia is the long term goal.


CADI partners in Kazakhstan are the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity (ACBK) and the Committee for Forestry and Wildlife, in Turkmenistan the National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna and the State Committee for Nature Conservation and Land Resources, in Uzbekistan the national FAO branch as well as the Main Department of Forestry of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources. This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.

For more information pls. visit the CADI- project website, where you may also subscribe to the quarterly issued CADI-Newsletter.  





Project coordination:
Jens Wunderlich, jens.wunderlich(at)succow-stiftung.de

More information on the Internationale Climate Initiative (IKI) at www.international-climate-initiative.com