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The main difficulties in agriculture of Karakalpakstan, especially in the northern regions, are associated with a low content of organic substances in the soil, widespread salinization of soils and high frequency of low water levels and hydrological drought. These factors increase the risk of partial or even complete loss of planned crops, especially in dry years.

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Despite significant changes in the economy aimed at ensuring the leadership of industry and services in the country's GDP, the contribution of agriculture to GDP, although reduced, remains high. In the agricultural production sector, which is the main source of income and employment for the majority of the population of the northern part of Karakalpakstan and the guarantor of social stability, it is currently problematic to ensure the level of adaptive capacity corresponding to the scale of the effects of climate change. This makes the agricultural production sector the most vulnerable to the existing impacts of land degradation, desertification and future natural and climatic threats, destabilizing food security in the Aral Sea region. Land users need help to select the appropriate technologies and approaches towards transition to climate-resilient agriculture.

This publication contains recommendations on establishing climate-optimized agriculture to ensure food security in the face of climate change, developed within the framework of joint UNDP, Uzhydromet, and the UNFCCC Adaptation Fund project “Developing climate resilience of farming communities in the Drought prone parts of Uzbekistan”.

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This brochure is devoted to the description of the bioecological properties and features of agricultural techniques for the cultivation of some drought-tolerant cultivated plants with high feed value. It also includes wild drought-tolerant and salt-tolerant representatives of the desert flora of Central Asia, recommended for introduction into the cultivation in order to restore pastures and improve the food supply in the conditions of Karakalpakstan.

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The guide provides examples of the use of low-cost, easily implemented and effective practices on energy and water conservation, which have been tested and have proven themselves around the world.

Recommended practical approaches can be successfully applied at the level of farms, households, schools and colleges making a positive contribution to improving their climate resilience, as well as reducing the carbon footprint. For each type of technology, a list of necessary materials is indicated which facilitates the process of making equipment and accelerates the possibility of putting it into practice. The handbook was prepared within the framework of the joint project of the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, UNDP and the Adaptation Fund "Developing climate resilience of farming communities in the drought prone parts of Uzbekistan".

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The publication provides the list of tree species recommended for breeding under climate and salinity conditions of northern parts of Karakalpakstan, and provides recommendations and techniques for their cultivation.

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In the past few decades, the volume of incoming water to the Aral Sea zone has significantly decreased, the water supply of agricultural lands has sharply decreased to 30-40% of the demand. The area of irrigated land decreased by 47% compared to 1980. There is an ongoing intensive process of desertification and salinization of soils, both in river deltas and on irrigated lands. Over 78% of the irrigated lands of Karakalpakstan are subject to varying extent of salinization.

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As a result of the degradation of the Aral Sea, the territory of its drained bottom makes about 6 million hectares. Every year over 150 million tons of salt, dust and sand rises up to the atmosphere reaching a distance of 1000 km and then falling out with the salt rains and snow. It causes an enormous damage to agriculture and the national economy at a whole.

The given infographics describes the negative effects of moving sands, as well as proposed ways of sand stabilisation.

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Drought is natural disaster that could have different genesis. It affects social and economic aspects of any human activities. In 2000-2001, the severe droughts occurred and affected more than 600,000 people in Uzbekistan.

Intensifications of climate change and climate variability resulted in increase of drought frequency. UNDP in Uzbekistan within the Adaptation Fund project jointly with UzHydromet have improved and strengthened the Drought Early Warning System's forecasting capacity to ensure that all end users are timely informed about risk of drought to be prepared well in advance.

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This manual is intended for representatives of stakeholder organizations and local communities of the Republic of Karakalpakstan. Its practical application will make it possible to rationally use the limited water resources of the lower reaches of the Amu Darya and successfully grow crops in farms and dekhkan farms, as well as in household plots of the Republic of Karakalpakstan.

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The Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) is designed for long-term forecasting of water content and early warning of low water and drought for specific mountain rivers in the upper reaches of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya - the zone of formation of natural runoff, and the lower reaches of the Amu Darya - zone of intensive use of runoff.

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