From 2018 pasture cooperatives in Karakalpakstan have helped mitigate climate change and limit the impacts of the Aral Sea’s disappearance. In the past three months they’ve also limited the impact of COVID-19.

These days, farmers - owners of household plots and hotbeds of the Kanlykul district, Karakalpakstan – receive informational support through a group in Telegram without leaving their home. The specialists of the Extension Center, which was established with the technical support of the UN Development Program in Uzbekistan, help them to do so.

During the total quarantine, residents of the five northern districts of Karakalpakstan have constant access to agricultural products. With the support of the United Nations Development Programme, to ensure climate resilience of farms and dekhkan farms located in the arid regions of Uzbekistan – in Muynak, Kegeyli, Takhtakupyr, Chimbay and Kanlykul districts – 564 greenhouses have been constructed over the past two years. Over 2000 people have been trained in the methods of growing planting stock and vegetable and melon crops under cover.

Health volunteers of Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan, trained by UN Volunteers through the UN Joint Programme on the Aral Sea region, are now part of the COVID-19 pandemic response. They use all feasible means to help people in remote communities stay healthy and informed.

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, which is largely a consequence of climate change. These factors increase the risk of partial or even complete loss of planned crops, especially in dry years, when as a result of the lack of irrigation water the soil is excessively dried out, the crops completely die out. Large-scale losses of agricultural products, such as those resulting from severe droughts in 2000-2001, can threaten the country's food security.

On November 23, 2019, a round table on “Towards the transition of Aral Sea region from disaster prone zone to zone of innovations and sustainable development (Agriculture sector)” was held in Nukus.

The United Nations Development Programme in Uzbekistan, with the support of the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), is launching a series of joint activities in the Chimbay district of Karakalpakstan to achieve sustainable agriculture and reduce the dependence of local communities on the effects of climate change. The first training of the planned cycle took place in “Kok Suw” village assembly of citizens on “Basic principles and methods of organic and biological farming”.

Concluding his visit to Uzbekistan, Special Advisor to the UNDP Administrator Abdoulaye Mar Dieye called for international and national development partners to continue efforts for reviving Aral Sea region spring back to life.

From 26 to 28 September 2019, Ms. Matilda Dimovska, UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan, visited the Republic of Karakalpakstan to familiarize with the current state of the region, efforts of the Government to prevent the consequences of the environmental crisis, as well as the UNDP activities in Karakalpakstan

September 26, 2019. Nukus. Today the joint project of the Government, United Nations Development Programme and UNESCO “Addressing the urgent human insecurities in the Aral Sea region through promoting sustainable rural development " was launched at the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan.