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Uzbekistan - Main Details

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Status and Trends of Biodiversity

Overview

The main ecosystems in Uzbekistan include lowland desert, mountain and inland water ecosystems, some of which are included as “Eco-regions 200.” They provide important habitats for migratory species. More than 27,000 species are found in Uzbekistan. Among them there are over 15,000 animals and 4500 higher plants. These include: 83 fish; 3 amphibian; 59 reptile; 424 bird and 97 mammal species. Among them, 30 reptiles, 8 birds and 15 mammals are endemic. The major threats to biodiversity in Uzbekistan include unsustainable agriculture, pesticides, soil erosion, water pollution, deforestation, shrinking of lakes and climate change. In addition, land clearing for agriculture, water irrigation projects, overuse of pastures as well as mining and drilling activities have strong impacts on ecosystems in Uzbekistan. There are 27 mammals, 62 birds, 14 reptiles and 10 fish in which are identified as endangered species. 182 animal species and 301 plant species are considered extinct.

Number and Extent of Protected Areas

24 protected areas have been established, of which there is 1 Ramsar site and 1 Biosphere Reserve. Protected areas account for 5.8% of the total land area of the country.

Percentage of Forest Cover

Forests cover a total of 1,969,000 ha, with 1,669,000 ha of natural forest and 300,000 ha of plantations.

National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan

Major features of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

Uzbekistan’s NBSAP contains strategy statements covering three aspects: the protected areas system; public awareness, participation and education; and sustainable use. For each of these aspects, the action plan identified goals, steps and outputs. For example, on the protected areas, the action plan covers development of institutional and legal frameworks, expansion of the protected areas system, management of protected areas, national biodiversity information system, captive breeding and ex situ conservation. In addition, Uzbekistan’s NBSAP outlines specific schedules and outputs for implementing priority activities identified.
 

Implementation of the Convention

Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target

Uzbekistan aims to establish an ecologically stable system of protected areas which will represent all ecosystems and whose coverage will be 10% of the total land area. For example, a target has been set to protect 80% of biodiversity in Tien-Shan. A number of laws have been adopted including: Nature Protection Law; Law on Protection and Use of Animals and Plants; Forest Law; and Protected Area Law. To protect endangered species, Uzbekistan has set up targets to preserve and further increase rare and severely threatened species and control the use of protected plants. Uzbekistan has also established breeding centers for priority protected species. To protect traditional knowledge, Uzbekistan is developing programmes to research and disseminate traditional knowledge and to promote use of indigenous languages and traditional ways of sustainable use of biodiversity. Challenges identified for achieving these targets include inadequacies of research capacities, education and awareness, training, stakeholder involvement and cooperation, demographic pressures, improper documentation of biodiversity loss and goods and services provided, and natural disasters.

Initiatives in Protected Areas

Uzbekistan has protected 5.8% of the country’s total land area, and increase of 1.07% in the last decade. The protected areas cover low land desert ecosystems, mountain ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems. Uzbekistan has also adopted a law on protected areas. As a follow-up, Uzbekistan has expanded its existing protected areas and established a number of new reserves. Currently Uzbekistan is considering creating a big reserve in Central Kyzylkum covering 5000 square kilometers to protect desert ecosystems and migration sites of the houbara bustard.

Initiatives in Access and Benefit Sharing

Uzbekistan has established a regulatory framework concerning access to genetic resources and related international contracts. Issues concerning the intellectual property rights related to genetic resources have been addressed in the special provisions of the State Law and covered by relevant legislations. Uzbekistan has signed a Global Plan of Action for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and joined the Central Asia Network for preservation and use of plant genetic resources. Uzbekistan has been undertaking some bilateral and multilateral cooperation in this field through bilateral agreements and other relevant international agreements.

Initiatives for Article 8(j)

Uzbekistan has recognized the importance of protecting traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities, as evidence shows that wider use of biotechnologies is restricting them. Relevant issues have been given a high priority in the projects developed for implementing the NBSAP as well as the development of a Clearing House Mechanism for scientific and technical cooperation. These include the work to determine the status, trends and threats to traditional knowledge and to incorporate the Akwe Guidelines into relevant national legislations. The measures for strengthening the capacities and the participation of indigenous and local communities include preserving as much as possible traditional farming, protecting sacred sites and encouraging local communities to continue to follow traditional ways of protecting and sustainably using biodiversity. Financial and technical support is being provided to local communities for achieving their plans in this regard.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme