On 25-29 August, one-day workshop on "Sustainable development of rural areas by expanding cooperation through developing pasture livestock under conditions of climate change" will be held in 5 districts of Karakalpakstan.

Among the negative consequences of the Aral Sea disaster, environmentalists highlight the intensification of desertification processes, as well as degradation of pastures. For example, during 1995-2014, the productivity of pastures in Karakalpakstan declined by 23%, while the number and livestock density increased significantly. Establishing an effective mechanism for efficient pasture management is proposed as an optimal solution in the current situation. Such an approach would not only restore degraded areas, but also increase their feeding capacity.

Since the beginning of this year, 9 cooperatives have been established in Karakalpakstan within the framework of the project "Developing climate resilience of farming communities in the drought prone parts of Uzbekistan" implemented by the United Nations Development Programme and the Centre of Hydrometeorological Service at the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Three of them are located in Kegeyli district, three in Takhtakupir district, and one in each of Chimbay, Kanlykol and Muynak districts. 42,229 people (including 20,041 women) are involved in the activities of these associations, which means new jobs, improved well-being of the population, new knowledge and skills, and practices to ensure the sustainability of local communities in the face of increased risk of drought.

It should be noted that there has been no practice of organizing such cooperative communities in Karakalpakstan before. In this regard, regular meetings are held in the pilot districts of the project to explain the importance of adapting to climate change at the landscape level by organizing cooperative communities.

According to the program of the event, the participants will get acquainted with the legislative framework of providing pasture lands for cooperative use, organization of cooperative activities, year-round employment opportunities for rural population, ways of improving pasture lands, and issues of feed production. A number of presentations will focus on methods to ensure plant resistance in arid climate conditions, including through the use of bioactive preparations (humates); the participants will receive information about the production of fortified feed concentrates. A separate presentation will focus on the work of the Advisory and Information Centres and their interaction with communities and pasture cooperatives on issues of climate change adaptation. Through the example of riparian woodlands in Karakalpakstan, a scheme of field-protective planting and information about tree species most suitable for this purpose will be presented to the participants.

About 1,000 members of cooperatives have been invited to participate in the seminar, including specialists of the district department of agriculture and water management in charge of population employment issues, representatives of the tax inspectorate, and others.