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Mobilizing local communities in response to climate change impact on farming systems  


Ashgabat, 1 August 2013 - Local communities living in three different agro-ecological regions of 

Turkmenistan of Karakum (desert), Nohur (mountain) and Sakarchaga (Mary province oasis) have 

recently got together to learn  new knowledge and experience relating to climate change adaptation 

measures and discuss increasing climate change impact on water resources available to their 

agricultural and horticultural activities. A series of workshops focusing on this topic were held in 

each of the above regions from 21 June to 17 July 2013 with the support of the United Nations 

Development Programme (UNDP). The workshops were facilitated by the national experts and 

moderators, who were earlier trained for this purpose at 

UNDP-organized trainings.



In this comprehensive exercise, representatives of local authorities and members of local 

communities from each of the three regions, as well as water management experts from different 

public organizations of Turkmenistan learned best international practices of sustainable 

management of climate change risks and modern approaches to climate change adaptation. 

Combining the new knowledge and their own experience, the workshop participants were able to 

make assessments of vulnerability of the farming systems in Turkmenistan to climate change 

induced water scarcity and come up with their own plan of actions to address this problem. 


“We covered very important issues related to climate change adaptation. Not only we learned local 

needs assessment techniques but also identified the most relevant, environmentally and 

economically sound adaptation measures that can be implemented in our region,” said Velmurat 

Akkoshekov, shepherd from the Karakum region. He basically referred to the challenge of water 

supply to livestock in the remote grasslands of the Karakum desert. According to him, sustainable 

grazing of animals requires restoration of traditional technologies for collection and storage of 

desert water from the natural basins during rainy seasons. This approach can save a lot of public 

funds to be spent on delivery of water by vehicles over considerable distances in the desert terrain. 


The workshop participants also learned about methods of maintaining soil moisture by mulching 

and new types of fertilizers such as bio-humus and compost to increase efficiency of irrigation 

water, soil fertility and crop productivity. “Improvement of irrigation techniques and promotion of 

new innovative technologies should be continued in areas such as Nohur, where farmers mostly 

depend on water mudflows, temporary and permanent springs and streams and water pumped from 

the ground wells, some of which need reconstruction, said Abdylvahyp Halimberdiev, tenant from 

Nohur region. Tenants in our region need to practice more drip irrigation. This practice allows us 

to save more than 40% of irrigation water and improve the productivity of vegetable and fruit 



The key outcome of the workshops was that stakeholders at the local level agreed that they should 

work collectively to address challenges relating to water scarcity in the context of climate change. It 

was acknowledged at the workshops that this effort requires greater involvement and strengthening 

the capacity of local communities. 



In this context, the Government of Turkmenistan partners with UNDP within the framework of the 


“Addressing climate change risks to farming systems in Turkmenistan at the national and 

community level.”

 The project is implemented by UNDP jointly with the Ministry of Nature 

Protection of Turkmenistan. 


This project is the first such initiative in Turkmenistan that takes a comprehensive approach to 

water adaptation in the agricultural sector. The main objective of the project is to strengthen water 

management practices at both local and national levels in response to climate change-induced water 

scarcity risks that are increasingly affecting farming systems in Turkmenistan. 


With the budget of nearly USD 3 million awarded to Turkmenistan as a grant from the Adaptation 

Fund, the UNDP project is also supporting the work on strengthening the national water legislation 

and pricing to ensure water availability for the non-state sector farmers. 


Turkmenistan is the first country of CIS countries and among the first countries in the world to 

receive funding on competitive basis from the Adaptation Fund. The Adaptation Fund was 

established within the framework of the Kyoto protocol to the Framework Convention on Climate 

Change in 1997 with primary goal to finance projects and programs aimed at helping developing 

countries to adapt to the harmful effects of climate change. Turkmenistan is signatory and an active 

participant of the Framework Convention. 


* * * * * 


UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, 

and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the 

ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help 

empower lives and build resilient nations. 





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