Ecosystem-based land and forest management

for poverty alleviation of communities and as adaptation strategy to climate change impact along the lower Amudarya River (Uzbekistan / Turkmenistan)


Central Asia is a region with growing problems regarding the security of water-supply for ecosystems, agriculture and population. By changing the natural water-runoff regime, a decline in seasonal water availability and thus the irrigated areas is expected, coupled with a massive impact on the economy.
The protection of riparian forests (biomass stocks between 16 t / ha and 58 t / ha – at a tree-age of <30 years) is facing major challenges through multiple overuse and intensive land use, water extraction from the river ecosystem and firewood-collection, leading to massive soil salinization, substantial forest degradation and reduced natural flood regime. The existing or newly established protected areas do not adequately perform their functions and duties so far, but they offer the potential to address the challenges.

The project addresses a sustainable, climate- and site-adapted management of natural resources along the Amudarya, thereby improving the livelihoods of the people in the target region and the environmental capacity of the floodplain natural space. It thus aims at one of the core problems of the regional cooperation.


The restoration of saline soils, the cultivation of halophytic shrubs and annual plants as hay, leads to the achievement of several aims, such as the reduction of water consumption, the reduction of anthropogenic pressure on natural habitats and the development of adaptation strategies.Through the creation of new income sources and in the context of the development of a biosphere reserve, a model-region for sustainable land-use practices will be established and cross-border cooperation in nature and biodiversity conservation will be strengthened.


Local executing agencies: in Turkmenistan – Institute of Desert, Flora and Fauna (NIDFF) of the Ministry of Nature Protection; in Uzbekistan – NGO KRASS. The project is financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung; BMZ).


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Project coordination:

Jens Wunderlich, email: jens.wunderlich(at)